I’ve always felt jipped out of the really cool amenities (heck, even really lame ones); first, there was school. I went to a tiny liberal arts college in Virginia. The campus was old, including the dorms for men, so amenities weren’t really a thing– my freshman year was the first year the dorms had wifi (granted this was back in ‘09). Upperclassmen housing wasn’t much better, consisting mostly of town homes. We had wifi and cable, that was basically it. After college I moved across the country to Utah, lived in student housing a little longer (it was cheap!) and had as sparse amenities as I did in Virginia, and now I live in a condo owned by the bassist in my roommate/best friend’s band in a community where, you guessed it, we’re sparse on amenities. I think we have a tennis court?
The point of the story is that the next time I move, if it’s not into a house, it’s going to be into a community with some freaking sweet amenities… and being able to afford it shouldn’t have to be a problem. By this point, many of these amenities should be standard. But what amenities should I be looking for? What amenities do people (millennials like me, specifically) really want?
The most sought after amenity is a fitness center. But why not expand on that? Biking related amenities and anything related to the outdoors are on a rise. Adding an outdoor running and biking trail will give residents a nicer alternative to ellipticals, and will allow your property to show off any recent landscaping. Adding bike lockers or ramps on the side of stairs for added ease of transport inside the building will also draw in residents or inspire current ones to get a little healthier.
A space to call one’s own is another great amenity. Outdoor grills that groups can reserve, or empty rooms added to fitness centers where people can do yoga or fitness videos, volleyball courts where people can recreate that one scene from Top Gun, or even rooms that artistic types can use as temporary studios when they need a place to paint or to sit and write (Fact: it’s impossible for me to get any writing done in my own home because I associate it with relaxing way more than getting things done). A large communal area where residents can come and mingle or just chill with friends or host events is also just as acceptable. Outdoor lounges and courtyards are also a plus. So is any space for pets; being pet friendly is a great way to get people interested in your community.
Skywater, a new residence in Tempe, AZ, has embraced the mighty rise of food trucks with one of their amenities. Near the entry of the community is a driveway specifically designated for around three food trucks to come and set up shop. This appeals not only to those who are enamored with food trucks (I like to think they’re here to stay and not just a craze), and to those who hate cooking or don’t have the energy after work, or are just a little lazy and hate grocery shopping.
Finally, there’s technology. Recently I heard that the second most sought after amenity is a package tracking system and accompanying special room to hold packages for residents until they can pick them up. Being able to pay rent online is another big one that not only helps residents, but also frees up foot traffic in the leasing office on the first of every month. And a newer amenity, more popular among student housing, is keyless room entry where only a smartphone is required to get either in out and of the building or apartment.
What are some other cool amenities you’ve heard about, or even have in your own community?