Life in lockdown has made green, outdoor spaces in luxury buildings a must-have.

New Luxury Amenity is Outdoor Space

Not only have urbanites moved to the suburbs for outdoor space, urbanites who have remained or returned to being urbanites want outdoor space in any luxury condominium.  Eran Chen, the founding principal with ODA, an architectural firm that specializes in designing condominiums with incorporated green space, said, “I actually believe…that buying any luxury real estate…without outdoor space will be considered unacceptable.”

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Outdoor Space Sells

According to the real estate data firm Marketproof, sales of new-development units with a private terrace in New York, from July 1, 2020, through the end of June 2021, increased +42.3%Sales of units with balconies increased +40% compared with sales two years pre-pandemic.  Sales in buildings with communal rooftop decks increased almost +19%.

“It turns out that urban living is still what people want,” said Kael Goodman, chief executive with Marketproof.  “But the question is: How do people want their spaces to look, and what amenities do they want in their building?”

Kirsten Jordan, an agent with Douglas Elliman, is seeing Marketproof’s data play out in real time.  Many of her buyers consider private outdoor spaces essential.  Jordan said, “People used to look at those spaces, and say, ’Oh yeah, this is really nice, but do you really use it?’  Now that’s no longer a question.

In fact, one of Jordan’s clients said, “I’m really hoping to find something with some outdoor space.  It’s close to nonnegotiable.  At a minimum, I need a rooftop or something shared, if I can’t have my own outdoor space.”

Developers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles On-Board with Outdoor Spaces

Rick Cook, a founding principal with CookFox, said, “People feel better when they’re connected to nature.”

Whitney Kraus, chief architecture and design officer with Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing, said, “We have definitely been having strategic conversations with developers about attaching private outdoor space to more units.  Our goal is to try to get projects we’re working on, going forward, to have 50% of units with private outdoor space.”

Options of Outdoor Amenities Becoming Available

Luxury buildings either already completed or under construction are offering a variety of outdoor amenities with their luxury units such as:

  • Having at least two balconies or terraces
  • Entrances connected by footbridges and courtyards so that residents walk through open-air passages rather than interior hallways
  • Ground-floor units having backyards with separate indoor space entered from gardens that appeal to remote workers
  • Units with landscaping already in place – greenery from series of irrigated loggias extending up facades with perforated railing that serve as trellises

John Petras, a founder of RockFarmer Properties, knows that having outdoor space integrated with luxury condo units costs more but believes these costs pay off.  Petras said, “…any type of outdoor space, even if it’s a small little terrace, is more important today than it was 18 months ago.”

Thanks to The New York Times.



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