It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of condo amenities in your new development – or even existing and pre-built – projects. At every turn, there’s a newer, flashier amenity developers can add to their building plans. But with so much available, how are you supposed to narrow down what actually matters to residents, or what will provide the greatest return on your investment?
In short: turn to the experts. At CHARLESGATE, we work with developers and consult on projects every day. While this list might have looked a bit different three years ago, today’s residents emphasize fresh air, remote work, technology, connectedness, and convenience.
When you implement your design to accommodate the modern customer, everything else falls into place.
Here’s a closer look at the must-have amenities to meet consumer demand.
1. Exceptional Private and Co-working Spaces
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the world entirely shifted and went mostly remote for the better part of two years.
As more and more employers realize flexibility is the way to go, it’s becoming more and more likely that the remote-work trend – or at least a hybrid version of it – is here to stay. But looking at the same few walls can get stale, and having a focused work area outside your home but inside your building can make a major difference – so much so that not having this accommodation eliminates many prospects from your building from the jump. Individual private work pods, as well as break-out areas, check the box for this necessity.
2. A Well-Sized Package Room – with Refrigeration.
Another convenience service that was emphasized by COVID: online shopping is here to stay. Now, though, it’s accompanied by other shopping services, like grocery delivery.
All this means your residents need somewhere organized where their packages can be delivered safely, not to mention away from the main lobby as to prevent an eyesore of stacked packages in the corner. But what happens when your groceries are left unattended in a lobby? That Amazon Fresh won’t be fresh for long.
Adding smart doors like the ButterflyMX system for security and access, as well as a few small fridges to store perishable delivered groceries, goes a long way toward resident happiness and occupancy.
3. Outdoor Kitchens and Dining Areas
Eat out! Fresh air has never been so valuable – and your residents will appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of grilling and dining outdoors. Even just a few nice grilling stations and ample seating and tables will suffice, but the nicest outdoor dining areas take things a step further. Some examples of those amenities include fire pits to sit and roast marshmallows and share drinks, or even an outdoor brick oven.
4. Rooftop Lounge & Deck
Keeping with the outdoors theme, you need an outdoor lounge area that gives your residents the ability to enjoy the beauty of being outdoors in an urban city setting. Plus, having an outdoor lounge area on a roof gives the added bonus of the views, sunshine, and beautiful breeze a deck has to offer. This outdoor space is great for hosting get-togethers or parties, or even as a community space for your property’s programming committee to host an event for residents.
The larger your building, the larger your outdoor space should be, but you could even consider an indoor rooftop lounge that connects to the outdoor space.
Patio furniture, umbrellas, and gaming amenities like cornhole are a great addition as well.
5. Private Outdoor Space
Breathe easy on your own personal slice of paradise! While not every individual residence needs its own private balcony, it’s certainly a bonus attraction that makes a building more desirable. To truly make your high-end units pop in this must-have amenity category, consider private roof decks with direct, private access from penthouse units.
6. Private Spa Suite
If this sounds rather fancy, that’s because it is – but that doesn’t make it any less of a necessity for your target buyer. In today’s remote-work-enabled world, your ideal residents want the convenience of bringing their relaxation or regular wellness team to them. They’re able to do this via a small suite in your amenity lounge that is bookable by residents (or building event programmers) for all types of professional services. A rentable private spa suite is perfectly sized for a traveling hair stylist, masseuse, physical therapist, or other wellness service professional to come to you without invading or rearranging your home to accommodate the needed space.
7. Smart Home Features
If smart-home features aren’t implemented throughout your brand new building, it will appear outdated on Day 1. Today’s world is powered by technology and convenience, and the smart systems and devices that enable those things are expected features of new construction.
Standard smart-home features include Wi-Fi residence entry door technology like ButterflyMX’s smart system, smart thermostats pre-installed in each unit, and touchless elevators with smart-device-enabled unlock access to private, resident-only areas like amenity lounges.
8. Car-charging Stations
As the world goes more and more electric, its vehicles are too, and your new development building’s parking needs to accommodate the rise in electric vehicles. And though the standard gas-powered cars still outnumber their greener counterparts, electric vehicles are projected to account for 45% of the new vehicle market by 2035 and over 60% by 2050. Appease those ahead of the curve today, and don’t dig yourself into a hole in the near future.
9. Access to Public Transportation
Believe it or not, easy access to public transportation is viewed as an amenity. For developers targeting new, up-and-coming neighborhoods, the ability to work with local governments – or blueprint around their plans – and create Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is critical. Homes with walkable access to food, shopping, and entertainment, as well as ample public transportation, are more than just all the rage – they’re a requirement.
10. Transit-Oriented Technology
Speaking of smart technology and TOD, keeping your commuting tenants in the know is more than just a luxury these days. Consider a company like Actionfigure, whose ‘Actionfigure Screen’ provides real-time updates to transportation information. This hardware, and others like it, “coordinates and curates more than 3,000 data feeds to provide accurate, real-time transportation information about all types of transportation” including public transit like subways, busses, ferries, and trolleys, shared transportation like bike-, scooter-, moped-, or carshares, traffic and crowding information, and estimated access to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.
Some properties even partner with ride-sharing services to offer discounts for residents or greater access to other shared transportation amenities.
11. Pet-friendly Amenities
Pets are part of the family too, and new construction needs to account for the convenience services tailored to their owners. In addition to smart ButterflyMX doors that allow easy access for dog walkers and caretakers alike, most new buildings also include a dog run and a pet spa (to pamper your pooch, or simply to wash them off – especially after a walk in the rain or a fun playdate at the park. And don’t forget the built-in kennel services – just because Mom and Dad are going away, doesn’t mean your pets need to leave home (or their in-building friends!). Catering to pets is catering to their owners, and a smart, convenient amenity.
12. Direct Access Parking
Parking is always a cause for concern in dense, urban areas, but it doesn’t have to be. Not only can you increase parking availability by strategically adding parking to your existing structure via a parking stacker or puzzle, but you can also make the parking experience seamless with private garage entry for residents as well as private, technology-enabled, resident-only access. Take it a step further, and include direct-access elevators from the garage to any floor, and you’ve met the necessary parking requirements prospective tenants demand.
Maximize the return on your new development investment; talk to CHARLESGATE today to learn how.