When the COVID-19 crisis first hit Manhattan last spring, the impact was immediate - and heavy. Nearly every aspect of co-op and condo life was hard-hit, and luxury amenities were no exception. After all, many such amenities - from fitness centers and pools to communal work and social areas, kitchens and lounges, even lobbies and package rooms - are shared spaces. Everything was locked down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and for a time, it seemed as though things would never return to normal.
Now, for the first time since the pandemic began, innovators in the luxury amenity industry are beginning to look for silver linings in what has recently been a very cloudy landscape. The good news is, they’re finding some.
Andrew Meditz and Michael Zuchelli, co-founders of Queens-based Elite Amenity Management, are focusing on ways that amenities might be even more crucial, both right now during the initial - and still uncertain - recovery, and in a post-COVID future. “The entire landscape of amenities moving forward for us is actually going to be even more exciting,” Meditz says.
It makes sense: amenities are all about making a building feel like home, so sheltering in place, and even going on lockdown, are challenges that are easier to weather for a community with built-in amenity spaces.
Some buildings are more adaptable than they might seem. That doesn’t have to mean new construction: think re-activating unused spaces. That can mean adding dividers and signage, moving equipment, or reconfiguring entrances to comply with New York Health Department regulations.