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Seven Next-Level Amenities Coming To Philly’s Newest Developments


Walking around Philadelphia, it is easy to believe that the entire city is under construction. Twenty-six projects will add a mix of office, residential and hospitality properties to the skyline, according to Curbed Philadelphia. To attract prospective tenants and to stay competitive with the growing inventory, many of these developments tout luxury amenities, but gone are the days when a concierge and a simple gym could seal the deal.

To stay competitive, the perks have gotten bigger and better. Developers have invested in conveniences like sports simulators, pet washes, bicycle storage and repair space, outdoor kitchens and terraces. Other properties advertise shared spaces between residential and office sections of the building, redefining working from home.

Here are seven Philly development trends that are changing the amenities game.

1. Luxe Concierge Services


The concierge service of the future is for much more than signing in guests, accepting packages or arranging a car. New buildings offer 24/7 services that cater to every need. For busy tenants unable to visit the supermarket, package systems and cold storage facilities at buildings like The Alexander, coming in 2017, will keep grocery deliveries fresh and off the doorstep.

Amenities also extend to the furriest residents of the building. Washing and grooming stations at The Alexander allow for enhanced pet valet services. 

2. Outdoor Kitchens and Chef-Worthy Spaces


High-rise living often lacks good outdoor space. Rooftop decks have become an almost required feature of Class-A buildings, and al fresco kitchens have emerged as the newest upgrade to the entertainment and dining experience.

At One Riverside, a residential property under construction along the Schuylkill River, residents will have access to a communal high-end outdoor kitchen. Tenants of both residential towers at East Market will enjoy a demonstration kitchen worthy of visits from Philadelphia’s top celebrity chefs. 

3. Luxury Screening Rooms


Home screening rooms and online streaming have replaced expensive and crowded theaters. Philadelphia's high-rises have picked up on the trend and added some luxury upgrades.

At Griffin, a 17-story Beaux-Arts office turned apartment building, residents enjoy a private screening room. At FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, tenants with access to AKA University City's Level 28 lifestyle club can enjoy the private media screening room that includes leather reclining seats, an extensive film library and a weekly curated screening series that will satisfy any die-hard cinephile.

The Ludlow at East Market will also play host to outdoor movies on the lawn and Lincoln Square on South Broad Street will offer screenings on a large rooftop terrace.

4. Better Live/Work/Play Flexibility

The 12-story atrium of The Curtis in Philadelphia

Home offices are becoming more literal. At 1919 Market, a luxury apartment high-rise in Center City West, busy tenants can work beyond the traditional 9-to-5, finding new flexibility thanks to private work pods with TVs and meeting rooms.

At The Curtis, residential and office elevators are separated by a glass wall. Workers and tenants can both take advantage of the child care center, while the latter have access to their own private health club. As more companies lease space in The Curtis, a lucky few could cut out their commute entirely by living and working in the same building. P.J. Clarke's, a popular restaurant and bar franchise, is also coming to the building, offering some nearby nightlife.

The west tower of East Market will feature an indoor/outdoor play space for children.

5. Lap Pools


No need to head to the public pool when there is a private one a few floors down. Properties like the FMC Tower are redefining the standard for home fitness, allowing residents to train like Michael Phelps in a 72-foot stainless steel indoor lap pool. The pool is also accessible from the club floor at AKA University City, the luxury hotel and apartment residences located on the top 19 floors of the tower.

While indoor pools are not a new amenity, developers are investing in bigger swimming areas to capture hotel living and to bring wellness centers to multifamily developments.   

6. Club Rooms And Sports Simulators


Club rooms have also become popular in residential developments, fostering a neighborly atmosphere and offering tenants a high-end hangout. Clubs often occupy an entire floor and boast game rooms, bars and guest suites. Lincoln Square plans to up the ante with a one-tenth-mile roof track.

Virtual reality and sports simulators are also on the cutting edge of the athletic amenities trend. At 1919 Market, the 28th floor club has a golf simulator. Enthusiasts can work on their stroke on a virtual putting green. 

7. Elevated Parks And Garden Terraces


Rooftop gardens will soon rival Philadelphia’s parks and squares. The rooftop deck at FMC Tower, Cira Green, offers uninterrupted views from over 400 feet above street level, and the 37,500 SF amenity roof at Lincoln Square will feature multiple seating areas and recreation spaces, with lounge space, and green space that can be enjoyed year-round. 

The second residential tower planned for East Market will be especially welcoming, offering tenants a 14K SF roof terrace with fire pits, fireplaces and their own private community garden in the sky.

Philadelphia real estate has seen considerable growth in the past few years, and it does not show any sign of slowing down. For developers, that means matching the pace of construction with increasingly more upscale amenities, changing not only the skyline, but also the nature of apartment and office life.