For many urban multifamily residents, the city neighborhood public park has supplanted the back yard of yesteryear. Four seasons a year, the local park provides recreation, whether it’s swimming, cross-country skiing, softball, flag football or more. And unlike backyards, it does so without those enjoying it having to mow, sod or water.
But as common sense surely reminds us, public parks provide a benefit far greater than recreation. Studies have shown a home near green space is linked to myriad positive health outcomes, among them reduced risk of Type II diabetes, heart disease and pre-term births, as well as premature death. Proximity to trees, foliage and green grassy acreage also ushers in lower stress levels, improved sleep and feelings of good health.
In 2016, a Harvard School of Public Health study discovered living near higher levels of green vegetation was associated with decreased mortality, and concluded that green natural environments might be used to help enhance public health.
Developers, buyers and renters of multifamily residences get it, and all overtly seek adjacent green space. That’s true at 1400 West Monroe, a 42-unit boutique, family-friendly condominium community developed by Roslyn, N.Y.-based JK Equities directly across from Chicago’s Skinner Park on the city’s booming Near West Side. The park is a seven-acre green oasis dotted with playing fields, ribboned with tree-lined trails and showcasing a community demonstration garden, playground and picnic grove.
The authors of the Harvard School of Public Health study might well have envisioned a leafy emerald paradise like Skinner Park when they wrote of public parks giving users “opportunities for physical activity,” and helping them “reduce harmful exposures, increase social engagement and improve mental health.”
Jordan Karlik, principal at developer JK Equities, reports 1400 West Monroe’s location across from Skinner Park is “the ultimate amenity” for the condo buyers.
“In addition to the acres of green space and fields that provide a multitude of activities for adults and children, the park also offers a great sense of community. Skinner Park is an extension of the homes at 1400 West Monroe, creating a unique and elevated lifestyle for buyers.”
Hugging the shore
Down in North Miami, Fla. The Shoreline is the first of two apartment buildings to open at the city’s new Sole Mia development, providing residents access to Oleta River State Park, Florida’s largest urban park. The 1,043-acre park is virtually in residents’ figurative backyards, offering them opportunities for paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking and picnicking.
“Sole Mia is setting a high bar for residential amenities with a crystal clear 7-acre swimmable lagoon and access to multiple acres of green parks,” said Richard LeFrak, chairman and CEO of the building’s developer, LeFrak.
Central to health
Manhattanites, of course, have one of the most filmed public park in the world right at their doorstep. It makes sense for that reason that the developers of The Fifth Avenue Condominium, twin buildings occupying both sides of legendary Fifth Avenue, placed the condominium atop Central Park. Entering from Duke Ellington Circle, homeowners at The Fifth Avenue can quickly step into the park to enjoy all it offers. That includes rowing, fishing, beach volleyball, croquet, bird watching, racing model sailboats, skating, jogging, picnicking and enjoying free concerts, to name only a fraction of a very long list.
“Proximity to a park is a noteworthy opportunity to have, and The Fifth Avenue‘s location to one of the most famous parks in the world is unmatched,” says Tamar Kasnow, new development project manager at the building’s developer, MNS. ”A connection with nature and greenery is an increasingly top priority for buyers. This combined with our price point, finishes, and amenities, makes The Fifth Avenue a rarity in Manhattan.”