These days, buying a new co-op or condominium might mean access not only to your dream home but also to the kind of high-end amenities that can transform a beautiful home into a spectacular one. At least that is the goal of developers and boards seeking to draw new buyers and keep current unit owners happy. Beyond the bricks and mortar, the home-buying experience is becoming about lifestyle, not just living space.
Fran Strauss, a licensed associate broker for Brown Harris Stevens, says, “In view of the abundance of new luxury properties coming to market at ever increasing prices, developers are being forced to raise the bar higher and higher in order to attract new buyers.”
Builders of new properties and boards of existing co-op and condo communities are getting creative in order to do that, offering prospective buyers and current residents amenities that focus on ease, comfort and convenience. “Luxury condo buyers are looking for luxury and service,” says Strauss. “They want to be pampered. As a result, the newest super luxury condominiums are offering…more deluxe lifestyle-oriented amenities and hotel-like services.”
Some newer buildings are actually combining residential units with hotel units, blending the best of both worlds. One57 and the Baccarat Residences are among those that have actual hotels on their lower floors, says Strauss. Communities such as these offer the types of top-tier services usually found in five-star hotels, including private dining and catering, dog walking services, housekeeping, valet parking, food shopping and expansive concierge offerings.
For the discerning buyers, utility is as important as aesthetics. “Especially in luxury condominiums, the industry has really moved past amenities that are unusual just for the sake of being different and towards uniquely useful spaces,” says Tricia Hayes Cole, executive managing director of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, a Manhattan-based luxury real estate sales and brokerage firm.