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Apartments and condos for the long haul

Private courtyard behind rowhouse, Denver.

With the American Dream of  homeownership further and further out of reach, apartment and condominium developers should start looking more carefully and the needs of long-term, mature residents.  

While a standard issue apartment is fine for a short time of getting started or transitioning, what might larger families, older couples, long-term tenants like better?

My thoughts on the subject, subject to further development:

  • Near-vehicle storage.  Developers treat storage as an amenity to be rented, and thus locate it in random places with no specific relationship to a home or parking space.   Storage located near, and assigned to, each designated parking spot allow residents to store sports equipment, automotive care, and other items typical found in the garage of a private residence.  Easy access to the auto saves lugging such items up and down through secure doors, stairs, elevators.
  • A place for everything.  Laundry, linen, and cleaning closets need to be more than afterthoughts.  Does the apartment have a place to store brooms?  Vacuum cleaners? Where does the DIRTY laundry go?
  • Enormous walk-in closets.  These are the hallmark of suburban homebuilders.  As "home" becomes an apartment, the closets need to grow.
  • Private outdoor space. More than a tiny deck.  A place to host dinner parties and grow tomatoes, even if it is on the fourth floor.Private terrace at Seven Fountains, Hollywood, CA 
  • Customizable space. Watching HGTV, yearning for a custom home and adventures in home improvement, the apartment dweller needs a creative outlet.  The apartment developer that discovers a way to provide customization options wins.




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