Amazing Amenities Wine Cellars, Aquariums or Maybe, a Bowling Alley?...

 Chicago is known for having some of the very best urban opportunities in the  world—among the best colleges and schools, museums and libraries, as well as some of  the finest parks, the most interesting architecture, the most intriguing mix of  diverse people, and among the very best collection of historic sites in the  nation. For residents, access to all that on a daily basis does not come cheap.  Residential space in the Windy City is costly no matter what neighborhood you  live in, and these days, sheer space—more than luxuries—has historically been the most sought-after item in an apartment.  

 However, it would seem those days are gone. While location and square footage  are still essential aspects of a property’s attractiveness to a potential buyer, they are no longer the only major  considerations. For several newer and established properties around town, a  building’s amenities are becoming a drawing point in and of themselves.  

 Among the most luxurious co-op/condo amenities now provided to residents include  simulated golf courses, private beaches, 24-hour juice bars, wine cellars,  grocery delivery coolers, in-house dog grooming services, yoga studios,  media/screening rooms, video arcades for kids, craft rooms, and bowling alleys.  Some of these items are becoming passé, while others now are unwritten requirements of a building’s amenities package. But more often these days, that amenities package amounts  mostly to the facilities provided in a building, such as a gym, sauna, swimming  pool, and a massage room. In those areas, it seems that buyers believe bigger  may well be better.  

 Luxury Redefined

 Some of the most luxurious special amenities that Chicago condo properties are  offering today include hundreds of thousands of square feet of space dedicated  to resort-style recreational offerings. Residents (including former Chicago  Cubs power hitter Sammy Sosa) of the 70-floor, 758-unit Lake Point Tower at 505 North Lake Shore Drive in  Streeterville can relax in their very own, private 2.5 acre wooded park on the  third floor that features a pool and a lagoon. When a blizzard grips the city  (think of the whiteout of 2011) unit owners can head to the indoor pool and do  a few laps, soak in a hot tub, play a game of racquetball or have their teeth  cleaned without putting on a parka to go outside. If residents aren’t in the mood to cook, the deluxe condo is home to three restaurants ranging  from Cite', an upscale eatery with white tablecloths and 360 degree city views,  to a more casual cafe, to a late-night restaurant bar that caters to the  night-owl crowd. With a children’s playground, Skyline Park, squash court, yoga room, billiard room, a full gym,  sauna and steam room and more, the building has admittedly set the amenity bar  high.  

 “Our residents are paying a certain amount of money, and they want and deserve  the best, so we have to keep reinventing ourselves to stay on top,” says Joshua Feldman, assistant manager of accounting and information technology  for Lake Point Tower. “We are in the process of renovating our weight room. We put it in in the late ’90s, but that just won’t do—you have to stay current.”  

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