In many apartment buildings, pets are viewed as valued residents who deserve their own perks — spas, room to run, grooming, toys.
by David Compa
When Andi Appel adopted Bella from a shelter nine years ago, she knew the dog, an Australian cattle dog and Labrador mix, had been abused. So Appel committed to spending the rest of Bella's life keeping her as comfortable as possible. Enter the dog spa and bright green dog run at State & Chestnut, the Gold Coast apartment building where she and Bella moved in 2015. "It's awesome," said Appel, 57, as Bella lapped up greetings and neck rubs from other residents on a recent afternoon. State & Chestnut is one of many apartment buildings boasting increasingly competitive amenities geared away from humans — and toward pets. More than simply being pet-friendly, these buildings treat dogs and cats as valued residents who deserve their own perks — spas, room to run, grooming, toys. "You need to build amenities not only for the human, you need to build them for the family members too," said Elizabeth Williams, vice president of marketing for real estate investment firm Newcastle Limited and its apartment branch Reside Living, whose 39 multifamily buildings range from four to 367 units. Five buildings have dog runs, she said. Amenities for furry friends vary, but many buildings recently installed dog runs. For example, at State & Chestnut, the gated green space occupies a seventh-floor corner near lounge chairs. At Loop building 73 East Lake, which has 332 units, amenities include a pet spa and dog run, complete with red fire hydrants. Near the West Loop, Circa 922 has a dog run on its fourth floor as well as a partnership with a grooming company to pamper building pups. Smaller buildings, too, cater to animals — at 8 East Huron, the 102 units will be accompanied by an outdoor dog run and indoor grooming station when it opens in October. At 75-unit 515 W. Briar — one of Planned Property Management's Lakeview-area buildings — a dog park just for residents is visible from the sidewalk. Amenities at five Planned Property Management buildings, including the one on Briar, include visits from doggie-treat food trucks and free pictures with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. "We believe if you are dog-friendly you should not just tolerate dogs but love them," said PPM marketing