While the pandemic drove many luxury buyers out of supertall towers and into single-family homes, many are now back in urban new developments, and they expect all the attendant perks—and then some.
“It seems like people are really looking for things to be as full service as possible,” said Ryan Serhant, founder of the New York-based brokerage Serhant. “They’ve spent the past 18 months doing everything for themselves, and they’ve come back and want to get back to whatever the new normal is, and have things taken care of. They want the services and they pay for them.”
In practice, this can look like classic concierge services, butlers, in-house restaurants from celebrity chefs, branded boutique fitness classes and curated events. It also dovetails with the ongoing trend of luxury lifestyle and hotel companies opening branded high-end residences of their own.
The Standard recently announced the launch of the Standard Residences in Miami, which will be the hotel group’s first residential project and is slated to feature 34,000 square feet of amenity space. In New York, the Mandarin Oriental Residences, Fifth Avenue, has announced that perks will include personal chefs, butlers, personal shoppers, and sommeliers and bartenders, as well as a restaurant by Daniel Boulud.
At The Residences at the St. Regis Longboat Key Resort, also in Florida, “Buyers want the St. Regis service, that’s really important to them,” Ms. Saunders said. “The butler is of course glamorous—and the private chefs, just being part of a five-star resort where they can retreat to individual homes but be steps away from restaurants and an incredible spa.”
Rather than providing event rooms that largely sit empty, buildings are now taking on responsibility for creative in-house event programming.
“Having programming for your amenities is really important,” Mr. Barrocas said. “That’s something that we’re really emphasizing as we look at things from a retention standpoint, and giving people a reason why they should stay in our building versus going to another building.”
At Brooklyn Point, a new development in Downtown Brooklyn, “We’ve partnered with a group called Meet Resident, and they have relationships with chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants,” said Ari Goldstein, senior vice president, development at Extell. “They bring them in to do tastings and wine pairings with residents, and residents get early access ticketing and discounts. That piece of activating and managing [amenity spaces] we feel is really important.” (Meet Resident is also partnering and hosting fine dining events with Quay Tower, a new Brooklyn development being marketed by Mr. Serhant.)
This newfound focus on community events reflects a broader shift in how luxury buyers and renters want to interact within their buildings.
Pre-pandemic “it was so much about being private,” said Tina Necrason, executive vice president, residential for California-based firm Montage International. “Now the social aspect has definitely started to become more attractive for our families and our owners.”
Photo: Mandarin Oriental 5th Avenue