I agree, keeping it simple pays off, no need to have multiple materials to create visual interest. Good scale/proportions and a few interesting high quality elements at key locations to draw the eye can go a long way.This one has 5 different materials going on though. The red brick, the grey hardy horizontal siding, the cream smooth Hardy paneling, the grey smooth Hardy paneling, and the faux wood horizontal siding. Not to mention the precast or stone window headers and sills, white perf. aluminum soffits, Hardy trim, Smartboard type fascias, and whatever they plan on using for capping the 4th floor parapet and balcony railings.
They could have just done the brick and smooth Hardy paneling in the cream or a cream stucco and been done with it. Would have been sharp and the same cost, but now it's a mess for no architectural reason.
I even use some vinyl on apartments on areas of the building that aren't noticeable to save money. No one escapes VE. But I do find a lot of developers are using multiple materials to attempt to create "articulation" and visual interest on an otherwise non-descript square building.
Here is a rental building we finished in PoCo. Building is a mixture of Hardy and Vinyl in a suburban rental market. It is square and a really efficient floorplate. Didn't break the bank, and looks fairly good.