Not the Norm Uncommon Common Areas

Time was that a nice, spacious condo unit with a good location, a good view and several basic amenities such a laundry room, a doorman and maybe a fitness room were what Chicagoland buyers wanted. But as more buildings are constructed or renovated, and as competition for existing units becomes more intense, developers have begun to offer more and more elaborate amenities as incentives to draw new buyers to their buildings and developments.

At the same time, some people began buying condo units as an investment and/or a second home. For these people, amenities can be as important as the building’s location.

Today, not only in the Windy City but across the country, you can find condo and HOA developments offering a dazzling assortment of amenities (sometimes referred to as “special features” or “luxuries”). Some of these include climate-controlled wine cellars, putting greens, yoga rooms, Pilates, jetted swimming pools, takeout service from nearby restaurants, Zipcars, private party rooms, playrooms for young children, movie-screening rooms, indoor basketball courts, bowling alleys and more – you name it!

Indeed, a resident in a prestigious Chicago condo building could easily stay indoors for an entire week, ordering in food from an upscale restaurant within the same building or next-door, having his concierge service take clothes to and from the dry cleaner, and going to the building’s basketball court, pool or gym when he or she is in the mood.

And that’s not all. “I would start,” says Josh Feldman, project coordinator for Lake Point Tower Condominium, “at Lake Point Tower with their 2.5 acre park. With one of the largest residential green roofs in the city, it truly provides a different prospective of Chicago.” “Skyline Terrace,” above Lake Point’s parking garage, by the way, is more than the typical “green roof” with a few plantings—it has trees, a lawn a swimming pool and even a lagoon.

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