Real Estate

The Sharing Economy Finds Its Way To Luxury Residential

Whether it’s ride-sharing, bike-sharing or even tool sharing at tool lending libraries in cities from Seattle to Baltimore, share and share alike appears an idea whose time has come. In recent years, household names like Lyft, TaskRabbit and Airbnb have enabled consumers to provide underutilized goods or services in exchange for payment.

It figures the latest incarnation of the sharing economy would be witnessed in upscale residential properties, among them several in and around Chicago.

At these apartment and vacation rental properties, folks needn’t worry about having to buy musical instruments when taking lessons. Nor are they forced to consider where to store sizable recreational equipment within a one-car garage. Bikes, boats, kayaks, even musical instruments can be shared via use of community-based rental services.

Case in point: Single-family vacation home and rental community Harbor Club South Haven, along Michigan’s southwestern shoreline, where residents and vacationers can rent golf carts, boats, bikes, kayaks, lily pads, beach chairs, umbrellas and low-speed vehicles. Rentals are provided for a fee through the community’s affiliated firm, Lake Michigan Adventures.

“At Harbor Club, both our homeowners who spend a lot of time here and our vacation renters appreciate the great convenience of renting recreational items from our on-site partner company,” said Scott Sinar, Harbor Club South Haven’s managing partner.

“The wide range of gear available at Lake Michigan Adventures means residents and vacation visitors can easily try something new like enjoying a speed boat or pontoon boat, or even the thrill of driving around town in a low-speed vehicles, all without having to invest in, maintain and store these bulkier and pricey items.”

Borrow bikes

Active residents of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County love the Oak Leaf Trail, delivering 135 miles of trail line for cycling, in-line skating, jogging and walking. Nearly a quarter of the trail ribbons right alongside picturesque Lake Michigan shoreline. Not surprising, then, that a complimentary bike sharing program offered through property manager RMK Management has proven a hit with residents of 42 Hundred on the Lake. The luxury apartment community, situated in the Milwaukee suburb of St. Francis, counts among its residents many motivated to lease because of its proximity of the trail.

The bike share program lets residents avoid having to buy a bike or even fret about maintaining or storing what can be an expensive two-wheeled purchase.

Before unveiling its program at 42 Hundred on the Lake, RMK Management had gained experience operating bike-share programs at other properties. Among them is The Residences at Addison & Clark in Chicago, across Addison Street from iconic Wrigley Field. When gridlock grips streets near the hallowed baseball shine before and after Chicago Cub games, bikes can be among the only ways to get around.

Making the grade

Libraries aren’t the only places unveiling maker spaces. They’re also finding their way into rental and condominium communities, where they allow residents to savor a craft or hobby and share the equipment and storage space with other building residents.

Makers spaces found in apartment community The Cooper at Southbank and condominium community Cirrus, both Chicago residential towers developed by Lendlease, attract residents who are makers or crafters. The spaces are equipped with art tools, easels, work tables and shelves for work to dry.

Cirrus also offers a jam room equipped with electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drum kit, electric bass, piano, amps and microphone. It’s located in an amenities podium – here’s that word again – shared with the adjacent Cascade apartment tower.

The jam room lets residents practice music without their sounds disrupting other residents’ lives. They can also invite in other musically-inclined folks for practice or teaching sessions in a space away from their own dwellings.

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