Apartment living is not what it used to be, and neither is die profile of the typical resident. What was once an option that appealed mainly to young singles or retirees with moderate incomes is now attracting a wide range of residents who like the low maintenance of apartments and town-homes.
This growing trend represents a lifestyle choice that is especially desirable to people who do not have the time or inclination to keep a traditional house. Today’s renters want the convenience associated with apartment living combined with the luxuries available in single-family dwellings.
As residents’ requirements have become more complex and sophisticated, apartments and townhomes have changed dramatically to meet their needs. Design elements such as raised ceilings, fireplaces, crown molding and specialized wiring for computers are becoming commonplace, while exterior amenities such as attached garages and limited gate access provide the privacy residents have come to expect,
In addition to spacious floor plans and lavish interiors, many premier developments now include high-end services and conveniences in their luxury residences. Fitness and office centers, dry cleaning facilities, complementary coffee and bagels, and even on-site masseuses have all become part of the package. It is this attention to detail that is ushering in the new age in apartment living.
The Mansions by the Vineyard are an example of the new approach in luxury apartment living. Much more than a housing complex, the Mansions offer a uniquely romantic way of life that is not readily available to most people. The 20-acre facility, located in Colleyville, includes an on-site vineyard that produces its own private wine label for residents and visitors.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Hiles says, “The concept is appealing because it provides an entire lifestyle. Most residents have had or could afford to buy a luxury residence anywhere but choose apartment living over maintenance and responsibilities.”
The Mansions are designed for people who appreciate quality on every level. Many of the spacious floor plans are large enough to accommodate four bedrooms and three baths. Attached garages, vaulted ceilings, Italian marble fireplaces, oversized Jacuzzi tubs and multi-media entertainment centers are featured throughout.
Built more as a community than a complex, Mr. Hiles describes the Mansions as “a cross between the Ritz Carlton Hotel and a custom home. It combines the resort lifestyle and services with the size and scale of a traditional home.” Amenities include access gates, a library and conference room, business center, Olympic-size swimming pool, full health club with personal trainer, English pub/game room and wine bar. There is even maid service and concierge service available to walk dogs. Rents from $795 to $1,795
The Courts of Bent Tree, apartment homes, located in the prestigious North Dallas corridor, offers spacious interiors while the community itself is rather intimate with only 168 units. This characteristic gives the community a home-like feel and creates a close-knit neighborhood with a social atmosphere where many residents develop long-lasting friendships.
“Two distinct resident groups have emerged with the advent of luxury apartments in the North Dallas region,” says community manager Noel Cloutier. Young affluent professionals comprise the first group and “empty nesters,” whose children are grown and now want to scale back on housing, make up the second. Both groups have the desire to avoid being burdened with the upkeep and maintenance of a house.
Many occupants are two-income couples who want to spend their leisure time doing things together instead of dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of home ownership. Others want to be free to travel or divide their time at multiple homes. Location is also an important factor. Couples need to be centrally located because one may work in Las Colinas and the other in Dallas.
Ms. Cloutier says it is the desire for accessibility to the Dallas North Tollway and nearby shopping that draws residents to The Courts of Bent Tree, but it’s the uncompromising service and wealth of amenities such as spacious kitchens, marble vanity tops, fireplaces, private patios, garages and panoramic golf-course views that keep them there. “Most have lived in homes before and like the feeling of a home without the hassle. They no longer want the upkeep of a private pool or yard. It’s like having the best of both worlds. ” Rents from $985 to $1,535.
Keeping with the idea that apartment homes should have all the warmth and elegance of traditional houses is the urban oasis of St Andrews. Inspired by European traditions, St. Andrews incorporates classic stone, English gardens, fountains and expansive green spaces to create a community of quiet serenity.
Although St. Andrews is nestled just blocks from LBJ Freeway and Greenville Avenue, the surroundings are reminiscent of lush countryside. Property manager Brenda Quicksall says that most St. Andrews “residents are busy business people who want to come home to soothing comfort after a stressful day.”
Exclusive privileges such as a private 5,5-acre park with waterfall and jogging/cycling trail enhance this unique living arrangement. “Because it is important for our residents to consider St. Andrews home, the designers have consciously added plenty of outdoor places for families to be together,” adds Quicksall.
St. Andrews interiors are designed with clients of discriminating tastes in mind. State-of-the art appliances, designer cabinetry, garden baths and walk-in closets are just a few of the amenities available. The complex also offers aerobics classes, a 24-hour sport court, two swimming pools and a luxurious club room with billiards and big-screen television. Rents from $675 to $1,125.
Creators of Villa Del Norte have brought a touch of the Mediterranean to North Dallas. The new complex located just blocks north of the Park Cities was scheduled for completion on June 1, but potential residents have already shown a great deal of enthusiasm for the project. “The majority of our inquiries have been from people who own houses in the neighborhood and want to stay in the area. We offer them a home without hassle,” says Sandra Gotterup of Intercity Investments, Inc.
Architect Jack Craycroft has effectively incorporated subtle design elements to create an exotic yet welcoming atmosphere at Villa Del Norte. Creative use of natural lighting and open-air entries keep common areas fresh and inviting. Extensive landscaping, Spanish-tile roofs and expansive courtyards with gurgling fountains complete die theme and provide appealing views from every residence.
Interiors at Villa Del Norte embody all the comforts expected in a luxury dwelling. Intrusion alarms, washer/dryer connections, private patios and walk-in closets make the apartments desirable, but hardwood floors, built-in shelving, gas-log fireplaces and arched windows make them home.
Considerable thought and planning has gone into every detail at Villa Del Norte. Entries are set back to give residents extra privacy, and lighting has been emphasized throughout. The use of space is especially impressive with expansive closets and bathrooms. Even taking out the trash is the utmost in convenience. Door-to-door garbage removal is made through a special hatch in the kitchen.
Residents are pampered with a spa-quality sauna, whirlpool and cold plunge. A fitness area, business center and functional clubhouse are also provided. Other amenities will be provided according to resident needs and preferences. “We will tailor our services to fit desires of our clients,” says Gotterup. Rents from $1,100 to $2,250.
The Reserve at the Galleria is an intimate collection of townhomes featuring the finest custom finish-out available in die rental market. Each three-story, walkthrough townhome features a one- or two-car garage. Trammell Crow Residential^ commitment to quality construction and emphasis on custom details has captured the attention of many North Dallasites.
The Reserve at the Galleria provides an ideal lifestyle for the corporate professional who wants personal conveniences combined with the privacy of a custom home. Strategically located on the corner of Montfort Drive and Southern, just behind the Galleria, the Reserve provides residents with easy access to both Piano and downtown Dallas via the North Dallas Tollway. The area’s top restaurants, shopping and entertainment are literally around the comer.
Like à custom home, The Reserve at the Galleria’s one-, two- and three-bedroom plans include many special touches such as berber carpeting, ceramic tile flooring and backsplashes, wide crown moldings, granite fireplaces, kitchen islands, private patios and outdoor gas lantern lighting. Many of the homes feature a ground floor office/study for professionals who want die convenience of a home office. Each home is wired for phone, computer and fax machines.
Lifestyle services include the Trammell Crow signature coffee bar which opens each morning at 6 a.m. for cappuccino and continental breakfast. In addition to concierge and housekeeping services, a heated poo), large fitness facility and roof-top sundeck are also available. Each resident of a Trammell Crow community1 is assured a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and 24-hour maintenance response.
According to Doug Chesnut, president of Trammell Crow Residential Services, “Today’s residents are sophisticated. They desire the privacy of a townhome coupled with convenience and professional service. The Reserve at the Galleria is setting the standard for the selective North Dallas resident. You will not find any rental community in the area offering the lifestyle afforded the residents of The Reserve at the Galleria.“Rents from $950 to $1610.
Luxury apartments will continue to flourish as more and more people seek to simplify the way they live. It is a conscious choice of service and convenience over maintenance and responsibility. More than a change in address, new apartment communities reflect a change in lifestyle.