New American Dream: An Amenity-Drenched Condo Lifestyle

FirstService Residential New York takes a look at the new must-have amenities.

New York—For generations, the house surrounded by the white picket fence has served as the American Dream. But in recent years, that ideal has been supplanted by an entirely new fancy. Today, it’s the upscale condominium encircled by a cornucopia of amenities that has many Americans dreaming.

That’s the premise being advanced by FirstService Residential, North America’s largest manager of residential communities. The company, an authority on highly sought lifestyle amenities, has assembled a list of the top luxury amenities condo buyers crave, from rooftop lounges to pet play groups.

“At FirstService Residential, we have noticed that the most popular amenities trends foster community among residents, expand concierge services and create meaningful facilities that bring value to residents,” FirstService Residential New York President Dan Wurtzel told MHN.

“Rooftop lounges have become a standard feature in many of our condo buildings,” he said. “They offer welcoming and convenient venues where homeowners can enjoy sunning, socializing and dining just a few flights up from their homes. High-rise developments are capitalizing on the appeal of a panoramic [view] and adding extras like landscaped alcoves, cabanas, fire pits and grilling stations.”

Company officials have also noted a move away from traditional lobbies, which are now being transformed into “living lobbies.” In these settings, residents and guests are welcomed into cafes, coffee bars, tea rooms, reading rooms and even tech support. “Enhanced welcome areas are not only providing a secure and inviting entrance, but a shared space integral to the community’s social life,” Wurtzel said. “At FirstService Residential we have enhanced our common areas by hosting lounge parties, wine tastings, guest authors and dinner parties that elevate the lifestyle-driven programs and truly set a luxury building apart.”

Gyms have long been a standard in higher-end multifamily living. More recently they have evolved into health clubs that offer more than quality equipment.

Many of these upscale clubs now deliver flexible fitness facilities and a variety of group-led classes, such as yoga, Pilates, dance and spin classes, as well as interval training, golf simulators, volleyball and basketball courts, Wurtzel said.

Residents are able to exercise and socialize within the comfort of their building.

Expanded concierge services enhance residents’ lifestyles outside the building. A concierge can set up appointments, make reservations and even secure last-minute or hard-to-get tickets for local performances and concerts, Wurtzel noted.

Responding to the more than 62 percent of Americans who own at least one pet, services catering to pet owners and their four-legged friends are growing more prevalent and popular in multifamily developments. Pet services include on-site grooming services, dog parks, pet play groups and healthy diet programs.

“To stay ahead of the curve, multifamily developers must consider the needs of residents both in the building and within the community to build amenities that directly offer increased value,” Wurtzel said. “Lifestyle directors should strive to create unique programs that meet the tastes, interests and social needs of residents by forming a sense of community among residents with fun, lifestyle-driven programs in upscale common areas.”