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By Amy Dobson
As cities become increasingly crowded, vertical living takes on a greater level of importance in people’s lives. Many of today's buyers no longer see a condo as a temporary first step to the property ladder but are approaching multi-family living as a place to live over the longterm. Developers have responded with creative amenity packages that try to make a tall building feel like a home. Now it is one of the more competitive aspects of new construction, with everything from celebrity trainers and chefs to high-end designers being called in to add their name to the project.
But the one that is ahead of them all is the building with a landing pad for flying cars that emerges on-demand from the rooftop pool.
Have a look at how it all works in this video:
“The technology [for flying cars] exists today," says CEO of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter project, Daniel Kodsi. "We are just a few years away from the first flights, which could start in the 2020s, depending on regulatory issues. Meanwhile we are building for the future now."
The luxury building is nearing completion and is 90% sold out. It also offers extensive amenities on its four-acre elevated urban amenities deck, with resort-style pools, spas, jogging paths, gardens, villas, summer BBQ kitchens, lounges, a jam room, tennis courts and a soccer field overlooking downtown Miami.
If you don’t want to hold out until flying cars become a reality, there’s always the Turnberry Ocean Club developed by Jeffrey Soffer of the Soffer family (No. 122 on Forbes Richest Families list). Turnberry residents can have private aviation access from the Fontainebleau Aviation Luxe Facility at the Opa-Locka Executive Airport. This comes with preferred rates, aircraft maintenance and full-service concierge. The residential building is 60% sold with completion estimated for late 2019. Units start at $3.9 million and go up to $35 million for the penthouses.
Where multi-family building are really stepping it up is in staying ahead of the curve with wellness services. In addition to the standard spa and salon options, there’s IV-Drip and Oxygen Therapy at The Line Lofts in Los Angeles that provides this service poolside. The Auberge Beach Residences & Spa in Fort Lauderdale offers a suite of services inspired by the ‘sun, sand, and surf’ with a mineral quartz massage with amethyst oil and a sea drift couples ritual. (Note they used to promote an Alchemy Facial, which incorporates pure 24 karat gold in the treatment and magnetic sand therapy but that is no longer on the menu. Maybe they'll re-introduce it one day?)
With relaxation at one end of the spectrum, there’s athletic activities at the other. Golf is big, of course, with Auberge Beach Residences installing an aboutGolf simulator that is the first of its kind in Florida (residents will be able to “play” 73 courses) or 33 Bond in the Brooklyn having a putting green. The $7 million penthouses at Las Ventanas al Paraiso come with a three-hole putting green overlooking the water. Then there’s a beach volleyball court at AVEN coming in January to downtown Los Angeles which is the only apartment building downtown to have real sand on their volleyball court.
There’s also a trend of bringing specially-trained talent on board rather than just building a gym and having a personal trainer on hand. Even the developments for retirees, such as Trilogy, have resort-caliber clubhouses with hospitality-trained staff to the program. Celebrity trainers are another trend which Oceanwide Plaza will do by having Harley Pasternak develop the wellness programming. Pasternak’s celebrity client list is impressive with names like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Amy Schumer and Vanessa Williams showing up on the roster. (The renderings for what the residences coming to Oceanwide Plaza will look like were provided exclusively to Forbes and can be found here).
For the less athletically-inclined, there’s this life-sized Scrabble board at Seattle’s Ascent South Lake Union.
Or, there’s activities that come at it from a social angle, with Gotham West organizing day trips for residents to go on together (such as their fall apple picking excursion). They also offer, as part of their concierge partnership with LIV UnLTD, help with booking travel at whatever level the resident needs—from booking the whole itinerary to giving advice for any piece of the trip.
Having a celebrity-driven restaurant anchor the retail space of an apartment building has become much more tailored to the residents inside it. There’s buildings like 5 Beekman that will have these luxury restaurants deliver to your condo or 19 Dutch that brings food carts from high-end eateries, such as Eataly or Le District, in to the lobby. That same building has started a few celebrity-driven events, this fall cider guru Leif Sundstrom will host cider tastings for residents.
Buildings have also upped the luxury factor with the communal kitchens or outdoor barbecue equipment by installing professional chef quality appliances. One apartment building, AVEN, decided to add prep carts to its stash of supplies so residents can carry everything in one trip.
It wouldn’t feel like home if you couldn’t have access to a fine selection of wine and liquor or if your pets didn’t feel like it was home, too. Amenities that address these two lifestyle needs are the ones seeing the biggest surge in interest. Besides all the luxury buildings that now offer climate controlled storage lockers for wine or whiskey, there are an increasing number of places that build it into the lifestyle. The Kohanaiki development on the Big Island in Hawaii, with homes priced from $3 million to over $20 million, has an on-site brewmaster that uses the microbrewery on the premises to brew seasonal beers for residents. They also have a whiskey room where they host poker tournaments and whiskey tastings.
When it comes to the furry friends, there’s a growing trend to bring in an outside company that specializes in pet-caretaking. An apartment building in Baltimore, 414 Light Street, has partnered with local dog walking services to come and walk your dog either on a planned schedule or it can be on an on-call basis if you end up running late at work. Like many other buildings they too have a pet spa, but this one comes with a vending machine filled with treats for pets. The Ellington in D.C. really makes pets a priority with pet fashion shows and highlighting a pet of the month in the lobby. Oceana Bal Harbour unveiled their new pet grooming spa by hosting three canine Instagram celebrities, Remix the Dog, Puck the Pup and Mallow the Frenchie, for a day of pampering to show off what was available to residents' dogs.
Some buildings are taking it even further and partnering with a company that provides walking, grooming and on-site veterinary services. In New York, for example, 33 Bond in Brooklyn and 525W52 in Hell’s Kitchen are two of the places working with Throw Me A Bone, an all-inclusive pet care service, that curates a suite of services that can include all of the above plus dog training, doggie day/night care and a group play space.
So many of the amenities that have come to residential living spaces were first inspired by the packages hotels provide to their guests. To see what the next phase of luxury add-ons will, it pays to look to hotels again. Alcohol is a theme once more, but now it is even easier to access. The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Hotel & Residences, has a Moet & Chandon Champagne vending machine which sells mini-bottles of their namesake champagne. But why wait around to uncork a bottle? Just use the wine spigot at Seneca Lake's Belhurst Castle.