If Las Vegas is an oasis in the desert, then KAKTUSlife might be considered an oasis in Las Vegas. Created by TRU Development Company and managed by Pinnacle Property management, KAKTUSlife is a modern luxury, mixed-use community centrally located in the master-planned Southern highlands development, steps from the Strip and Town Center. The ‘Texas Wrap’ style building combines cutting-edge smart home technology, industry-leading health and wellness, and sustainability into a self-contained community living experience found nowhere else in the region.
The LEED Silver designed building wraps around a lush courtyard that offers a welcoming, groomed outdoor environment for residents to enjoy; the pool and hot tubs beckon young professionals to relax and release the stress of the workday. “We’re able to bring in a lot of different features,” asserts Kelly Kwasniewski, head of Development Logistics for TRU, “that really can accommodate anybody who wants to spend some time outside or hang out beside the pool, especially as the weather changes.” The outdoor area features luxe touches like atmospheric rain waterfalls, and a dramatic fire feature integrated with the pool in a design that suggests the juxtaposition of ice and fire. KAKTUSlife boasts a full suite of amenities both in and outdoors, including a wine lounge, a game lounge, a full kitchen that residents can reserve for gatherings, and pet-friendly spaces for tenants’ furry friends. “That’s the feel we’re going for in this luxury community space,” Kwasniewski says, “how we’re trying to bring people together.” Retail spaces will be occupied by a range of businesses, including a dentist’s office, nail salon, and restaurant space, providing a ‘community within a community’ that allows residents to live, work, and play all within the self-contained community. While the central location provides convenient access to more of Las Vegas, residents have a whole community available right at their address.
Where KAKTUSlife truly differentiates itself is in providing a holistic community environment through the incorporation of technology-driven Smart Apartment and Health and Wellness offerings, all bolstered by sustainability unrivaled in the Las Vegas region.
The KAKTUSwellness studio features with Olympics-grade equipment from TechnoGym and Kinesis, and residents can tailor their fitness program with the assistance of Amanda Barton, who brings 19 years of industry experience to her role as Director of Wellness. Integrating with the high-tech vision of the community is the KAKTUSlife Wellness app, which provides seamless fitness tracking functionality for any smartphone user, as well as integration with wearables like FitBit, Apple Watch, and Garmin. Automation options empower the users to simply open the app to track their fitness data without additional effort.
TRU Development is especially proud of their investment in residential sustainability; KAKTUSlife is the first LEED Silver designed luxury apartment building in the Las Vegas region. Kwasniewski believes that a foundation in sustainability will be an incentive for Millenials and other young professionals who want to feel like they’re contributing to a better better world, even through something as simple as living in an eco-conscious building. While LEED design build requires a significant up-front investment, Kwasniewski and TRU believe that the savings and incentives will provide a commensurate value-add over the next 5-10 years. “An investor who wants to come in and purchase, there’s nothing they’ll have to do in order to retrofit,” she notes, “and we’re creating a luxury product that’s really not in the market yet.” With no other buildings in the region that blend sustainability into their offering the way KAKTUSlife has, TRU is excited about the potential in their early adoption of these sustainability standards.
The smart units leverage IOTAS Home technology, featuring smart switches, outlets and thermostats, with sensors and preset scenes that enable the user to automate their residence with ‘set and forget’ ease. The IOTAS functionality is integrated with the KATKUSlife app, requiring no additional apps and reducing smartphone clutter. The residents also don’t need to worry about additional sign-up or up-charges for the smart units; the service is available for the resident to use or not.
The process of provisioning the smart units — activating the devices, connecting them to the network, and ensuring they are functioning properly — was a notable bright spot for KAKTUSlife, and featured an extremely successful collaboration between TRU Development, IOTAS, and Pinnacle. In order to accommodate the timeline for KAKTUSlife’s completion, IOTAS staff worked closely with TRU Development and Pinnacle to perform an accelerated provisioning process of the smart apartments. “[Pinnacle] was a very invested leasing staff team,” says Ashley Wakefield, IOTAS Project Coordinator. “This team was excited and wanted to learn.” Pinnacle’s Jeffery Arterberry, the KAKTUSlife I Area Manager, explains his team’s eagerness to learn: “We felt it be very important the team be involved in this process and have a greater understanding of how the system works all the way through.”
With 210 units to provision and a week to accomplish the task, the provisioning posed a significant challenge to the team. Wakefield trained the Pinnacle staff onsite on one apartment, then turned them loose to work on their own units. The team met the challenge head-on, completing all 210 units in four days. IOTAS Project Coordinator Will Darmohray, who assisted with completing the provisioning, noted that the project was one of the largest residential Internet of Things (IoT) provisionings IOTAS had ever performed, moving at the remarkable rate of completing 12 apartments per person per day. “We walked about 18 miles in 4 days,” says Arterberry. “Talk about getting your steps in.” Not content to merely observe, Kwasniewski participated in the process as well, delivering key equipment to the building site in order to ensure the teams could maintain their pace without interruption. She believes the leasing agents’ engagement in the process was attributable to the extensive preparation work in advance of the install, and that the seamless system and support provided by the IOTAS team streamlined the process and eliminated any guesswork or confusion. “The perk for [our] team was being able to learn something new that would benefit them in the long run,” says Arterberry of the Pinnacle team’s motivation participating in the installation, “Imagine having the knowledge of something that no one else has or offers in the valley. This truly makes you unique. How do you put a value on that?”
Darmohray felt the project’s values were aligned from the top down, all the way to the light switches. Kwasniewski agrees, asserting that TRU Development, IOTAS, and Pinnacle all share similar business methodology and philosophy. “It’s really all about teamwork and communication, and I think that has been the key to get us to this place. This was the first time that TRU, Pinnacle, and IOTAS came together on a project,” she continues. “Because of the synergy with how we operate and who we are as business professionals,” the project exceeded her expectations for success.
Kwasniewski believes the future is bright for KAKTUSlife and the synergistic partnership between TRU Development, IOTAS Home, and Pinnacle Property Management. “[The group] was a bunch of strangers, we all came together, and we all just clicked, and I think it’s not something that happens all the time,” she says. “I think it’s really cool that it happened in this space, as we’re moving forward with this amazing product.” The combination of a visionary Development team coupled with exciting technology and a fully engaged leasing team promises to attract residents who understand the possibilities available to anyone who chooses the KAKTUSlife.