The Amenities Arms Race in Residential Development
October 14, 2015
October 14, 2015
A sound selection of amenities is considered a prerequisite more than it is a luxury for today’s high-rise city dwellers. Developers are finding themselves to be in a crucial amenities arms race to out-do the last luxury skyscraper and set a new benchmark to entice buyers and renters.
What are some of the trendiest amenities today and which amenities will future developments offer? As the old adage says, it’s all about location, location, location. No city is the same and neither are its residents. Therefore, demographics and location play a large part in shaping amenities outside of the common à la carte items consumers have come to expect, such as a fitness center, in-building laundry and a doorman.
Let’s compare two East Coast markets – New York, NY and Boston, MA. Both cities are experiencing record-breaking real estate development cycles, collectively resulting in hundreds of thousands of luxury units coming to market annually.
New York City encompasses a larger populace of high net-worth individuals and continues to sprout new, edgy neighborhoods like Williamsburg, SoHo, Tribeca, and the Brooklyn Cultural District. How is this growth shaping amenities? To accommodate the pool of uber-wealthy buyers, developers are offering unthinkably lavish, private “unit-only” amenities within their developments. Here are some of the most recent and common examples:
The majority of us are not uber-rich, so what can we expect? Over the past year, communal amenities that are culturally literate and locally sourced have been making an impact on many residential and rental properties in New York City’s outer boroughs. Brooklyn’s 66 Rockwell has begun a partnership with the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music, which is curating film nights and other events. It is also working with two other neighboring cultural institutions, the Mark Morris Dance Center and BRIC, the arts and media organization that puts on the annual Celebrate Brooklyn festivals. Other common amenities include book clubs and curated day retreats outside of the city to the Catskills or Long Island.
In Boston’s newest luxury buildings, amenity packages tend to showcase included and premium parking options, something you’ll rarely see in Manhattan. Some examples include Watermark Seaport and Millennium Tower. As more developments across the city of Boston continue to rise, parking is becoming more valuable to buyers and renters due to scarcity. We foresee the demand for parking to grow over the next few years and thus will continue to play a greater role in new development marketing strategies.
And then there’s the matter of where Fido can live in the Hub. In May, Boston.com reported one percent of apartment buildings in the city allow renters/owners to have large dogs and only nine percent allow small dogs. A wave of new luxury development will hopefully boost those numbers. There are more than a dozen new apartment buildings that are currently available or coming to market soon that are pet-friendly, including Twenty|20, The Merc, One Greenway, The Arlington and The Kensington.
Real estate professionals expect to see substantially more amenities as development continues in urban areas. In Boston and New York, you can expect the amount of space developed for amenities within new residential properties to continue growing and here’s why: As real estate becomes more expensive, prospective tenants and owners expect more than just a run-down lobby, or even a fitness center. In order for developers to be successful in a pricey – and still very competitive – market, they will need to provide the bells and whistles that residents have come to expect, and then some.