Apartment Developers Focus on Thoughtful
Monday, July 18, 2016
By Lambeth Hochwald
Gone are the days when luxury buildings could satisfy residents with a friendly doorman and a few exercise machines in the basement.
That’s so 2000, says Brett Ringelheim, a licensed real estate salesperson at Nest Seekers International. “Having a gym and pool is common sense,” he says.
But today’s buyers and renters demand more customized amenities and top-of-the-line everything. Knock-your-socks-off amenities packages have become as important – and common – as high ceilings and great views.
“Buildings are now loaded with dog runs, helipads, hotel rooms for guests within the building, private catering and event space,” says Denae Montesi, a real estate salesperson at William Raveis, a real estate firm in New York City. “Underground drive-in lobbies, private parking space and Turkish baths are also topping the lists of must haves.”
And even in buildings that have more basic amenities, everything is done at the highest level of luxury.
Convenience is Key – Especially for the Higher End
Well thought-out “extras” are as much about luring buyers as it is to make residents’ lives that much easier.
“People have multiple interests, hobbies and busy schedules that make it difficult to fit everything in,” says Mitchell Hochberg, president of Lightstone Group, a real estate company in New York City. “Increasingly, people are seeking out living environments that can cater to all of their needs and interests in a convenient way.”
That’s why a gym is great, but a private parking spot is even better.
“For wealthy buyers, time is money,” says Victoria Shtainer, a licensed associate real estate broker at Compass, a real estate company in New York City.
Carnival-Style Amenities Are So Last Decade
Amenities such as bowling alleys and golf simulators seems to be waning because no one uses those spaces and they take up valuable real estate, say Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, luxury real estate brokers who sell properties collaboratively for Douglas Elliman in New York.
“Very few buildings today take an “over the top,” gimmick-themed approach to amenities, which we witnessed in the last boom cycle,” says Richard Jordan, EVP of global markets at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “Instead, developers are more thoughtful with regards to design, interior finish, functionality and providing world-class services, thus creating a “new normal” with respect to enhanced-quality-of-life amenity offerings.”
It’s All About Healthy (Hotel and Spa-Style) Living
Developers these days are focusing on personal wellness and comfort, and delivering those amenities directly into the residences. This means air and water filtration systems, radiant heating, humidification systems, treatment rooms, vitamin C showers and even circadian lighting systems, Postilio and Conlon report.
In the end, the upper echelon of buyers are increasingly requesting features within their buildings that you would find in a leading hotel or custom home with luxury finishes, and that has an upside to a certain other buyer demographic, says Jordan Sachs, CEO of Bold New York, a boutique residential brokerage firm.
And it’s something we’re seeing all over the world.
“In Hong Kong, developers focus on providing resort-like facilities and convenience amenities, including sport centers, swimming pools, spas, gyms and barbecue areas,” says David Ji, Director and Head of Research & Consultancy, Greater China at Knight Frank.
“The upside of this has been the trickle-down effect, which has led to many of these amenities now being offered in mid-market buildings that we’re leasing or selling to Millennials,” he says, referring to $2 million to $3 million properties.