Carving Out Outdoor Space

July 2021

Outdoor space has always been a desirable amenity in high-rise communities with the pandemic increasing its importance and desirability.  Communities with common area outdoor spaces offer more options and flexibility.  Walking paths, swimming pool, gardens and seating are just a few of the available options.

A balcony or small terrace can offer quiet enjoyment and increase property value.

Buildings cannot easily incorporate balconies or individual terraces if not initially built with them.  Owners may not have purchased units with outdoor space because of additional cost.  Fortunately, most buildings can find additional outdoor space for residents to utilize in good weather.

The roof surface, while providing protection against the elements, often goes unused.  It can be expensive to convert the space for resident use but is a good option where ground-level space is unavailable.  Even when ground-level space is available, the roof option can offer more direct sunlight for longer periods of the day.  A roof can accommodate a range of amenities inclusive of a roof garden, walking area, seating and barbecues.

At ground level, paved spaces can be dug up to incorporate greenery or gardens.  Potted plants are an option.  Benches and tables allow people to sit outside and eat or talk.  An unused portion of a parking area can be turned into a playground or quiet area.  An unused tennis court can be converted to an outdoor seating and eating area.

The pandemic has spurred renewed interest in outdoor spaces which can take years to fund and develop.  Time will tell if enlightened condo boards respond.