While a pool and a clubhouse used to be the hallmark of luxury condo living, the whole concept of upscale condo amenities has exploded in recent years with the construction of condo units tied to high-end hotels. This has added perks ranging from around-the-clock hospitality and concierge services to the many, more-tangible items enjoyed by residents of million-dollar-plus condo properties. Those tangible perks, from gourmet kitchens to riding rings, may be impressive, but it may be certain intangibles that upscale buyers are really seeking—whether they’re aware if it or not.
The ultra-high luxury condominium buildings that dot the waterfronts and downtown squares of Boston provide a good example. In New England, they are a recent phenomenon, and as such, are in a class by themselves. Joshua Golden, founder and managing partner of Luxury Residential Group, LLC, of Boston, points out that “ten years ago, these luxury high-rise properties didn’t even exist.”
He explains that some of the newest high-rise condo buildings are attached to luxury hotels and often share services and physical facilities. For example, Millennium Place residences are part of the Ritz Carlton Hotel complex, which has the L.A. Sports Club on site. Endless choices at the club cater to all ages and abilities, and include a basketball court, squash courts, 75-foot pool, boxing studio, private or group instruction, a spa, a café/restaurant, clinics, child care with enrichment programs, sport leagues and social events. And that’s not even counting the hotel’s restaurants, bars and personal services.
Buyers interested in Boston condominium properties include “people who travel a lot and want everything turn-key, with on-site staff taking care of daily details… so they don’t have to do a thing,” Golden notes, “although another type of high-end buyer [that we see] is coming in from the suburbs may be more interested in ‘brownstone’ living,” where residents are more on their own.”
“A lot of buyers are from overseas,” he continues, “with [especially] Asian money coming in… from Hong Kong, Malaysia… as well as the Middle East and Europe. They’re interested in these upscale units. Sometimes they have kids attending college in town, and they actually need a place to live, in a property that is also appealing as an investment.”