New condo and townhome communities are now offering residents cutting edge design and exciting amenities. Here are just a few examples of the some of the hottest amenities appearing in the newest condo and townhome developments across the country.
Examples of What’s Trending
A “gear closet” in a Colorado development with dedicated space for hiking boots and skis, and a hook to hang a mountain bike is a perfect example of an amenity that matches its environment, says Jennifer Nevitt, CEO of Forty-Two, a consulting firm for developers in Philadelphia.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to installing a gym, a pool and a small business center in every new community, developers are now customizing condo and townhome amenities to individual communities.
“For example, you might not want a resort-style swimming pool in Milwaukee but overhead heat warmers for an indoor dog park would be amazing for pet owners during a long winter,” says Nevitt.
Developers provide opportunities for residents to personalize their use of those amenities.
“Amenities are in place to support the lifestyle of residents,” says Ann Thompson, a senior vice president with Related Midwest, developer of One Bennett Park in Chicago. “People think of communal amenity spaces as an extension of their home.”
At One Bennett Park, for example, a multigenerational community, a large children’s playroom is available for younger kids and another activity room is set aside for teenagers. Several spaces, including a “cordial room,” a billiards room, a grand terrace and a private dining room can be reserved for residents to entertain.
“Many of our residents are on boards of nonprofit organizations or support them and want to host meetings or events outside of their condos,” says Thompson. “These spaces offer a sophisticated, elegant place to entertain.”
The ideal amenity is communal yet flexible and dynamic in its use, such as a common area that can be locked-off when it’s reserved, says Nevitt.
“Residents love a place where they can entertain a larger group than they can in their own home, so a space that can be a living room or a dining room for a dinner party or for a kids’ birthday party is great,” says Nevitt.
In addition to the desire for flexible amenities that can be personalized, other trends influencing the design of community amenities include:
Amenities Focused on Mind and Body Wellness
Personalization is part of the community dedication to wellness at Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences on Singer Island in Palm Beach County, FL. Residents have access to a personal wellness assistant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via an app, texting, a phone call or Facetime, says Matt Rocco, chief operating officer for Amrit.
“The wellness assistant helps you stay committed to the path established with the help of your wellness coach,” says Rocco. “We use technology as an enabler for better health, not an obsession.”
Residents can also call on their “restful ritual butler” to help them sleep, says Alison Howland, vice president of wellness programs for Amrit.
“Your butler will have your wellness profile and can bring you your preferred tea, draw a bath with the infusion oil you prefer and give you a personalized yoga session or a restful massage,” says Howland.
The community is designed with relaxation lounges, spa treatment rooms including floatation and infusion rooms, customized meditation and yoga rooms, along with multiple pools, a steam room and sauna.
“I expect to see more digital detox rooms, silent rooms and sound healing rooms because the wellness trend will continue to grow significantly,” says Nevitt.
At One Bennett Park, children’s swimming lessons are offered at the indoor and outdoor pools.
“The pools are a big draw for the grandparents who live here to bring their grandkids over and they also offer a wellness benefit for the whole family,” says Thompson.
Technology can be used to add convenience to any lifestyle, such as apps for concierge services, package delivery management and services such as TransitScreen, which provides real-time updates for nearby bus, subway, bikeshare and scooter options in a building lobby.
High-tech game rooms where residents can interface electronically or in person with other gamers are popular in communities with millennial residents, says Rocco.
Accommodating Ridesharing Services
Technology and design work together at One Bennett Park, where a private courtyard entrance allows cars to pull off the busy city street for drop-offs and pick-ups, in a driveway designed for easy circulation. In addition, says Thompson, the developer coordinated the address with apps so that rideshare drivers can easily find the motor court entrance.
“At one project, we took out some surface parking and turned it into a porte-cochere with four diagonal lanes linked with a digital screen, so that drivers and passengers can seamlessly find each other,” says Nevitt. “It’s designed so it’s easy for the rideshare drivers to pull out without causing traffic issues.”
Attention on Safety and Security
“The ability to give peace-of-mind to residents is an important amenity,” says Nevitt. Developers are introducing things like gate codes for a garage that can time-stamp arrivals or photograph the license plate and video surveillance for the entry and hallways, she says. In luxury developments private elevators direct to residences or elevators with floors only accessible to residents are becoming more common, she says.
Connecting with the outdoors is particularly important for city dwellers, says Thompson.
“At One Bennett Park, we have a deck with ‘outdoor rooms’ with fire pits that can be reserved for grilling or entertaining and we have a direct connection to a two-acre park that will open this summer that has two dog parks,” says Thompson.
Nevitt says she’s seeing lots of glass garage doors for communal entertainment spaces to bring in natural light all year and to create a larger indoor-outdoor area when the doors are lifted overhead.
The Future of Amenities
While many of these amenities are available only in high-end luxury buildings, Nevitt says that consumers should expect to see more of these trends as new communities are developed.
“Developers who focus on minimizing hassles for people and on finding solutions to reduce chaos can find inspiration for design elements that don’t have to be costly,” says Nevitt.
Dedicated areas for ridesharing services, closets with space for items needed for your lifestyle such as skis or a surfboard, and quiet space for meditation or a digital detox can enhance a home and a community.
Michele Lerner is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and author who has been writing about real estate, personal finance and business topics for more than two decades.