News & Updates

What Do Luxury Amenities in Building Look Like in the Social-Distancing Era?

MANSION GLOBAL – As U.S. states and cities impose sweeping stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules to slow the spread of coronavirus, millions of apartment-dwellers are adapting to life without trips to the office, the gym, the golf course and the bar—even if those venues happen to be just a few steps down the hall. Exclusive amenities in luxury apartment buildings—such as rooftop gyms equipped with Peloton bikes, indoor golf simulators, children’s play areas and five-star dining—are a big appeal for buyers. But property managers say they’ve locked the doors to most of these services, as directed by local and state governments, in order to keep staff and residents safe during the pandemic.

“We’re in a lot of unchartered waters here. No one in recent memory has faced something quite as serious and as disrupting as this, particularly for residents in multifamily housing,” said Doug Weinstein, vice president of AKAM, an on-site property management company with offices in New York and Florida. Akoya Boca West, an AKAM building that opened last spring in Boca Raton, Florida, has suspended social events such as monthly happy hours and removed chairs from communal gathering areas. Life guards and site staff are enforcing social distancing on the one pool deck that remains open, Mr. Weinstein said.

The 113-unit building is home to retirees, young couples with children, and single people, and property managers have to consider a wide range of needs as they follow guidance from health and elected officials, he said. So far, “most people realize that there are certain sacrifices that have to be made to protect both themselves and their neighbors,” Mr. Weinstein said. “While some of these procedures may not be the easiest to follow or the most welcome, it’s incumbent on us as managing agents and associations to protect residents.”