Luxury Apartment Buildings Tempt Renters With Over-the-Top Pet Amenities. ‘Dog People Really Are Dog People.’ | Kanebridge News
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Luxury Apartment Buildings Tempt Renters With Over-the-Top Pet Amenities. ‘Dog People Really Are Dog People.’

Dog art class, ‘yappy hours,’ rooftop play spaces: How developers court high-price tenants

By MAGGIE EASTLAND
Thu, Aug 24, 2023 8:31amGrey Clock 3 min

The beauty pageant was in full swing outside an apartment complex in an Atlanta suburb. Decked out contestants pranced up and down a red carpet, while dozens of residents cheered and snapped photos.

The winner, who wore a custom-tailored red gown made by one of the tenants, went by the name Choupette. The gown didn’t quite cover her tail.

It’s unlikely Choupette understood everything that happened that night, even though her prizes included a stuffed catfish toy and a container of dehydrated chicken livers. Chris Melerski, the building resident who owns the Greater Swiss Mountain dog that won the crown—a gold foam board cutout, trimmed with faux white fur—was very appreciative.

“Dog people really are dog people,” he said. “When they offer things like this where you live, it means a lot.”

For years, pet needs tended to be an afterthought for the firms that managed luxury apartment towers. Landlords believed that showering tenants with deluxe amenities such as fitness centres, swimming pools, basketball courts and outdoor grilling stations was the way to fill up a building and command high rents.

Covid-19 altered that calculus after an explosion in pandemic pets. Millions of Americans adopted dogs as companions for long stretches stuck at home.

Pet mania has unleashed fierce competition among property owners to lure new tenants by offering the most generous—and sometimes over-the-top—dog perks, from dog schools to pet happy hours and giant rooftop dog parks. About 36% of U.S. apartment residents had a pet in 2022, according to a survey by the National Multifamily Housing Council.

“From the moment you start thinking about your business plan and start thinking about the design, you’re thinking about pet owners,” said Raul Tamez, a senior director for Greystar Real Estate Partners, the largest U.S. apartment manager, which operates more than 2,800 rental properties.

Greystar’s San Diego luxury high rise features a “bark bar” in the lobby with treats, bowls of water and a list of every five-star dog walker who works nearby.

Landlords say renters are prioritising the needs of their pooches over other factors long considered the most crucial when choosing a place to live. A survey of 1,170 apartment renters this year by developer Cortland found that dog owners rank a building’s pet policies, such as size restrictions and fees, as more important than even the cost of rent or a property’s location, according to the Atlanta-based firm that manages more than 250 apartment properties.

When Mike and Kelli Callanan looked for a new place to live in New York City, their pet’s needs were top of the list. The Manhattan building they found features a pet-bathing and grooming area, and doormen with a weakness for doling out dog treats.

“Darby was the main reason that we moved,” said Kelli Callanan, referring to their mini bernedoodle.

New York developer Related hired a designer to build a 5,600-square-foot rooftop dog park atop a San Francisco apartment building. The park is matted out in artificial turf and includes a replica fire hydrant to encourage bathroom breaks. Staff take care of cleaning.

In New York and other cities, Related also created Dog City, a daycare with activities including art, gardening and baking, aimed to accommodate dogs that live in its buildings.

For one project, staff dipped dogs’ paws in pet-safe paint and guided them where to stomp around the canvas to form the shape of a tree—one of many activities likely more entertaining for the owners than the dogs. Employees dressed pups up as artists to take photos of each with their paintings. Charcoal and Ashes, Annette Krayn’s two Chihuahuas, gave the art to their “Grandma.”

All dogs undergo temperament exams to ensure they can get along with daycare classmates. New dogs meet with each existing member individually, under the supervision of staff on the lookout for troublemakers.

“It’s harder than getting into a kindergarten at this point,” said Krayn. Charcoal initially failed the test—Krayn said he was dealing with anxiety after a kidnapping incident—so she enlisted a handler to help him pass the exam.

Cortland hosts “Yappy Hours.” The outdoor mixers offer peanut butter and pretzel swirl flavoured Ben & Jerry’s Doggie Desserts and “pup cup” ice cream for the dogs, and pizza, tacos and loaded fries from food trucks for the humans. At some buildings, staff set up sprinklers, mini inflatable pools and splash pads in the dog park.

In New York, the Callanans’ dog, Darby, slipped away from the person who was walking her on Randall’s Island while the family was away in Massachusetts. Darby found her way across the river and back to her building in Manhattan, sopping wet. The doormen recognised her right away, and helped get her to a vet’s emergency room, where she spent two days recovering.

Dog City, the doggy daycare, sent Darby a get-well-soon gift basket that included blankets, toys, a Yeti water bowl, dog treats and a $100 Dog City gift card, with a note that read: “She is a miracle and a celebrity in our eyes with her amazing yet terrifying adventure.”



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UAE Residential Market Review Shows Strong Growth and Record Transactions in Q1 2024
UAE Residential Market Review Shows Strong Growth and Record Transactions in Q1 2024

The total transaction volume in Abu Dhabi for the first quarter of the year reached 2,795.

Thu, May 16, 2024 4 min

The CBRE Middle East, a global leader in commercial real estate services and investments, released its latest edition of the UAE Residential Market Review for the first quarter of 2024.

Abu Dhabi Market Overview

During the first quarter of the year, the total volume of transactions in Abu Dhabi stood at 2,795, registering a 22.6% increase compared to the year prior. This increase has been underpinned by an 18.1% rise in off-plan sales and a 34.5% rise in secondary market sales. In the year to Q1 2024, Abu Dhabi’s average apartment and villa prices increased by 4.3% and 2.3%, respectively.

Abu Dhabi’s rental market witnessed a total of 46,130 residential rental contracts in Q1 2024, registering a decline of 10.9% from the year prior. This has been due to a 15.5% decline in the number of renewed rental contracts registered and a 2.4% drop in new rental registrations over the same period. In the year to Q1 2024, average apartment and villa rents have increased by 4.5% and 1.1%, respectively. On the supply front, only 80 units have been delivered in Abu Dhabi in the first three months of the year, with all of this new stock being in Al Raha Beach. An additional 8,660 units are expected to be completed by year-end with 55.8% of this scheduled stock located in Yas Island, Al Sowwah, and Al Shamkha.

Dubai Market Insights

In Dubai, price growth has continued to accelerate during the first quarter of 2024, with average prices increasing by 20.7% in the year to March 2024. Throughout this period, average apartment and villa prices increased by 20.4% and 22.1%, respectively. Although headline average sales rates are still marginally below the 2014 highs by 0.1%, several prominent residential neighbourhoods have already surpassed their 2014 figures.

As of March 2024, average apartment prices stood at AED 1,486 per square foot, and average villa prices reached AED 1,776 per square foot. Average villa sales rates are currently above their 2014 baseline by 22.9%. Rental growth has also gained momentum in 2024, after a period of moderation in 2023. In March 2024, average residential rents registered a year-on-year increase of 21.2%, up from the 20.4% growth registered a month earlier. Over this period, average apartment and villa rental rates grew by 22.1% and 14.5%, respectively. Data from the Dubai Land Department revealed that, in the year to date to March 2024, the total number of rental registrations stood at 159,941, marking an increase of 5.8% from the previous year. As for supply, a total of 6,526 units were delivered in the first quarter of the year, with 59.7% of this supply being located in Meydan One, Jumeirah Village Circle, and Al Furjan. A further 46,086 are expected to be handed over the remainder of the year. However, given historic materialisation rates, the report expects that a limited portion of this upcoming stock will come online as planned.

Record-Breaking Transactions

March 2024 witnessed another record in Dubai’s residential market, with transaction volumes reaching the highest monthly figure on record, marking a year-on-year growth of 13.2%. Throughout this period, off-plan sales and secondary market sales increased by 20.2%, and secondary market sales increased by 2.2%.

In the first quarter of 2024, Dubai’s total transaction volumes reached 35,310. This is the highest total ever recorded in the first quarter of the year, marking an increase of 20.5% from the year prior. Over this period, off-plan transactions recorded an increase of 23.9%, and secondary market transactions rose by 15.2%.

However, in Q1 2024, the total number of sales transactions within the prime market segment registered a decline of 2.1% compared to the year prior. Throughout this period, super-prime transactions recorded a drop of 16.5% year-on-year to stand at a total of 227. These declines witnessed in both markets have been largely underpinned by significant declines in off-plan sales largely attributable to the high levels of demand for off-plan properties and the limited level of upcoming supply. In terms of performance, in the first quarter of 2024, average prime prices registered a year-on-year increase of 16.0%, standing at an average of AED 4,661 per square foot, and average super-prime prices grew by 14.8% over this period, reaching AED 4,978 per square foot.

Taimur Khan, CBRE’s Head of Research MENA in Dubai

Future Projections 

Looking ahead, CBRE expects Dubai’s residential sales market to maintain its upward trajectory. Prices in both the apartment and villa segments of the market will continue to grow, however, not at the same pace. On the rental front, we forecast that residential rents will continue to increase. That being said, the rate of growth will likely moderate.

Taimur Khan, CBRE’s Head of Research MENA in Dubai, comments: “The UAE’s residential market started the year on a relatively strong note, where the elevated demand levels continue to drive performance. The strong levels of activity and high absorption levels, which have reduced available supply, will continue to support price growth in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai over the remainder of the year. In terms of rental growth, we expect that rental rates in Abu Dhabi will continue to rise, with prime areas set to outperform the market. In Dubai, residential rents will continue to increase; however, not at the same rate that we have been seeing to date, and we expect that the rate of change will diminish in the second half of the year.”

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