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Lux living: Apartments continue to raise the lifestyle bar

The kitchens at The Retreat include easy-to-clean subway tile. Alan Kasin of Notion Media / Special to The Forum 1 / 2
Residents at The Retreat at Urban Plains have access to community spaces like this billiards room. Alan Kasin of Notion Media / Special to The Forum 2 / 2

FARGO — Local apartment complexes are adding more amenities to match their residents' lifestyle and meet the demands of a growing rental market. As people downsize and move from a house to an apartment, they find that these added amenities may be better than owning a home. People are choosing to stay in apartments longer and homeownership is at a record low, according to a 2016 article by Bloomberg.

One local resident Tom Jablonsky sold his home 10 months ago and moved into Stone West Village located at 1632 51st St. He first moved into his spacious one bedroom in the luxury apartment building because he planned to move out of state. Now, he is rethinking his decision.

"I was planning on leaving in May; however, one of the factors in changing my mind to stay is the living conditions here as it is perfect for my needs," he says.

Jablonsky is not the exception; he is fast becoming the rule, Property management companies like Skaff Apartment and Lux Communities are taking note and developing more buildings with business spaces, ample courtyards, fitness centers, game rooms, billiards, extra guest rooms for extended family visits and even amenities just for the family pet.

"Our Encore building was the first to open in the market with a dog spa. It is a full-service station where residents can bathe and groom their pet," Donna Block, vice president of Lux Communities, says.

The first Encore building located at 4974 30th Ave. S opened in August 2016 and the second Encore building located at 4920 30th Ave S. opened in January this year.

Lime 300, another building managed by Lux Communities set to open in August, will include a rooftop dog run with astroturf and irrigation system so renters won't have to leave

"to let their dog out."

Location remains a major factor when people consider where to live. Property management companies are enhancing each building's location by crafting community spaces for both and outside and inside an apartment.

"The Retreat at Urban Plains creates a sense of community with a large lobby space, free coffee bar and outdoor fire pit," Block says.

Located at 5000 28th Ave. S, The Retreat at Urban Plains includes public gazebos and playgrounds. Spaces inside The Retreat were designed with features like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, tile bathrooms and tile backsplashes in the kitchen.

Different ages different lifestyle needs, all value flexibility

Each different age group, young adults, middle-aged and seniors, transition into apartments because of specific lifestyle needs. Some middle-aged renters are motivated by economic reasons.

"I sold my house due to the sellers' market in the area, and I was planning on leaving the state within the year, so moving to an apartment would be easier to pick up and leave," Tom Jablonsky, says, a 48-year-old renter at Stone West Village.

Young adults, like their middle-aged counterparts, are looking for mobility. One 21-year-old resident at The Retreat at Urban Plains said she chose her one bedroom for the additional features like the workout area and foosball game. Like Jablonsky, she choose an apartment because she wanted to keep her moving options open.

"I don't know where I will be in a few years, and needed something with a short-term commitment," she says.

The senior community and empty nesters are also looking for flexibility as they take their time downsizing.

"When my wife and I both retired, we went to Florida and bought a small home there but only for the winter months. We also camped for a while in Detroit Lakes and then we lived in a townhouse for a couple of years," says 87-year-old Doug Odegaard, resident of CHI Riverview, a local senior living community.

Odegaard only moved into CHI Riverview full time five years ago because of the senior living community's extra living spaces like the outdoor courtyards, large gathering rooms and warm water pool.

Pat Beckman, 89-year-old resident of CHI Riverview moved into the senior living community in September 2016. Like Odegaard, Beckman moved into a senior living community while downsizing her house of more than 50 years North Fargo.

Her husband still currently lives there as they manage their time between their home and CHI Riverview. Both Beckman and Odegaard ultimately settled on CHI Riverview because it offers independent living mixed with community living features.

"We have our privacy but all the community we could want through the available amenities and social activities," Beckman says.

April Knutson

April Knutson is lifestyle-focused journalist producing stories for the Forum News Service about people, health, community issues, and services. She earned her degree in both English Literature and Mass Communications. After working as a digital marketing specialist and web design consultant for a few years, she joined Forum Communications in 2015. She grew up on a farm near Volga, S.D. Follow her on Twitter @april_knutson.

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