The dust has mostly settled from the recession, and the market sector that caters to clientele with deep pockets is becoming one of the strongest parts of the American economy. Bigger is better, and glamor definitely sells when it comes to high-rise amenities in South Florida's condominiums and apartment buildings.
And while the region's real estate market is hot and booming—and has been that way for months—it can never hurt to have the 'x-factor' that will pique buyers' interests and raise owners' investment value. And in a high-rise building, that x-factor might just be an amazing amenity—the more creative and innovative, the better for attracting new residents. Not so long ago, simply having a gym in a building plus a business center was a great amenity. Now? That’s standard.
Raising the Bar
When a developer figures out their building’s amenities, they are usually thinking of how to set their building apart from all the others, says Nick Smyka, leasing manager with Nick123.com, based in Tampa. “If people are looking at different properties, the places with the different amenities are standing out and it becomes more of a draw,” he says.
“With the uptick in the economy, we're seeing a big push for the buildings to give a facelift to the common areas, be it the lobby, the hallway, the party rooms, or the gyms,” adds Todd Gomberg, owner of Capital Contractor Services in Hallandale. “We're working with a lot of buildings on upcoming projects where they're spending a lot of money on everything from new carpets to new lights.” Those investments are also going into new features and amenities for the buildings.
Part of the trend involves taking traditional amenities like pools and party rooms, and fortifying what they offer. Instead of a few deck chairs and a fresh towel, high-end buildings might include a gazebo with a TV, and a couple barbecue grills for use. “You see a lot more hotel-type luxuries being brought into condominiums. When they're at their condo, whether it's their first or second home, people—especially snowbirds—want to feel like they're on vacation. And I think a lot of buildings are trying to give that turn-key service,” says Gomberg.