Luxury Renters Seek Community-Based Amenities

Class A developers offer friends in high places.

Class A multifamily renters and luxury condo buyers, from Millennials to Boomers, have high expectations when it comes to their urban, high-rise amenities. “There’s been a shift,” said Ted Weldon, general manager of Chicago development for Lendlease. “It’s all about a sense of community with top amenities.”


That means delivering features that feed a healthy lifestyle. That typically starts with a centrally located, robust fitness center so that tenants can hop on an elevator and go directly to the space where yoga and Pilates classes are offered through third-party services. Outdoor green space is a must.

Porte’s two towers are connected by a two-story podium topped with a landscaped pool deck that includes lounge seating, fire pits and grilling stations Image courtesy of Lendlease

Take Lendlease and The John Buck Co.’s 17-story, two-tower mixed-use Porte development in Chicago’s West Loop. A podium connecting the two towers houses 11,000 square feet of integrated retail, intended to activate the streetscape and serve the surrounding neighborhood.

The parklike setting at Porte will also be modeled at Cirrus, the 47-story, 363-unit luxury condo tower in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood being co-developed with Magellan Development. “We have two outdoor pools, as well as multiple outdoor areas—some up high in the building and some lower in the building, at grade.”

Indoor playspaces are located together versus being randomly scattered. The Cooper at Southbank, Lendlease’s 29-story high-rise in the South Loop, features amenities like a listening lounge with shared musical instruments and a shop space where people can assemble their IKEA furniture.

The costs associated with larger common areas—perhaps coworking spaces, reading rooms and sports simulation rooms—are somewhat offset by smaller unit sizes designed for efficiency, and further enhanced by smart technology and environmental sustainability.

Editor’s Note: The interview for this article took place at the beginning of March 2020. The views expressed in the article do not reflect the current climate and COVID-19’s impact on the multifamily sector.

Sector Insights rotates among market rate/luxury housing, workforce housing, low-income housing, student housing, senior housing and mixed-use.

Read the May 2020 issue of MHN.

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