The global pandemic has  disrupted most every facet of our lives — from how we maintain health and wellness to ways in which we safely navigate the physical space. For the past 7 months, the real estate industry has been reassessing how commercial and residential buildings are planned and developed. It represents a wholesale shift in thinking about life during Covid-19, something that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

As such, at GIS, we’re constantly looking for innovative ways to support our homeowners and residential tenants during this momentous time. That means rethinking individual and communal spaces to ensure they’re accommodating our changing lifestyles.


With so many people working from home these days, it’s important our multi-family residents have the space they need to operate business from home. Oftentimes, that means creative design solutions for living- and bedroom space that supports daily-work needs. And, with less time being spent with neighbors, we’re redesigning many of our common areas – sometimes, during construction at projects like Madison Plaza in Kent – to provide for the appropriate social distancing. The same goes for single-family homeowners, too, who suddenly find themselves needing a home office, or a home gym, due to the associated risks of heading downtown or working out at the local health club.

Our space-planning efforts go well beyond these logistical changes, however. Covid-19 is requiring GIS and other real estate companies to reconsider every area of the home. So, we’re designing many of our next-generation residential buildings with sanitization stations at lobby entries, and powder rooms at the front entrances of our apartments and single-family homes.


We’re putting in place operational systems to clean our common areas every hour, if not more frequently, to ensure our residents and their guests stay healthy and well. GIS is also employing Covid-sensitive residential amenities programs — both a la carte and subscription-based — featuring safe and secure package access and retrieval, home maid services, and in-home mobile salon services, to name just a few.

For the future, GIS and our design partners are looking at ways to improve internal air quality with state-of-the-art equipment that purifies — beyond industry requirements — the air we breathe, whether at home or in shared community spaces. With such a premium being put on space due to the pandemic and rising construction costs, we’re also getting the most out of our residential buildings by creating flexible work/live spaces, redistributing cabinetry and other storage, and even employing some apartments with Murphy beds.

Covid-19 has completely changed our work and lifestyle environments, and it’s an issue we’ll likely be dealing with for years to come. At GIS, we’re employing best-in-class design and construction methods to meet the pandemic head-on, with the goal of addressing the ever-changing needs of our residents and homeowners.