Today we thought we?d have a bit of fun. What added extras would persuade you to sign on the dotted line if you were buying or renting a new flat?
Developers are busy trying to attract buyers and renters to their blocks by offering a whole range of residential amenities. But some of them are frankly a bit dull, especially if you live in the middle of a town or city. Who needs a gym or a coffee shop when there are plenty to choose from just around the corner? And how many of us will use those treadmills anyway? When you have the whole of London, Manchester, Brighton or Bradford to eat, drink and be merry in, your block operator is going to have to work a bit harder.
So what gives one block a genuine edge over another? A recent survey by CBRE put concierge services at the top of the list. Practical help with everyday tasks such as laundry, car hire and parcel pick-up and drop off is always popular. So are health-based amenities such as an on-site spa ? with health treatments and nutritional advice ramping up more points than just providing a few rowing machines.
Some developers really are going the extra mile, so we did a bit of research to see if we could find some genuinely innovative amenities that would make any residential block really stand out from the rest.
It turns out the Americans really know how to live! Green space and healthy living are on offer at Staten Island Urby in New York via social spaces that encourage residents to get to know each other. The development features an urban farm, a communal gourmet kitchen and a rooftop apiary. The chef-in-residence (yes you heard that right) even hosts gourmet cooking classes and cocktail tastings.
If you prefer animals to people, another New York development features doggy daycare, a grooming spa, cat sitting and a visiting vet for poorly pets.
And in Miami Beach, a sharing room at the Ritz-Carlton Residences gives flat owners the chance to offload their pre-loved good quality items such as handbags, golf clubs and bicycles and ?shop? the room, taking what they want in exchange. Great for them, even better for the environment.
Other innovative ideas we came across included an on-site aquarium; providing recording studios and other music-based amenities to allow residents to share their creative ideas; the ?sky gardens? and in-house gardening specialists on offer at Wardian in London?s Docklands look spectacular; and we even heard of one block featuring an adult treehouse. That?s certainly not for everyone.
The lesson here, is for block operators to use their imagination and deliver purposeful amenities that enhance living spaces and create community - not just the same tired old gym.
Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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