It would be hard to miss Boston’s building boom over the past several years — especially if you’ve been around for a while. When even the Fenway is seeing snazzy new high rises, you know that a fundamental change is going on in the way that Bostonians are looking at housing.
Gone are the days when the height of luxury was a brownstone on Beacon or in Back Bay and when families high-tailed it to JP or out to Metro West. These days, young professionals — yes, they’re millennials now — are driving the trends in the housing market, and they’re looking for something really different. For starters, they like city living, and they’re keen on living several stories off the ground. Their tastes are rapidly transforming the skyline.
It’s also not just Boston. Quincy, Chelsea and even Framingham are seeing high rise condominiums sprout up, and they’re designed to appeal to young professionals who want more than just a place to live — they want a lifestyle.
So what condo amenities are millennial buyers — and soon-to-be empty-nester Gen Xers — looking for? Here’s a list of some of our favorite features that developers should consider adding to their plans:
1. Pet-Friendly Features
Today’s young professionals have no intention of waiting until they buy a house in the suburbs to get a dog — mostly because they have no plans to move to the suburbs. Condos with pet-friendly policies are a must, and you can consider adding dedicated outdoor play areas and indoor lounges where pups are welcome. One North even has an onsite doggie daycare, and it’s a wildly popular selling point for residents.
2. Convenient Transportation
One major incentive to live in the heart of the city is that you can get rid of your car. The call of the open road is barely a whisper for young professionals today, and that means that developments should make it easy to get around. In addition to a location near the T, extras like lots of bicycle parking, access to Zipcars and Citibikes, and an Uber pickup and drop-off area are all big draws.
3. Clever Common Areas
Though the idea of a condo lounge is nothing new, modern urbanites are looking for more than a place to sit while waiting for a cab. Natural daylight, charging stations and multifunctional seating are all useful for telecommuters looking for a change of scenery, while patio spaces with large tables invite al fresco dining and provide space for gatherings. Rooftop pool decks, saunas and club rooms are also popular.
4. Fun and Fitness
Likewise, new developments offer more than just a room with a suite of Nautilus machines and free weights. In addition to a gym and pool, outside-of-the-box exercise areas include bocce courts, outdoor shuffleboard, yoga studios and garden decks where residents can get their workout digging in the dirt and growing their own food.
5. Concierge Convenience
A lot of what were once considered a luxury features are quickly becoming standard in new condominium developments. A concierge for making reservations, scheduling appointments and accepting deliveries is normal now, so getting the dry cleaning and tipping the takeout delivery guy are seamless. Young professionals also enjoy having entertainment brought to them, so hosting mini concerts, lessons and speakers that cater to their interests in common areas makes it easy to stay informed and entertained.
If you’re thinking that these features sound like something you’d find only on vacation at a sleek resort, you’ve got the general idea. Young professionals want housing that brings convenient amenities right to their front door, so they can spend less time managing their lives and more time living it.