Designing with Resident Needs in Mind A Place of Your Own

There are certain touches that make a house a home. When it comes to designing and renovating co-ops and condos, that same rule applies. Adding touches that personalize a space, and tailoring that space to the needs and desires of the people who live there can make all the difference in the world when transforming four walls into a place of comfort, security and relaxation.

These days, more and more developers have acknowledged the need to build spaces that cater to individual and family needs. More and more buildings are being renovated—and erected from scratch—with children and families in mind. On the flip side of the aging coin, America's growing Baby Boomer population is also inspiring its own array of specialized amenities and accommodations.

The trick to designing useful, welcoming spaces for a specialized community of course, involves designing spaces that not only accommodate these particular demographic groups, but also creating spaces that do not lead other residents to feel excluded. It's a tight rope to walk, but today's designers and developers are mastering these subtle arts, building common areas, entertainment spaces and individual units that appeal to all while still appealing to those select few.

Kid-Friendly

Today's co-op or condo residing children are lucky little devils. In the old days, apartment living meant small spaces, few windows and long waits until that nightly trip to the park. These days, buildings such as Arc Development's Solaria, located in Riverdale, are doing more than ever to reach out to families, including offering such eye-popping amenities as a rooftop observatory—the only one of its kind in the region.

At 20 stories, the Solaria stands 410 feet above sea level. "We knew the building would be taller than anything else around," says Joe Korff, president of Arc Development. "It's also far enough away from the city's lights, so we thought it could work. It's really an entertainment and education experience."

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