2022 has been a strong year for leasing so far, according to Downtown Apartment Company. Contributing to the appeal of apartment living is a dynamic mix of residential amenities that are becoming a bigger selling point for renters as they use their buildings as both home and office.

While these shared spaces have always been features of property marketing campaigns, doubt was cast on the future of amenities after temporary closures during the early phases of the pandemic and almost two years of social distancing. Developers and operators have not shied away from rich amenity spaces, with many unique spaces coming onto market in new buildings. Let’s take a look at some special spaces:

Chill Studio at Luxe on MadisonFifield Cos.

Chill Studio at Luxe on Madison

Developer Fifield Cos. partnered with Chicago-based Chill, a company specializing in mindfulness and meditation services, to curate the Chill Studio, a dedicated space for residents to engage in mental wellness practices at Luxe on Madison in the West Loop. The Chill Studio features calming lighting and design elements, ergonomic meditation pads, and digital instruction from Chill’s team of trained meditation guides, serving as an ideal respite for work-from-home residents especially.


The Conservatory at Cirrus and CascadeDave Burk

The Conservatory at Cascade

Developer Lendlease, along with partner Magellan Development Group, is ahead of the curve with this biophilic amenity that provides residents of the 503-unit Lakeshore East apartment tower Cascade, and the adjacent Cirrus condominiums, with a nature-filled escape overlooking the development’s publicly accessible Cascade Park. Residents can find respite among an abundance of plant life – think fiddle-leaf figs, shrubs and ferns – even on the coldest winter days.


Optima Lakeview RooftopOptima Inc.

Year-Round Outdoor Amenities at Optima Lakeview

As a firm that develops in both Arizona and Illinois, Optima, Inc. understands the importance of maintaining indoor/outdoor connectivity – specifically, how it can be achieved in two very different climates. Residents will enjoy year-round access to the building’s sky deck, which can be used in all seasons thanks to the installation of extra fire pits, fire tables, heaters and special equipment that keeps the pool and spa operational rain, shine…or snow.


The Cooper at Southbank Shop SpaceLendlease

The Shop Space at The Cooper at Southbank

One of the unique offerings at The Cooper – a 29-story, 452-unit residential tower in Lendlease's Southbank riverfront development – is the “Shop Space.” Intended to promote an active lifestyle within the community, the Shop Space is outfitted with large worktables, sewing machines, easels and a range of supplies that make it easy for residents to let their creativity flow.


Old Town Park Secret RoomDowntown Apartment Company

Secret Karaoke and Gaming Lounge at Old Town Park

One of Chicago’s most unusual amenities is hiding in plain sight at Old Town Park: a secret karaoke and gaming lounge concealed by an oversized swinging bookcase door. The speakeasy-like room, which features a big-screen TV, wet bar, and lounge seating, often gets the biggest reaction during tours, according to the team at Downtown Apartment Company, demonstrating the appeal of one-of-a-kind spaces that renters can’t find anywhere else.