Rooftop improvement, furniture on rooftopIt’s no secret that the housing market in New York is competitive. So to truly set your high-rise apart, we suggest one thing: start at the top.
Your rooftop is an opportunity to bring neighbors together, enhance the visual appeal of your property, and – if activated correctly – a potential revenue source that can bring added income to your association. 
“Urbanites are sophisticated enough to keep their eyes on the rooftop when choosing a place to live,” said Marc Kotler, Senior Vice President of FirstService Residential New York, and a specialist in developer consulting and the management of new construction developments. “A management company that knows how to take advantage of this can create something that’s more than another building amenity – it can transform a property into one’s private oasis.”
To that point, there are ways to enhance the amenities throughout your building (you can see some of them here), but here are a few ideas that focus on the roof.

1. Grills.

Bring a taste of summer with grill stations on your roof. Just remember that proper maintenance is key. The type of grill you install will determine how you maintain it, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Consult your property management company for recommendations based on their experience. 

2. Gardens.

Bring a little green to the scene with a rooftop garden. You can form a gardening committee, or hire a third party consultant to discuss options to install a greenhouse for plants, or go with open rows. Either way, it creates a tranquil spot – and the veggies will taste great. 

3. Fitness elements.

Elevate your workout, in every sense of the word. Rooftop exercise spots are a big draw. Solicit the opinions of your property manager and have a conversation on what appropriate and feasible fitness elements can be incorporated into your rooftop area. Perhaps there is a desire from your residents to host yoga sessions or tai chi classes. Exercise will hardly seem like a chore when you’ve got a great view.

4. Kids’ spot.

A mini park with a playset is a fun destination for tots. It’s also a welcome diversion for parents who need a safe, convenient place to bring the kiddos when they’re bouncing off the walls. Open a dialogue with your management company and apprise yourself with necessary guidelines or procedures that must be implemented in order to achieve a child-safe, rooftop recreational area. 

5. Pet perks.

Is yours an animal friendly building? Do you have residents who want to spoil their four-legged friends? Then create a space for them to run, walk and play. Go with a pet spa for the posh pets in your building. 

6. Cabanas.

Summer shines brighter when you’re in the cool shade of your own private cabana. Perfect your sun-worshipers’ hotspot with comfy lounge chairs. 

7. Meditation garden.

Transport your residents to a place of pure tranquility with beautifully manicured plants, plush seating and a rippling koi pond. For insight into how to accomplish an architectural project of this nature, seek a property management company that is experienced in, or has relationships with, professional project management services. 

8. Green it.

Green roofs – open park space on a rooftop – are not only popular, but they increase property values and enhance the longevity of your roof because the building materials are protected from the elements. They’re also a good insulator and noise reducer. Simultaneously, green roofs decrease temperatures and play an important part in diminishing pollutants from storm water run-off. 
You don’t have to restrict yourself to just one of these choices. Pick a few, and make the ultimate rooftop. No matter what you choose, just be sure your rules are clear. Post them in writing and make sure all residents are familiar with them. If your building permits smoking, be sure to provide ash trays and cigarette butt receptacles to prevent unsightly litter and flammable debris. Otherwise, be clear about your smoking policy. You’ll also want to create a signage program that conveys the regulations concerning pets and age restrictions for children, if they apply. 
The benefits of any of these activations abound. They can serve as great ways to bring people together and create a greater sense of community, giving you a unique place to host meet and greets, throw parties, enjoy seasonal celebrations and much more. What’s more, a great rooftop amenity is a revenue source if you choose to rent the space to residents for private functions. In such situations, make sure you’re clear about the hourly fee, and that you have a firm set of rules and conditions. A knowledgeable and experienced property management company will be able to assist you in the implementation of rooftop rental procedures. 
Ask your residents what kind of rooftop experience they’d like to enjoy. It’s a great way to get new and inventive ideas. Once you get into the design and build process, make sure your property management company is there to partner with you the whole way through. 
For more great rooftop ideas, contact FirstService Residential, New York’s property management leader. 
Monday June 13, 2016