Gone are the days when you could give your kids some coloring books or Legos and expect them to amuse themselves for hours. Nowadays, play spaces and children’s amenities have become crucial aspects in the marketing and sales of New York City’s residential buildings. As new condo construction has boomed in the city, the importance of amenities to sway buyers has taken striking prevalence, for parents and kids alike. If you thought the sauna was fun, get ready for Nintendo Wii.
“As you can see, all around the city now, every building has a huge number of amenities,” explains Lisa Phillips, senior management executive for Penmark Realty Corp. in Manhattan. “They can show you 20 buildings, and every apartment looks exactly the same. So, basically they are trying to lure people in with the amenities.” Buildings have a wide array of offerings, whether it is gyms or private theatres. But for young families, children’s play spaces and programming have become more and more important.
“Children are one of the biggest motivating factors in [people’s] lives— to keep them happy and in a lifestyle that the parents feel they deserve in those types of luxury environments,” says Jacqueline Urgo, president of The Marketing Directors, a Manhattan-based brokerage, which handles marketing and sales for new residential developments.
A shift towards children’s amenities is interesting, particularly when compared to even the recent past, in which, according to Phillips, they were pretty much non-existent.
In the Past
“Condos didn’t have a separate playroom for children,” Phillips says. “They more or less catered to adults with gyms, maybe a pool. And now they are trying to lure families with these other things.” Much the same way grocery stores stock the brightest and most sugary (and most expensive) cereals on shelves at kids’ eye level, buildings are trying to become more appealing to buyers, by being more appealing to kids.