High Rise, High Value
With new builds accounting for an increasing proportion of the residential market, the amenities and services that can be exclusively offered within this space are becoming just as important as the apartments themselves. In an age of ultra-convenience where everyone is time-poor, Roshan Wial, Sales Negotiator, explores what is truly valued as an amenity, and what’s now deemed a given within new build developments.
Concierge: a given
This service has gone from a rarity to a must-have in new developments the last few years, with buyers and renters alike expecting a concierge. The spectrum of service however is large; At the basic level residents are offered an added sense of security and a place for postal delivery, whereas at the luxury end of the market, you’ll see fully fledged concierges. High end brands such as Harrods Estates concierge service, which will be available at One Blackfriars once complete, assist residents with a variety of services. At Centre Point Residences, residents will also be able to request a number of services including booking cars, theatre tickets and restaurant reservations both in person and also through an app specifically for residents.
Outside space: amenity
A compelling outdoor green space is still considered a luxury, especially in the capital where such areas are sparse. With the right design, clever landscaping, changes in elevation and moveable furniture, even the smallest spaces can be transformed into open-air retreats. Patel Taylor is the architect behind the site plans at both London Dock where there is 7.5 acres of open space and White City Living which is set around eight acres of open space, including a five-acre public park, alongside complementary retail and commercial space. 250 City Road has a mix of roof terraces, podium gardens and centralised green areas offering an abundance of outdoor space for residents.
Gym: a given
A great gym doesn’t require much space, and renting equipment means it’s very easy for developers to keep it up to date. It wouldn’t make or break a buyer’s decision, but with convenience come motivation, and in those winter months where the dark, cold mornings are enough to encourage anyone to hit snooze on the alarm, the convenience of a gym inside your own building will certainly tempt you to a healthier lifestyle. At Nine Elms Point, the floor to ceiling windows and mezzanine floor create an incredible sense of space and light making the gym naturally an environment you want to be in, whilst at London City Island the careful thought around décor, changing rooms and showers makes it easier to bypass home altogether and go straight to the gym from work. No excuse now…
Swimming pool: amenity
In a sunnier climate a pool is as necessary as a kitchen sink, but thanks to our somewhat cooler weather here in the UK, the pool is still very much seen as an added bonus to any property. At South Bank Tower , the 20m pool entices those more adverse to the gym and looking for an alternative to keep fit and healthy.
Lounges: a given
The notion that residents’ lounges are built but not utilised comes from the age-old approach of ‘construct a good building and let residents decide for themselves what they do’. Now though, the savviest developers aim to create a lifestyle for residents to connect with and enjoy. Spaces like lounges open the door to a wide variety of activities that can keep residents content, such as wine tastings, professionally led classes, cooking demonstrations, seminars and engaging talks. These tailored above-and-beyond offerings at the place you call home suddenly makes service charge feel less like an obligation, and more like an investment in yourself. And if your lounge is interior designed like One Crown Place by Studio Ashby, you’ll never want to leave.
Cinema rooms: amenity
Very much a “nice to have” amenity, but on a cold rainy night, what could beat a cosy film night in your very own private cinema where the walk home is only a few steps away? Especially if there’s a stocked bar in it…
Specific differentiators: amenity
Now, it’s clear that developers are becoming much more sympathetic to what residents actually want and need on a practical level, however there is still room for those novelty, one of a kind amenities that create a ‘wow factor’ – we don’t need them but we’d definitely have them if we could. Take for example the golf simulator at London Dock, and why have a terrace when you can have a yoga terrace like the ones at Queen’s Wharf and One Blackfriars?
London’s perspective on amenities is changing rapidly, catching up with our American counterparts where apartment sizes are compromised to give more standing to the services. Here, until recently facilities were usually found in the lower ground space as it would lend itself best to the layouts and allowed the rest of the building to maximise on living space.
“Developers are ever more intent on creating a lifestyle for residents, it is less about the building or location, but more about the collective environment.”
We are increasingly seeing amenities demanding higher floors within projects, making use of natural light and in some cases the views. Although unit size is not compromised here, maximising the potential for these market exclusive services, and creating a whole environment that residents can see as an extension of their own homes, has a much higher value for buyers.
*Computer Generated Images are for indicative purposes only