While rental buildings of the past were not always the most inviting of places, today’s developers have rewritten the rental guidebook. Newer rental buildings are designed with long-term tenants in mind, leading to inviting communities packed with comforts and conveniences, and spaces that encourage authentic social connections. Here are just a few of the latest trends that are making rental buildings remarkable places to live.
Today’s rental buildings provide much more just than a roof over people’s heads. Many include amenities that truly enable residents to meet people, make new friends and expand their social circles. It’s perfect for those moving to a new city or neighbourhood, and especially relevant given the recent trend towards remote work, which has limited our time to connect and bond with co-workers. Developments are taking the concept of community amenities to impressive lengths. Some offer shared social spaces for casual fun, like communal lounges, billiards rooms and outdoor courtyards. Others include premium bookable facilities that let tenants host birthday parties, baby showers, or other celebrations that require more space or specialized equipment. Social lounges with gourmet kitchens, karaoke rooms and movie theatres are just a few examples. Some developments offer areas and equipment geared towards specific interests and activities, like bike workshops, reading rooms and club-calibre fitness facilities.
One of the most interesting trends for rental buildings aims to reimagine how we live. Co-living communities pair private living quarters with spaces shared with other tenants. They come in many shapes and sizes. In one common setup you might rent a room that includes a bed, bathroom and small living area, and share a kitchen, lounge and social amenities with others in your pod. The benefits include a real sense of community, close connections with a new group of friends, and access to organized social events close to home, like wine tasting or movie nights, that you don’t have to organize or host—though you can usually help if you want to. That’s the beauty of co-living spaces: they provide freedom of choice to join events and use spaces as you like, but you’re not paying extra to have space in your home that you may not need. Other perks of co-living can include cleaning services, onsite repair and maintenance, inclusion of utilities, and more. Rental rates are also an attractive feature as co-living communities compare favourably to monthly urban living costs since many spaces are shared with others. This can be especially appealing for young people and students who are saving up to purchase a home, or for retirees looking for a pied-a-terre while traveling the world.
Cycling has taken off in urban centres over the past decade, as dedicated bike lanes now wind through many cities and towns, and road biking has become something of an exercise trend. Newer rental buildings tend to have bright and secure rooms purpose-built for bike storage, as well as bike lounges and repair stations – adding yet another opportunity to socialize and meet people with similar interests. In addition to bike rooms, many rental buildings include spaces for owners of electric vehicles to charge their cars, offering sustainably minded tenants more options.
Expecting a package, but you’re on Zoom, or not home? It’s a common challenge today. Many new rental buildings come equipped with secure parcel lockers, meaning you never have to worry about missing a delivery. Some even come with ample storage for dry and refrigerated goods, recognizing the trend toward home grocery delivery and meal kits. Others include parking spaces right out front to make meal deliveries and ride-sharing pick-up and drop-off uber easy, any time of day.
Amenities aren’t restricted to the indoors. Recognizing the importance of integrating nature, fresh air and sunshine into our everyday lives, many new rental communities include spaces that make it easy to get outside. They range from recreational spaces, like basketball courts and pools, to relaxing social spaces, like community gardens, fireside lounges and lush lawns. Still others offer spaces for the whole family to burn off some steam, like kids’ playgrounds and dog wash and play areas.
Townline continues to push for new, innovative approaches to amenities and shared spaces in our rental communities. Here are two prime examples.
A 16-storey, 121-unit rental tower coming to Victoria, Pandora is planned to include 54 co-living suites ranging from three to five bedrooms. Those in co-living units would share kitchen and dining space, and have their own bedrooms. Many cool social spaces will give residents plenty of opportunities for fun, including an outdoor fireside lounge and games room. An in-house social coordinator will organize events, like movie nights or whiskey tastings.
Located in downtown Victoria’s Hudson District, this sophisticated urban rental community pairs ultra-convenient access to shops, services and eateries with elevated amenities right at your doorstep. Residents enjoy a fully equipped fitness facility, speakeasy-style lounge, lushly landscaped courtyard with a children’s play area, and dog run for furry friends and their fans.