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The hottest new condo amenity? A private kids playground

Nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges alongside the East River, Dumbo is well-known for its loft conversions and bougie vibe. Now, a brand-new, 33-story glass condominium is bringing much more glitz to the long-gentrified neighborhood. Dubbed Olympia, the sail-shaped constructing comes with two swimming pools, a private tennis court docket—and a putting out of doors kids space, full with a shipwreck-theme playground.

Olympia received’t be full for an additional yr, however with 20,000 sq. ft of out of doors facilities positioned on a sprawling terrace, the constructing is already turning heads. The playground, specifically, features a custom-designed space with slides, rope bridges, and water fountains. In a metropolis the place area is proscribed, a private out of doors playground stays a luxurious, however now that town’s actual property market has bounced back from the pandemic, buildings are competing for high-paying consumers, and playgrounds stands out as the newest wow issue.

[Image: Hill West/courtesy Olympia]Olympia was developed by Fortis Property Group, an organization with properties throughout New York, Boston, and Dallas. It isn’t the one constructing with a private playground within the neighborhood. Not too distant in Downtown Brooklyn, 11 Hoyt boasts a 27,000-square-feet elevated private park, with a butterfly-theme backyard and a jungle health club for kids. In Cobble Hill, 5 River Park has a planted playground with a mini bridge and a verdant garden. And Brooklyn Level, a constructing that made the headlines final yr for its infinity pool on the roof, has a “forest journey” playground, with a jungle health club and a splash pad only for residents. (The phenomenon extends to different cities, too, like Chicago’s One Bennett Park, a 67-story skyscraper that comes with a two-acre inexperienced area, a playground, and two canine runs.)

[Screenshots: 5 River Park]Again at Olympia, the make-up of consumers had loads to do with the choice to incorporate a playground. “Whenever you design a constructing, no matter the place the constructing is, and no matter luxurious vary, as a developer you’re aware of who’s your potential purchaser,” says Jonathan Landau, CEO of Fortis Property Group. Right here, he stated purchasers have been households and younger {couples} with kids.

[Screenshot: One Bennett Park]Olympia broke floor in 2018, properly earlier than the pandemic, however its cohort of out of doors facilities feels notably well timed given at present’s give attention to private out of doors areas. The playground is nestled between a BBQ space and a tennis court docket, all of them positioned on the tenth flooring. The shipwreck design was impressed by Dumbo’s historical past and site by the riverfront. “We needed to feed into the creativeness of what occurs as soon as a ship is capsized,” says Dessislava Boneva, a principal of DSLV Studio, the Brooklyn-based agency that designed the youngsters’s amenity areas.

[Image: Marchmade/courtesy Olympia]The playground incorporates a jungle health club within the type of a shipwreck, full with pirate flags and water weapons. In the meantime, an indoor playroom extends the nautical theme in playful methods: “The lighthouse turns into a slide, the waves are seats for video gameplay and guide studying, the clouds are lights,” she says.

For Boneva, an outside playground is like an incentive for kids to come back collectively and play exterior. “[Playgrounds] are microcommunities for the youngsters within the constructing, but giant landscapes for his or her imaginations,” she says.

“Microcommunity” is an attention-grabbing phrase selection, as a result of that’s precisely what a condo like Olympia is attempting to supply: a spot the place you possibly can swim, exercise, and go to the spa multi function place; the place you possibly can play tennis whereas your kids are within the playground subsequent door.

That communal side is much more emphasised by the truth that the playground is for residents solely. Builders are sometimes inspired so as to add public facilities—like a park or artwork sculptures—to get tax breaks. However to be accessed by the general public, they need to be on the bottom flooring. At Olympia, the bottom flooring is taken up by a porte cochere for vehicles to drag proper as much as the doorway, plus parking, so the constructing didn’t enable for a public playground. Not that Fortis was going for one anyway. “Usually, when constructing high-end luxurious condos, you don’t need to open your amenity area,” says Landau, citing points round security and upkeep.

[Image: Hill West/courtesy Olympia]In line with John Walkup, who based the New York Metropolis-based actual property analytics agency UrbanDigs, there’s additionally a monetary concern. “Constructing one thing for the general public that’s going to need to dwell on the bottom flooring is actually costly as a result of that’s hundreds of vertical ft you possibly can’t use anymore,” he says.

For Walkup, a lot of it comes all the way down to window dressing. If a constructing has a wealthy set of facilities with a cool issue, it will probably assist consumers envision themselves within the area.  That is why we stage residences, and that’s why actual property brokers 20 years in the past would bake chocolate chip cookies at an open home. “It’s utterly psychological,” says Walkup. And on the subject of promoting an condo to oldsters with kids, a private playground definitely completes the image (although, realistically, the kids most likely received’t spend a lot time there).

In a metropolis like New York, the place many colleges don’t even have their very own playgrounds, millennial mother and father are searching for facilities for his or her kids. Michael J. Franco has been an actual property dealer at Compass for 14 years. He says that indoor playrooms have been so wanted for many years, they’re now thought of a fundamental amenity like a health club and a motorbike storage room. Outside playgrounds might be a pure subsequent step: “It’s about being outside,” says Franco. “It’s a singular amenity, and builders are at all times looking for one thing new to draw consumers.”

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