In theory, newly constructed luxury condos in Manhattan have it all. Fitness-centers, roof-decks, yoga-studios, bowling alleys, pet spas; they really might as well be cruise ships. In reality, residents aren’t impressed. In many buildings these luxurious features just haven’t taken, and most of the time these rooms are more or less empty. Developers have been taken aback by the fact that providing extensive amenities packages in their luxury condos, and hence a new kind of lifestyle, isn't enough. So in response to this predicament, building managers are stepping up their game and hiring professional instructors, organizers, and “lifestyle managers” to provide programming for residents. Early results are encouraing: people are finally coming out of their apartments in order to participate in organized events.
It really is somewhat odd that residents don’t use the majority of the amenities in their buildings: luxury apartments in buildings rife with amenities sell for 15-20% more than similar spaces in luxury buildings with fewer amenities. Even so, this reluctance to take advantage of fitness-centers, health-clubs, and the like indicates that residents didn’t want to use empty spaces, now matter how well designed or state-of-the-art they are. Michael Gibbons, a vice-president of the Albanese Organization, told the New York Times that, “You can build a great space, but if you don’t provide programming, you’re not going to get people to experience it.” One of the buildings Albanese designed, The Visionaire in Battery Park City, now offers a range of fitness classes and routinely hosts wine and restaurant tastings.
Some of the cultural fare offered in these modern luxury condos may surprise you. Besides salsa classes, Pilates classes, and basketball nights, developers have gotten creative: literary readings, jewelry-making classes, and cooking demonstrations by local chefs are just some of the more innovative programming now offered at newer luxury condos. At The Chesapeake on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the management company even hosted a football draft party to create a fantasy football league among its residents. But by far the most popular programming is kid-oriented classes. The best attended event are usually event for children, and parents eager to introduce their kids to other children their age, and to meet other parents, are often the most enthusiastic participants in programmed events. So if you’re looking to buy a luxury condo in Manhattan - or if you already live in one - take advantage of these cultural events happening right under your nose.