Clubhouses are big drawcard

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2012, 12:00am


Homebuyers are being pampered with the ultimate in luxury from developers today, but a distinctive residence requires more than stunning architecture and high-grade interior provisions. Amazing clubhouse facilities and services rank among the top sales weapons for new residential developments.

Developers are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build an opulent clubhouse for large-scale projects. Some may bring in international designers or architectural firms to increase the appeal of their offerings.

Big or small, high-rise residential developments boast a wide range of clubhouse facilities and associated services. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym and function rooms are basic requirements. The bigger clubhouses may include bowling alleys, mini-theatre, spa centre, banquet rooms or private jet and helicopter arrangements.

Well-appointed clubhouses have become a major point of attraction and they are commonly highlighted by developers in the marketing campaigns for property sales.

For instance, Sino Land's The Hermitage development in West Kowloon features a clubhouse with exquisite designs of classical European palaces and all the modern facilities.

Simon Lo, executive director of research and advisory for Asia at Colliers International, says developers are making every effort to differentiate their properties from others in the market and luxurious clubhouse facilities will create additional value and attract buyers.

'Homebuyers are concerned not only about the design and interior offerings of new residential projects,' Lo says. 'A well-appointed clubhouse is something they want.

'It adds a feel of luxury to the project and helps create [the perception of] a privileged lifestyle for residents. Developers may engage overseas designers and architects to make clubhouse facilities more appealing. This trend is to continue.'

Club Bel-Air, the clubhouse of Residence Bel-Air in Pok Fu Lam, is a highly successful example. Created by internationally-known interior designers Hirsch Bedner Associates, the clubhouse boasts a comprehensive range of facilities from all-weather indoor pools to tennis court, billiard room, banquet room and library.

It has introduced a Lifestyle Bonus Scheme for residents, covering premium services such as Sky Club (a private jet and helicopter service), Yacht Club (providing yacht services), Health and Beauty Club, Fine Arts Club showcasing art pieces, Gourmet Club, Entertainment Club, Dream Car Club (providing luxury cars and limousine services), Wine and Cigar Club, and Kids' Club.

Homebuyers are always looking for better quality residences. Modern clubhouses not only offer exclusive facilities and services for the enjoyment of residents, they also raise the profile of a residential development and enhance the value of properties. Also importantly, they create a sense of privilege.

The size of a clubhouse is closely tied to the scale of development in the residential project. A larger project usually comes with a bigger clubhouse.

Until early this year, developers were allowed to incorporate a clubhouse with a size up to five per cent of the gross floor area of a residential development under building concessions.

The extra 5 per cent of floor area for clubhouse facilities could be apportioned as common areas into the gross floor area of residential units, meaning that developers have got more floor space to sell to homebuyers.

This practice was revised by government authorities last year in a bid to encourage developers to be more discriminating in their building designs and to reduce the total impact of such gross floor area concessions on the bulk and height of residential developments.