The ever-increasing popularity of online commerce has changed people's shopping habits -- including the way apartment dwellers receive their deliveries. While concierges, doormen, and building superintendents have traditionally accepted packages on behalf of residents, the management and storage of those packages is evolving.
The Land That Time Forgot
One of the nicest aspects of living in a full-service apartment building is the seamless way in which life’s everyday drudgeries are efficiently taken care of. Household garbage disappears from service hallways without drawing attention. Maintenance and domestic workers arrive via the service elevator, never crossing paths with residents. And mail and packages are accepted by the doorman or concierge and sorted and delivered to apartment doorways.
Daniel Wollman, CEO of Gumley Haft, a New York-based residential property management firm, says those day-to-day functions haven’t changed in the rarefied world of top-shelf co-ops and condos. “In higher-end properties where there is a full staff,” he explains, “where there are two or three apartments per floor, packages are still delivered directly to apartment doors. In those cases, not much has changed, other than that the staff makes more trips up and down.”
But in more mid-range properties, that’s not the case. Package rooms, usually adjacent to or near lobbies, are operating past capacity. Those packages pile up, and some co-op and condo communities don’t like the look -- or the potential for fragile items to be damaged if they settle to the bottom of the pile.
“We have seen some redesign of existing package rooms,” says Wollman, “either to make them bigger or more efficient, with more shelving for instance. Today, a lot of packages are small. We also see buildings buying refrigerators for FreshDirect-type deliveries. The refrigerators are usually placed in the basement, where there is more room than in the lobby areas.”