Are you the type who enjoys a bird’s-eye view or do you prefer to keep your feet rooted closer to the ground? If you’re looking for a new condo home, location is probably still the most important deciding factor, but personality and lifestyle should also play a role in determining which type of building you choose to live in.
High-rises are gaining popularity in more urban areas of the city, like Clayton and the Central West End. “They are definitely for a more active lifestyle, and our residents come from all across the board: younger professionals to empty-nesters,” says Ellen Reid, director of sales and marketing for Trianon condos in Clayton. She says the 26-story Trianon, with residences on the 10th floor and above, will not only allow homeowners to take advantage of the spectacular vistas, but also give them access to the building’s amenities. “They like having resources within the building and at their fingertips,” Reid says.
Amenities include a pool and terrace area, fitness center and dry cleaning services on site. “The height of the building is utilized by having all these amenities under one roof,” she says, adding that above-ground parking, high speed elevators and other features minimize the time element associated with getting in and out of a high-rise.
Reid says while residents value their privacy, they also enjoy the benefits of living in a vertical community. “They’re aware they’re moving into a large building, but they don’t want to feel closed in,” she says, adding that’s why architectural details are so important in a high-rise. “We have floor-to-ceiling glass windows to allow natural light in, and sound-proof walls between units for peace and quiet.”
For those who envision themselves enjoying an urban lifestyle, but not necessarily with all the socialization a large building community entails, a mid-rise building might be preferable. Robert Kramer, co-partner at RJ York Development, says communities like Clayton Park Place are perfect for those moving out of traditional homes. “It offers them privacy, yet Clayton is at their doorstep.”
Occupancy at the mid-rise Clayton Park Place condominiums begins later this year. Adjacent to Shaw Park, the building’s location is one of the draws for prospective residents, Kramer says. “The units have terraces overlooking the park,” he notes. “We have a lot of empty-nesters who are moving out of their homes after 20 to 30 years. We’ve designed our units in a way that allows them to handle that change easier.” He says privacy features attractive to those moving from single-dwelling homes include having no more than two units per floor, semi-private elevators, and an all-steel and concrete building to allow the highest level of sound-proofing.
While the maintenance-free lifestyle of a community is an attraction for many, some still enjoy having their own front lawn and garage. For them, villas or attached home communities low to the ground, like the new Ladue Court, might be the best fit. “Just like condos, everything is maintained on the exterior, we cut lawns, do landscaping, even clean windows on the outside,” says Stan Dveris, co-owner of Dveris/Maynes Custom Homes. “But our homes have everything a private home does, including a half-acre lawn and a driveway that comes around the side.” He says privacy is also enhanced by solid, insulated brick walls.
Move-in date for Ladue Court takes place in about nine months. Made up of 10 attached luxury homes, it is located on Ladue Road, just west of Lindbergh Boulevard. “It’s still in the center of everything, but it makes people feel like they’re back in their home in the suburbs,” Dveris says. He adds that Ladue Court’s immediate access outside and in is another important feature. “You can come out of your front door and walk right onto the lawn, and six of our 10 lots have walkout basements. Our residents like the fact that they can sit in their yard and have a barbecue.”