Fitness Amenity Wars and Residential Living
How Advanced Exercise is Meeting Families where they are with New Amenities
No, it’s not the plot of a blockbuster movie. It’s what’s happening in multi-unit, multi-family housing all over the country. Apartment communities are engaging in competitive battle-meets-bribery tactics to attract and retain tenants for their properties. Who’s winning? Those properties with the strongest lifestyle amenity “translation” connection to their desired population are winning. Property managers in residential living who really understand their prospective tenants, who “speak their language” and are able to offer a compelling package of amenity options, have a significant advantage over the opposition. In the amenity war, they win.
At an apartment, they’ve built an entire “plaza” of goodies that is literally called the “amenity plaza.” This amenity amusement park is described as follows: “A large community room, cyber café and game room are joined by fitness facilities and an exposed rooftop lounge featuring multiple hot tubs, grilling areas and fire pits. The property’s signature element will clearly be the pool, featuring a fully transparent exterior wall visibly perching swimmers eight stories above.”
Prior to this apartment, property managers had typically created 800 to 1000 square foot fitness centers, but this time they splurged for an almost 1800 square foot facility to meet the needs of their fitness-minded community members. The team at the apartment did their research in order to be the best. They wanted a balanced mix of cardio, weight training and functional training, and above all they wanted enough options so that residents could use the equipment whenever and however they wanted.
Before the team began the design of the fitness center, they visited a number of apartment fitness centers to check out the norm, so that they could improve upon it. For example, the norm they discovered is 1 treadmill for every 100 units. They made sure to have at least four treadmills, while also adding two Powermills, two flexstriders and two IC5 bikes that are also popular with their active resident demographic. There’s also a Snyrgy360 T which is a space-conscious system that offers users a variety of strength training workouts.
The fitness facilities are a key component to the live/work/play environment, and along with the variety of fitness options at the apartments there’s also a dedication to long-term asset development. Every step of the design and every piece of equipment was a careful choice working together to match the needs and wants of the community with high quality equipment solutions. One of the keys for success is to start with quality: building with high-quality materials and minimizing long-term operational costs are the basis for decision-making rather than economizing development.
Partnering with like-minded architecture firms, fitness design consultants and other contractors from the earliest parts of the project is critical.