If you’ve kept up to speed with the growing build to rent market in the UK, you’ll know that many of the buildings in this industry tend to come with generous amenity spaces.
Some include lots of outside space to enjoy throughout the warmer months. Some include social lounge areas to relax or connect with your neighbours. And some come with fully decked-out, lavish penthouses with a range of rooms tailored for a whole variety of purposes.
As a build to rent developer ourselves, we’ve always placed a lot of importance on amenity spaces. We believe that giving this space to all our residents to use freely whenever they please is a fantastic way to create a vibrant community.
But when we approach a new development we’re always faced with a long list of possibilities for what we could install as amenity space. Although we tend to set aside an entire floor or two, the space is limited, so we can’t include everything.
So, after launching Vantage Point almost 3 years ago, and Dressage Court and Berkshire House since then, we thought we’d put the question to our residents in each of these buildings. We asked them what amenity spaces they would find useful. And the top ten results are below…
10th: Bookable Event Space
In 10th place with 19 votes from our residents is a bookable event space.
You can see the appeal. Everyone wants to throw a dinner party every now and then. Some might even want to host a full-blown birthday party or even a New Year’s Eve celebration. If you’re renting a 1-bed apartment though, space is going to be a little limited. So, for those few times a year that you want to host a dozen friends (or invite everyone you know over) it’s handy to know that you don’t have to spend £1,000 on a local venue – there’s a perfect space within your building.
9th: Games Room
Coming in at 9th with 22 votes is a games room.
We have a games room at all our developments, which includes either a pool table or a table football table, along with a games console and TV.
These are an easy win for build to rent developments, as the space they take up is minimal but they become quite a popular hangout for residents. After all, what better way to easily get to know a neighbour than over a few games of pool with a couple of beers?
In at 8th place with 25 votes is that essential summertime piece of kit: the barbecue.
It’s not surprising to see this facility among the top ten. After all, without a fire safe outside space, apartment renters can’t often use their own. So having access to a shared barbecue allows residents to host friends and family for fair weather feasts throughout the summer.
Lucky for us, all our developments have barbecues. Union Wharf even has three!
7th: Kitchen/Dining Room
Just edging out the BBQ with 27 votes, a kitchen and dining area is in 7th position.
This follows a similar theme from the BBQ and shows that our residents like to host. The functionality and ease that a state-of-the-art kitchen/diner provides to apartment renters cannot be undervalued. It gives them the ability to host a dinner party in a space that can cater for many more people than their apartment can. And it allows them to show off an exceptional space to their guests.
Some of our influencer residents even hire the space to prep for their food events.
6th: Lounge Area
In 6th place is a lounge area with 29 votes from our residents.
Lounges are common in every build to rent development. They’re a ‘must have’ area. A place where residents can find a quiet nook to relax, or a place where they can connect and chat with their neighbours. Add a big HD TV and they also become an ideal spot for residents to gather for the latest football match or to watch the hottest new TV series.
In today’s world of freelancers, digital nomads and those with a ‘side hustle’, having a suitable workspace in your home is vital. Couple that with students and those with the flexibility to work from home and there seems to be a lot of demand. So perhaps that’s why workspace sits at number 5 on the list, with 32 of our residents voting for it.
In our experience, although we do set aside dedicated workspace with desks and plug points, we find our residents migrate around the building to wherever suits them. Some will opt to sink into a comfy chair, some will set up in Vantage Point’s dining room to make use of the view, and some (in the summer months) will head outside onto the roof terrace.
4th: Swimming Pool
There were only 13 votes between 10th place and 5th, but this is where the votes really start to shoot up. In at 4th with 40 votes is a swimming pool.
Now you can see the appeal. Instead of having to traipse to the nearest pool with all your kit, change, swim, shower, change again and traipse back home, you can do it all – much more conveniently – within your own building. And you don’t have to pay for membership at your local pool either.
But for developers, the trouble with swimming pools is the sheer amount of space they take up in a building and their running costs. As a result, you often have to have a large development with hundreds or thousands of residents to justify installing a pool.
If you do though, then perhaps you can create something spectacular like the show offs at Embassy Gardens.
3rd: Green Space
Taking bronze in 3rd with 42 votes is green space.
In an urban environment like London, it’s not hard to understand why green space is so important to our renters. Having a rural spot where you can escape the city life is the perfect after-work retreat; and even better on a hot weekend.
This bodes well for those looking to move into Union Wharf, as we’ve surrounded the development in green space, including a landscaped pocket park.
2nd: Roof Terrace
In 2nd place with a huge 72 votes is a roof terrace.
This is unsurprising. After all, what better way to enjoy jaw-dropping views of the spectacular London skyline than from your very own roof terrace.
There’s something about having access to a roof terrace in London. Unlike your local park, it’s a space exclusive to residents of the building. And – if your building’s tall enough to not be overlooked – they’re often private.
In 1st place with 81 votes – which is the vast majority of respondents – is a gym.
Today’s fitness focussed young professionals exercise a lot! So it makes sense that our residents place a huge amount of importance on getting speedy access to a work out space. And, just like a swimming pool, there’s a huge benefit to having a gym within your own building.
It means no extra journeys to and from the gym, wasting your hard-earned free time. You’ll never have to trek through snow or driving rain to get to your workout. It means you can pop up for a 20-minute workout if that’s all you feel like. And it means that, when you’re done, you can get the elevator straight back to your apartment to shower and change – rather than lugging a change of clothes, towel and toiletries all the way to the gym.
For our residents, we’ve got workout space covered. Vantage Point has had an exercise space from day one, we built a fitness room retrospectively in Dressage Court, and Union Wharf will have our biggest one yet.
What’s more, all three have the added benefit of personal trainers on-site throughout the week to offer group or one-to-one coaching, as well as fitness classes such as HIIT workouts and yoga.
The full results
Take a look at the full results from our resident survey below:
|Bookable event space
|Yoga/fitness class space
|Pet pampering station
|Personal training studio
|Children’s play area
How would you cast your vote?