Design Trends

Three Apartment Amenities That Put ‘Style’ in ‘Lifestyle’


In 2023, we set a New Year’s resolution to embrace the rental world. And so far, consider us committed! In this newsletter, step into three apartment communities (featured on DesignLens this year) and see their creative, next-level amenity strategies:

  1. Activation of space
  2. Creative partnerships
  3. Catering to a lifestyle

1. Activation of space: Meet where? Prado Square!

Prado West is a luxury, mixed-use apartment in Dana Point, California. Its ground-floor retail shows love for local favorites like Bear Coast Coffee and Dana Point Ale House. One area of Prado West goes the extra mile to integrate local businesses and engage the greater Dana Point community.

Raintree Partners and Architects Orange are tucked in a courtyard named Prado Square, where retailers can place pop-up shops to create a farmer’s market atmosphere and bring people into their stores. It is also a rentable venue space—think outdoor parties or “Yappy Hours” for dog owners to come together and socialize. Some of the latest events hosted here were “Fall Floral” and “Succulent Pumpkin” workshops in partnership with two local businesses and a Halloween Festival with costume contests and other spooky festivities.

Easily accessible to Prado West residents and surrounding Dana Point locals alike, Prado Square has flourished into a “third place” and a hub for fun activity.

2. Creative partnerships (and pickleball)

Brighton Corporation’s active adult apartment community, Bri at the Village, sports an extensive amenity package consisting of a 12,000-square-foot amenity center between two large courtyards. But what new 55+ community is complete without pickleball? Unlike many master-planned communities, apartments typically don’t have several acres allotted for amenities, so Brighton got creative to further expand the entertainment opportunities for residents.

The developer teamed with the city of Meridian to add four pickleball courts to the 59-acre Kleiner Park across the street. They even reserved time slots just for Bri residents to use the courts, which are otherwise open to the public. Pickleball has been one of the most rapidly growing sports in America, but even before recently entering the spotlight, pickleball was notoriously popular amongst active adults. Predictably, this facility places first among amenities for many Bri at the Village residents.

Partnerships with outside entities allow developers to bring so much more to the table with less burden when it comes to space allocation or cost constraints.

3. Catering to a lifestyle: Gear up for a bike ride.

Instead of catering to a specific age group or life stage, The Henry by Carmel Partners caters to a lifestyle. This luxury apartment exudes Colorado character with a carefully curated art package of exclusively Denver artists, a dog park and spa for beloved pets, and a 1-acre park in the heart of the community inspired by nearby Washington Park.

What screams “Colorado lifestyle” like a 3,400-square-foot gear lounge with bike storage, repair tools, and a bike wash? Among the coolest features in the lounge is an interactive touch screen with maps that allow riders to plan their routes. The community’s bike-friendly surroundings, with markets, restaurants, and parks nearby, connect with Colorado residents who embrace health and wellness, making this amenity the perfect addition to The Henry.

It’s easy for apartment developers to get caught up in the top, must-have amenities. Still, it is crucial to look beyond what is typical, identify the essence of the local area, and cater to prospective renters’ lifestyles.

Apartments are only one piece of the rental puzzle that we are tracking. We have featured six other build-to-rent (BTR) projects on DesignLens and conducted a first-of-its-kind Build-to-Rent Tenant Survey, analyzing what BTR tenants value in home, community, and amenity design. For more information on rental trends we are seeing, contact Anja Seng.