After the years-long amenity arms race in the luxury apartment market, there’s increasing pressure on condominium developers. Potential buyers — including current renters — have grown more discerning, so developers need to plan the right mix of amenities to meet or even exceed their expectations.
Programming a development’s amenities requires successfully tapping into local market intelligence to satisfy the appetite of today’s condo buyers with appealing lifestyle amenities while still making the numbers work so a development pencils out. Each additional amenity raises a building’s homeowner assessment fees (HOAs), so to keep them below the $1-per-square-foot threshold — the point at which the market is unlikely to support anything higher — developers must decide which amenities are truly essential to the residential experience a building aims to provide.
While each condominium development requires its own strategy tailored to its location and buyer profile, three categories have emerged as those essential must-have amenities in 2018:
Technology And Connectivity
Technology is one of those hidden amenities buyers can’t tour during a showing, yet it’s paramount to their daily lives. Developers need to understand that tech amenities have to go beyond advanced fiber optics — from robotic platforms to move storage to building in capacity for more electric vehicle charging stations.
There’s also a growing market demand for the intuitive tech that consumers have come to expect in five-star hotels. Increasingly, condo developers are incorporating smart-home technology that allows buyers to control lighting, temperature and electronics using their tablet or smartphone, even when they are away from home.
Keeping an eye toward new technology on the horizon is also important. That’s exactly the mindset that prompted the developers of the TEN50 luxury condominium tower in Los Angeles to build a landing pad at the property in anticipation of drone package deliveries.
Holistic Wellness Features
All fitness centers aren’t created equal, especially in luxury condo buildings. This amenity staple must have state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated rooms for yoga or meditation, as well as additional community spaces to accommodate physical or massage therapists.
Beyond these specific amenity spaces, there’s increasing buzz around high-rise condo buildings encouraging wellness with customized circadian lighting throughout the development, in addition to air and water purification systems. Muse Residences in Miami has specialized “wellness residences,” which include a shower infuser to reduce the drying effects of chlorine along with the circadian lighting to accommodate the body’s natural rhythm to help boost energy, mood and productivity.
Niche Space In Common Areas
The best amenities should serve residents’ needs and foster an emotional connection with their new home. To achieve this, developers are adding private niche spaces to create more intimate settings within larger amenity suites, including rooms tailored to residents’ lifestyles, hobbies and interests.
Other developments are using amenity space to create children’s playrooms, music rooms and wine rooms for private events. With each of these examples, it’s about tailoring a building’s amenity offerings to its target demographic. Doing so will result in a compelling suite of buyer-appropriate spaces that can be the ultimate differentiator in closing a sale. To better anticipate people’s preferences, developers can do a thorough market and competitive analysis of similar developments in the area to get an idea of the target buyer demographics.