Forget about gyms and rooftop terraces. Your next building could have a


The race for residential equipment is getting bizarre. In the past, a new apartment complex or condominium attracted residents with a pool or patio. Then came the era of indoor basketball courts and game rooms. Now, it seems, the developments are hoping to attract tenants and buyers by providing a well-lit room for making TikTok videos.

In projects across North America, developers are adding new amenities to large multi-family residential projects aimed at least in part to meet the demands of people more interested in posting a dance video than grilling a hot dog.

There are podcasting studios, video rooms with integrated green screens, and acoustically protected rooms for recording and production. For a YouTuber looking for uniform lighting or a musician wanting to post an echo-free video to their Instagram account, these social media-focused production spaces can be the kind of gear that leads to a rental deal.

“We now have this whole generation that is permanently entrenched in social media and online life,” said Alex Valente, senior vice president at High Street Residential, a subsidiary of Southern California-based real estate company Trammell Crow. “We thought we would look into this trend.

[Image: courtesy High Street Residential]

For the newly opened 318 unit High Street Residential project in downtown Los Angeles, Llewellyn, the list of amenities includes fireplaces, a fitness center and grill area, as well as a new soundproof room intended for use by musicians, video producers and everyday social media creators.

[Photo: David Guettler Photography]

“It’s a multi-purpose room, which serves as a recording studio and a space for rehearsing or even recording,” explains Valente. “We designed this directly in the project to respond to what we thought was the creative part of downtown. According to the property manager, the room is less used than nearby workspaces, but tends to be more popular at night with podcasters and even residents singing karaoke.

In Etobicoke, Ont., Just outside of Toronto, a two-tower residential project currently under construction has also planned to make some of its amenity spaces more social media friendly. The project includes a “content studio”, equipped with separate video and audio production spaces. The video room will feature a series of rolling backdrops and a green screen for special effects, production-grade lighting and acoustic panels on the walls and ceilings. The audio room will be soundproofed and equipped with an “On Air” sign to indicate when recording takes place. The project, which is open for sale this month, will be completed in 2023.

The inclusion of these spaces was more than a guess. Using surveys and data on residents moving to this part of Canada, the developers discovered that projects like this would attract a younger population, who tend to be very interested in both consuming and produce the user-generated content that floods social media.

[Image: RioCan Living]

“We saw a need,” says Kalliopi Karkas, assistant vice president of developer RioCan Living. But she notes that the content studio isn’t just hanging on to the latest social media trend. “It’s not just for podcasts and all that. You can come there if you have a Zoom call or presentation in the office and want a quieter space, ”she says. “The quality that you will be able to get in this studio, we have designed it to be a cut above what you would get from your room.”

Other buildings in cities like new York and Washington DC have added music-focused recording studios in recent years. Integrated studio spaces are as much a product of the social media age as they are a response to the pandemic, making it safer to move many in-person activities online. Churches, for example, have been forced by the pandemic to interact with their congregations via video. In a church overhaul project currently underway in Brooklyn, a professional video recording studio for online services only is being designed directly into the building.

[Image: RioCan Living]

In a residential building, these types of spaces add to rather than replace typical fitness studios and outdoor patio equipment. The space required was not a huge sacrifice, Karkas says, nor does it add much to the overall project budget. And with the pandemic leading to an increase in work from home, the quiet of a recording studio can also come in handy for head-down work. Other parts of the twin-tower project also include offices and collaborative workspaces for the 40% of units without dens or offices.

“One of the perks of living at heights is that you’re not just confined to the four walls of your unit. The construction equipment we design is an extension of your home, ”says Karkas. “For us, launching a product in 2021 that includes a coworking space is obvious. “

It’s too early to tell if the studio spaces in this and other project are attractive enough to attract social media-obsessed residents, but developers like RioCan Living and High Street Residential could be at the forefront of this project. ‘a new trend in the world of residential amenities. Or, it could be a flop, fading from memory like a once popular social media app that was fun while it lasted. For now, social media creators appear to be a large and growing demographic to attract.

“We’re still curious to see what adoption looks like,” Karkas says. “I think it’s very possible that we are working to evolve future projects to include spaces like this as well.”

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