Luxury Institute CEO Milton Pedraza on Condo Amenity Trends in 2023

By Published On: August 29, 20225.5 min read

There are luxury towers, and then there are ultra-luxe towers for ultra high net worth individuals. These ultra-luxe amenities have to be spectacular. Otherwise wealthy buyers won’t come knocking, and today, there’s so much competition within the luxury market.

With the rise of luxury condo towers that are opening, from brands like St. Regis Residencies, the Porsche Tower, the Aston Martin tower in Miami, and forthcoming towers from the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, as well as Mandarin Oriental Residencies, it’s more than living spaces. It’s about the on-site amenities, which include spas, office spaces, private members clubs, and more.

Milton Pedraza, the CEO of the Luxury Institute, a research and training firm centered around luxury products, services and brands, releases a report every quarter on how the luxury landscape is changing, from shopping habits to real estate trends. Their latest paper is a summary on how ultra high net worth families are living and working.

One key priority is their needs for privacy and security. They want to spend more time at home and, in turn, depend on their community or immediate environment to socialize. Their living spaces are being optimized for smart appliances, and some have next-level amenities — like how the Porsche Tower in Miami has a parking garage on the 50th floor.

“The Porsche Tower is really the only building that I’ve found that you can have an apartment the size of a house overlooking the ocean, with a swimming pool on the balcony and a garage in your living room,” one resident, Joey Goldman, co-chair of Miami-based Goldman Properties, recently told Barron’s.

“My wife and I can go out for dinner with our daughter. She can fall asleep in the car. We drive home, push a button, the car elevator takes us up to the 50th floor, and we can just carry our daughter straight into bed,” he explained. “You get to live in a beautiful high security, high rise building, but it’s like you have a garage as if you’re on the ground floor.”

More and more wealthy individuals are depending on the private club model — from the country club to golf clubs, but also members clubs in condos — to socialize.

“As ultra high net worth individuals and families’ values and priorities continue to evolve, so do the roles of their trusted advisors,” said Milton Pedraza, the CEO of the Luxury Institute. “More than ever, UHNWs across generations are looking for advisors who not only have exceptional expertise in their craft, but are, above and beyond, human beings in terms of their personal values and how they nurture, are their caretakers, and advisors. Luxury Institute’s expanding UHNW network allows us to gain close insight into the lives of these individuals and families. Ultimately, UHNWs are looking for great human beings who treat them as human beings.”

Pedraza spoke to Leverage.com about ultra high net worth individuals and how they live, and why office space and wellness in luxury towers is the future.

Leverage.com: Why are offices in luxury towers becoming an increasingly popular amenity?

Milton Pedraza: You have people who don’t go to the office as often, so now, luxury buildings are starting to implement that, and say ‘we need to create a luxury WeWork.’ Of course, Saks has SaksWorks, an over-the-top working experience with a phenomenal aesthetic, great views and fantastic furniture, with the latest technology. You can invite guests to the building, who are wowed by the views and the office. Whether it’s in Manhattan or San Francisco, all these spaces need to have complimentary workspaces. They all have to be top tier.

Why do high net worth individuals want to work in the offices in their luxury buildings? Some might find that to be a surprise.

Something else people have to factor in is that affluent, wealthy people are genuinely lonely. They’re not going to the office as often, and they want to meet other people of their same ilk. New York can be anonymous. One of the trends we found in our research is that wealthy people want to meet other wealthy people to co-invest or network. It’s a tribal thing. These buildings empower that kind of interaction. They’re also your neighbors, or their guests. It’s all safe and convenient.

It has to be like the club floors of the Ritz Carlton, but ten times better. You can go to the office in your luxury tower and feel like you went somewhere, then go home. That’s what people are looking for. It’s mostly about community — luxury buildings are trying to build community, not amenities. It’s about coworking, playing, and spa rooms.

Why are there more private members clubs opening in luxury condo towers?

The clubs are there because you do want others to come, they’re still wealthy people. Think about Central Park West, they’re all new buildings, they don’t have that. you build a tower and have a membership club, so these new, more modern buildings will open themselves to people on Park Avenue, people who own townhouses, who come to the private members club in a luxury tower that’s nearby, because they’re looking for community with other wealthy people and they’re of the same ilk. The prices will reflect that.

What are some of the trends we can expect to see at luxury buildings in 2023?

There will be more wellness centers in luxury buildings because they have become key to building a space that coincides with office spaces. More technology is being based around work, wellness, health care and longevity. The things that help your body, so you not only live longer but healthier.

In our research, we have found people from 55 to 90 are still doing philanthropic and for-profit work. They don’t want to leave their building until they absolutely have to. Nobody wants to go into assisted communities. How can we bring the most of that into buildings, without it looking like a geriatric center? Luxury longevity. It’s emerging as a category. Seniors don’t want to relocate, it’s because of staffing and with ultra-high net individuals being able to afford many things, you can get out of a bed with a machine from Japan, to help lift you.

The progression of more benefits in the healthcare arena is something that others can share. Even having your dermatologist, who does your Botox, injections, or fillers, can come treat you at the spa inside your building downstairs.

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