From waterfall hot tubs to massage rooms with hot stones: New Charlotte apartment amenities

Pool at Village at Commonwealth
Pool at Village at Commonwealth

A heated saltwater pool, bocce ball court, grills, fire pit, dog park and outdoor TVs? Meh.

New apartment amenities are more deluxe than ever, including multiple dog washes, indoor basketball, hot tubs with waterfall spouts and dedicated massage rooms with hot stones.

The Greater Charlotte Apartment Association held its annual tour of new apartment buildings Tuesday, giving developers the chance to show off their newest buildings. The five apartment buildings we toured ranged from NoDa to Ballantyne, and included a wide range of unit sizes and rents (about $1,000 for a studio in Commonwealth-Morninside to more than $4,100 for a three-bedroom in SouthPark).

What really struck many tour attendees was just how luxurious amenities have gotten in the newest apartment buildings, even compared to buildings from just a few years ago.

As I’ve previously reported, rents in Charlotte are rising fast – almost half of the renters in Mecklenburg County are cost-burdened and spending too much of their incomes on rent, as study last year showed – and most of the new apartments under development are upscale buildings targeting affluent renters.

With more and more high-end apartment units flooding the market chasing the same renters, new amenities offer a way to stand out from the crowd.

Here are five of the amenities that stood out in new buildings:

▪ A dedicated massage room, and dog washes: This is one of the amenities at Encore SouthPark, featuring hot stones. It’s ready for use by a massage therapist, and next to the apartment building’s sauna. The building also features pet washes for furry residents, steel tubs where residents can launder their dogs (a free dog groomer comes once a month as well).

▪ A wine fridge in every apartment: Also at Encore, this feature doesn’t need further explanation. A wine fridge. In. Every. Apartment.

▪ Indoor basketball: Legacy 521 in Ballantyne features an indoor court as part of its gym (one goal, so you’ll have to play half-court ball). No worries about rain or the heat there.

▪ A hot tub with a waterfall spout: The Village at Commonwealth doesn’t just feature a pool. It also has saunas and a hot tub. The latter includes a pair of faucets that splash hot water over the occupants, who can, of course, watch a big-screen TV while relaxing.

▪ Local art for sale: The common areas of Mercury NoDa include artwork displayed from a dozen local artists. You can buy it directly from the artist (prices are listed beside the paintings and wall hangings), so furnishing your apartment with local art doesn’t even require a trip outside your building – though it will set you back several hundred dollars.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo