New Google offices on Mercer

WELLNESS is the ultimate luxury in urban construction

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Updated: August 16, 2017 7:23 pm

Urban developers embrace the wellness trend

What is the wellness trend? It is the intentional design of buildings and properties to include features that promote good health, happiness and productivity. This can cover a very wide range of services including elaborate water purification systems, circadian lighting,  in-house sports bars, outdoor pizza ovens, storm gardens, street art or even free kayak usage. Simply put, features that improve the quality of your life at home. 

There is intense competition between urban real estate developers to secure high-quality tenants. One successful tactic is the creation of luxurious new wellness features . No longer is it good enough to just offer an in-building gym. These new downtown high-rises include an enticing selection of features that run from on-location demonstration kitchens to roof-top doggy parks.

Developers focus on your interests as key elements in the wellness campaign

If you like to bowl, and miss the old neighborhood lanes, hop on over to the Westlake Steps apartments in Seattle and enjoy a game or two in their private 2-lane bowling alley. You’ll also get a roof-top pet park and the Bright Idea Lounge with an interactive Lite Bright wall. That sounds like fun.

Trailhead Room at True North
Trailhead Room at True North

Nearby is the new True North building which aims to attract the hiking crowd. You can spend a cozy evening in the Trailhead Room curled up with a collection of maps and hiking books, burn off a few calories on the rubber-floored climbing wall in the Bouldering room, or get some grease on your hands in the Bike Workshop. The developer has looked for creative ways to address specific interests. Now he hopes he’s chosen the right ones. 

It isn’t just apartments getting into the act

New corporate headquarters will accommodate both work spaces and living space to make your life easier and more comfortable. The new Google offices at Mercer and Terry in Seattle will offer 8-9 stories of apartments atop the offices for a very short commute. Getting around campus is easy with both bike and pedestrian paths.  Up and down the Mercer corridor the city has invested money in public art. Seattle-based artist Ellen Sollod was commissioned to create small scale art to promote walking and cycling and “enliven the pedestrian environment.”  

The Big Apple has some pretty amazing offerings

Urby garden on Staten Island, New York
Urby garden on Staten Island, New York

I’d love to visit  Urby Staten Island with it’s 5,000 square foot urban farm, apiary, water jug refilling stations, and 50 varieties of produce. The idea of producing my own vegetables seems very appealing. If you choose to become a farmer you may later sell your produce in the “Bodega”.  If you’d like to improve your cooking skills, classes are offered by the chef-in-residence.

Another choice, if you really love to be on the water,  is the ultra-swanky and breathtaking 1Seaport which includes yacht rentals. The views are spectacular and their wellness offerings include incredible spa services and a children’s playroom too nice for any child that I know. 

While creature comforts top the list of consumer-recognized benefits, developers are also focusing on the wellness benefits of green infrastructure

Salmon-Safe construction wrapPaul Allen’s Vulcan Real Estate has become the worlds first Salmon-Safe accredited builder. This successful green-infrastructure program is used to prevent pollutants from running off construction sites and endangering the salmon industry. It has been implemented in multiple sites around Seattle and up and down the west coast in the agricultural sector. Salmon-Safe is promoted at Vulcan sites in the form of brightly colored mesh wraps that cover the construction fences. Not only is the wrap attractive, but the message is positive, and that circles back again to the theme of wellness. It makes you feel good to be there, and good to be part of a positive movement.

Wellness amenities are not cheap but the belief is that their benefits will be pay off

Apartment complexes will retain good-quality tenants longer. Corporations will attract and retain a loyal and engaged workforce. Cities themselves will attract and keep better businesses. And in the end, we hope that people will indeed have better health, be happier, and be more productive. Wellness is the ultimate luxury. 

By:  Jennifer Croft