A strong, vibrant community requires far more than savvy economic investment and top-down strategic planning. Real community thrives on an organic energy and intent that delivers a set of face-to-face opportunities to connect, share, interact, help and discover. Clubhouses and amenity spaces are critical to successful community building and offer properties a competitive advantage.
Though amenities are considered nonessential, there’s no denying that they make life easier and more enjoyable. In today’s world of rapid change, it can be challenging to know which amenities are a flash trend and which provide true value, both for residents as well as investors. And yet, amenities need to be flexible to adapt to changing interests and needs. When implementing an interior design strategy, it is important to ask which amenities bring the most value to residents and investors, and which will enhance the quality of life of the residents and minimize turnover.
With new generations entering the market, housing leadership faces the challenge of stitching together a social fabric that is compelling to residents, making them feel a part of something larger and more enduring. That is why authentic social communities are rising in priorities for amenities. For example, maker spaces are becoming popular. They feature dedicated space, materials, and knowledge-based programming – like gardening basics, bread making, and watercolors.
And retro gaming is playing a big role in amenity entertainment offerings — think full-size arcade game versions of ‘80s and ‘90s-era favorites. Pac Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong – I call, next!
You can immediately identify really good communities by how people use the common spaces. It is the in-between moments and spaces that bind diverse groups of residents, and it is the community that gives a property its distinct character. Common areas are even evolving to include podcasting and recording rooms available to budding musicians, poets, and performers.
Time is finite, making it the ultimate luxury. A wonderful byproduct of community driven amenities is making the residents lives a bit easier, so they have more time to experience life. Housing leadership can do this by bridging the gap between living and working. Communal workspaces for residents may seem like a pandemic driven design decision, but the pandemic only accelerated what was already in the works – allowing for both formal and informal co-working spaces, complete with silent areas and meeting rooms with full conference technology.
Successful communities help us feel a part of something real, integrated, tangible. They deepen and refine our sense of place, bringing out the best in us, and helps us recognize, unquestionably, that we belong. Owners and developers must think carefully about amenities and services that work together in support of a cohesive community.
If you need help strategically designing community inspired amenities, please reach out. Mood’s design team would be happy to host a conversation.