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Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Ask Habitat: Should Our Building Install a Playground?

New York City

July 14, 2014

HABITAT ANSWERS: It can be easy to hear "playground" and immediately think of screaming children outside your window all day, every day, especially in the summer when there's no school to distract them. But a playground may be a wise investment for a building with empty space.

The first and biggest effect this additional amenity will have is on the value of your unit. Playgrounds are an amenity the same way a gym or swimming pool is, and they're increasingly popular with young families buying their first apartment. If you decide to sell, an on-site playground — especially one with new structures — will only be a point in your favor.

Set Rules

Your concern is not misplaced, though: new families mean new children, and potentially noisy ones at that. There are solutions, though, and you can definitely help your board implement them. When creating this space, your board should put together a list of rules and regulations governing the playground; as with any other capital improvement committee, offer to form a committee to share the burden.

In this case, work with your fellow shareholders to put together a set of rules that works for everyone. Understand that there will be children shouting and playing, but set times for the opening and closing of the park. Making sure that everyone understands that no one is allowed in the area, say, before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m., will ensure that residents with windows facing the playground won't be subjected to late night games of Marco Polo outside their bedroom.

Finally, consider this: one can assume that your building already has children, or your board probably would not be considering a playground so seriously. What are they like? If your small neighbors aren't terrorizing you already, there's no reason to assume that they'll change just because they have a new play place. Who knows — maybe a playground will tire them out and keep your hallways quiet! 


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