The novel coronavirus led to an immediate shutdown of most of these shared amenity spaces as well as a new point of view about how to improve health, cleanliness, and safety while providing room for social interaction.

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated several trends that are likely to change the way Boston high rise condos and apartments are designed in the future, 

Social interaction drives the choice of residence for many high rise condo buyers. The pandemic has now inspired property managers to get creative with ways to keep residents safe and yet engaged with neighbors. Just as office co-workers, schools, and families quickly learned to use online platforms such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, so did building managers. Virtual happy hours, trivia contests, and fitness classes began connecting residents who could not see each other in person.

An unexpected benefit is that many of the more introverted residents who don’t normally participate in rooftop parties joined the virtual events.
 High rise condo elevators

An issue that causes high anxiety for residents and building operators is elevators. While cleaning the doors and buttons frequently was immediately instituted in buildings, many also requested that residents limit the people in the elevator at any one time to members of their household.

 High rise condo fitness centers

Fitness centers are another high-touch area, and the spaces are closed in most buildings and being adapted for future safety. At some smaller luxury buildings, the fitness center could be opened by appointment for one resident at a time and then disinfected after each use.

Concierge services at Boston high rise luxury buildings

Concierge services at Boston high rise luxury buildings are able to control the front door remotely and provide help for residents, such as ordering groceries and supplying masks, hand sanitizer, and other difficult-to-find items

How high rise condos are sold

The way buildings are sold and leased changed as soon as the pandemic hit. The use of virtual sales appointments and tours accelerated. Many buyers of new construction purchase homes from a floor plan and renderings, so virtual tours of models add another level of information.

The use of virtual tours for sales is expected to accelerate even as social distancing guidelines are lifted. In addition, many buildings offer self-guided tours into a model

New condos and apartments are typically designed and planned two to four years in advance, so it will take time before building floor plans and features that reflect lessons learned during the pandemic.

There’s a spike in sales of units with a den today, so if this continues we may add more dens in buildings where we can adjust the mix of unit sizes,

 I anticipate that people will want a little more space such as a den or extra bedroom, but thinks a bigger priority will be a balcony or patio, especially one with a view.

Going forward, I think developers and managers will look for ways to bifurcate their open space for smaller groups rather than large congregations of residents

In addition, I think developers may try to add more elevators to reduce the number of people in each one, although that could be extremely expensive. Another option, maybe more open stairs to the second and third floors so residents on those levels walk instead of taking the elevator.

Co-working spaces may also adapt, with developers creating individualized space with glass partitions and furniture.

Your thoughts?

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