A duo enjoys the perks of luxury apartment living
Whitney Doering and Lincoln Durham are among many young professionals enjoying luxury apartment living in Madison.
On the wall that connects the dining and living areas of the apartment shared by engaged couple Whitney Doering and Lincoln Durham is a floor-to-ceiling gallery of family photos, pictures of friends, highlights from their relationship and places they’ve traveled.
It’s a focal point in the space, which is a one-bedroom, one-den, 1 1/2-bathroom apartment in the L. L. Olds Warehouse Lofts & Flats on Williamson Street. The couple has kept their decor fairly simple otherwise, so as not to overwhelm the updated industrial elements of the apartmtaylent. They’ve lived there for a year and a half and plan to be there for at least the next year.
Doering, 31, and Durham, 29, are among many young professionals enjoying luxury apartment living in Madison. Doering, a senior email marketing associate for The Clorox Co., and Durham, a production manager for Quarra Stone Co., picked L. L. Olds because of the architecture of the former seed company building, which is more than 100 years old.
“They’re really looking for good use of space and floor plans,” says Taylor McGrath, the director of property management at McGrath Property Group, who also notes that young professionals make up a big portion of McGrath’s demographic. “[They want] luxury finishes. You’ve got to have the quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances. In-unit washer and dryer especially. And then the amenities.”
Doering and Durham love the apartment’s proximity to bike paths, parks, restaurants and the lakes. “Easy access to the gym on the main floor is a definite plus for us,” says Durham. “And while we don’t yet own a dog, it’s nice to live in a building with ample opportunity to make friends with all the pups.”
McGrath Property Group owns and manages nine luxury apartment properties in Madison, and manages another two. Before there was McGrath Property Group, there was McGrath Associates, which was a condo development company. But right around the recession, McGrath Associates closed and McGrath Property Group came to be, focusing just on apartment leasing. “The condo industry in Madison took a really big hit and, honestly, really hasn’t recovered,” says McGrath.
But the luxury apartment business is booming today for McGrath Property Group. Its occupancy rate for 2020 was 99.6%. “We’ve definitely been very busy the whole pandemic,” says McGrath, whose father, Lance, owns the company, which finished construction on two new west-side buildings in June. Garver Point opened in the Atwood neighborhood in 2019 and is one of the group’s farthest developments from downtown. “That area is just booming,” says McGrath.
At the start of the pandemic, they were concerned about what would happen to the rental market, but it’s better than ever right now, McGrath says. “It’s almost surreal how competitive [it is], especially the housing market. But it’s really good to see that people are still moving to Madison. We’ve seen a lot of people coming from out of state who are just looking for more of that smaller city escape compared to larger cities where COVID may have affected them a little bit more.”
The L. L. Olds apartment is a perfect fit right now for Doering and Durham, who hosted close family for the holidays last year and enjoy decorating the space, which has also become home to Doering’s remote work office.
“Not every apartment complex gives you that homey feeling, but we certainly feel that way whenever we walk through our door,” Doering says.
Andrea Behling is the editor of Madison Magazine.
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