Should Apartments Appeal to All…Or Some?

A man’s home is his castle, so they say. So a person’s apartment should be his…chateau? fortress? hollowed-out volcano lair? Whatever it is, people should feel comfortable in their apartments. After all, everyone has different wants and needs. So, maybe developers shouldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.

I recently came across an article in The New York Times called “A Building as Catalyst for Jewish Culture.” The article describes a new Manhattan condo development that caters to the Orthodox Jewish community that historically lived in the area. It caters to this community, quite literally, by offering a 24-hour kosher food service, as well as a pool with “single-sex swimming hours” (as well as amazingly awesome alliteration).

And never the twain shall meet.

Of course, because of New York State’s fair housing law, the owners can’t prohibit or discourage people of other religions from living in the building. But it clearly appeals to people who live that lifestyle. (Although I would also want to live there so I could stand by the kosher kitchen every day and say, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K,” but that’s just because I have such respect for the great bard Keanu Reeves.)

This could be an interesting concept for apartments. After all, some college dorms do it already, having specific floors for specific majors, or having “dry” (ahem, yeah right, ahem) floors. Maybe it would appeal to certain renters to have facilities that catered to their religious or cultural needs.

On the other hand, it could be a bit of a slippery slope. What if one apartment building popped up that appealed to cat lovers, featuring walls that doubled as scratching posts and kitty litter welcome mats, and then another across the street appealed to dog lovers, with dog whistle doorbells and kitchens that give doggie bags, but there’s no special facilities for people who raise tarantulas (might I suggest the moon?). Pretty soon, everyone is segregated.

What do you think about having features in an apartment building that appeal to certain groups or cultures? A good way to attract renters, or a good way to offend them?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva