Renovated apartments offer residents a discreet, creative union of the traditional and the modern through updated living spaces with the finishes, fixtures, and amenities that today’s renters value. Renovations also tend to generate better rents, reduced vacancies, higher property values, and better branding for property owners.

But what exactly are renovated apartments and what can renters expect from these types of properties? In this article, we will explore why property owners and renters alike look to property renovations as an excellent way to strike a balance between features, location, and value.

Renovate, Remodel or Restore

It’s possible to renovate, remodel, or restore residential housing. What are the differences? Zillow makes these distinctions:

  • Renovate: Make living space new without altering its use
  • Remodel: Change the use of a living space
  • Restore: Return a living space to its original character

Renovations transform living spaces, often with new fixtures, wall finishes, and floor coverings. Sometimes, a renovation also includes new appliances or energy-efficient windows. Remodeling describes an alteration to the very character of living spaces. For example, wall removal or relocation might transform an outdated, fragmented floor plan into an open-concept with a spacious feel. Finally, a restoration recaptures the original character of a building while still providing residents with important modern amenities.

Features of Renovated Properties

Property owners must give careful consideration to what features residents value. It’s important to determine what the competition is offering. Renovations should also blend well with the neighborhood vibe and feel. Projects often begin with exhaustive cleaning and fresh coats of paint both indoors and out.

An updated living room with a sectional couch and coffee table. A caption reads "Property owners must give careful consideration to what features residents value. It’s important to determine what the competition is offering."Apartment amenities

Desirable renovated properties offer high-demand, luxury features. You’ll often find more upscale floor coverings like wood-style flooring, plush carpeting, and ceramic tile. Stainless steel appliances and stone countertops often grace the kitchens of renovated luxury apartments. LED light fixtures add crisp, clean light while saving energy.

Community amenities

Community-wide renovations often include an updated lobby or clubhouse. Abundant new services also attract tenants, including resort-style pools, spas, bark parks, car rentals, and complimentary bike storage.

Renovation is a Win-Win

In desirable urban markets, residents frequently rate location high on their list of priorities. For an owner/developer, a major renovation is an excellent solution for dated properties in ideal locations. In this scenario, a successful renovation is a win-win for owners and tenants alike.

A successful renovation often delivers a cleaner, more luxurious look and feel. The right finishes and fixtures make unwinding at the end of the day that much more relaxing. There are many reasons why renters prefer quality renovations. They might seek a more open, spacious feeling, as well as amenities generally unavailable in older housing, such as fitness centers, pools, high-speed internet, and upgraded common areas. An updated kitchen is of particular importance to those who love to spend time cooking and baking. Renovated living spaces are also popular with those who entertain family and friends from time-to-time, and onsite amenities enhance an active lifestyle.

Timing of Renovations

Owners and developers of multi-family housing must time their renovations with care. At some point, prospective renters consistently bypass worn and dated options in favor of renovated ones. There’s also the practical problem of the escalating cost of repairs.

With renovations, it’s important to avoid missteps. For example, quartz countertops might be a perfect upgrade in one setting and out of place in another. Sometimes, the age or the layout of the building makes a complete renovation cost-prohibitive.

Prospective renters are perceptive and they can detect the difference between professional and cut-rate renovations. The latter may deliver short-term savings but drive up turnover and vacancies over time. Successful renovations, on the other hand, keep tenants satisfied.

Luxury Renovated Properties

A variety of Draper and Kramer’s luxury properties offer examples of high-quality renovations carried out at established locations.

1130 S. Michigan

From the beginning, 1130 S. Michigan delivered awe-inspiring views of Lake Michigan. Residents also valued the convenient South Loop location. The 43-story building opened in the 1960s, but apartment renovations keep pace with 21st-century preferences. Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, wood-style flooring, and custom wood cabinetry enhance living spaces.

Community amenities speak to resident expectations. At 1130 S. Michigan, it’s possible to restore mind, body, and soul in a variety of ways. There’s a 24-hour fitness center, onsite massage center, resort-style pool, and sundeck. Transportation needs also change over time, and so 1130 S. Michigan offers electric car charging, onsite Zipcars, and free bike storage. Pet owners in this community enjoy the benefits of a dog spa and 24-hour dog deck.

1350 North Lake Shore

1350 North Lake Shore was once the address of Potter and Bertha Palmer. The Potter Mansion was the largest home in Chicago, a fitting addition to the city’s “Gold Coast.” At the time, only a thin ribbon of sand separated the modest roadway from Lake Michigan’s waters. In 1953, developers constructed a 22-story apartment building on the site.

Current residents enjoy some of Chicago’s most distinctive lake views—these views are especially majestic from the property’s rooftop deck. Residents also have ready access to world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment. Renovated units feature modern kitchens with stainless-steel appliances. New floor coverings include wood-inspired laminates, ceramic tile, and plush carpeting. The 24-hour fitness center, onsite grocery store, dry cleaner, and pet park are all popular amenities as well.

Lake Meadows

Lake Meadows is a multi-building community purchased by Draper and Kramer in 1969. Attractive city and park views welcomed residents then and now. Draper and Kramer’s stated goal is to deliver renovations that are “comfortable, sleek and modern.” Renovated units feature upgraded kitchens, baths, fixtures, and finishes. Community amenities include tennis courts, a clubhouse, and a bark park. Significant upgrades to the fitness center, resident lobby, and community room speak to modern lifestyle preferences. There are pet-friendly buildings and guest suites for visiting family and friends. Zipcar is available onsite, and Divvy bike rental is nearby.

These are just a few of Draper and Kramer’s luxury renovated properties. To learn more about Draper and Kramer’s properties, visit

A typical renovated living at 1350 North Lake Shore Drive apartment with a dining set on the right and couch and chair further back.

A variety of Draper and Kramer’s luxury properties offer examples of high-quality renovations carried out at established locations.

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