Introducing the Global Development Report key trends: Wellbeing and the Waldorf Astoria

The first of its kind since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Knight Frank have launched the Global Development Report (GDR), a survey conducted amongst 160 global developers across 22 countries.

The findings from the report reveal that almost six in ten global developers have delayed projects in response to the spread of the virus, as it broke down supply chains and prompted a wholesale rethink of how and where people want to live.

Of those with delayed projects, more than four in ten are now making changes to designs that were once considered complete.

Flora Harley, associate, Knight Frank said: “While it is still too early to confirm the lasting impact of the pandemic on the development landscape, it is clear that it has accelerated pre-existing trends and prompted new ideas for current and future developments.

“The focus on wellbeing and amenities are now becoming increasingly at the top of our buyers’ list of considerations, and as such the level of adoption from developers that previously would have taken years has happened in a few months.”

Yet, what cuts through the findings of the research is the importance of not overreacting to the immediate fallout from the crisis. There is little evidence pointing to the need to design for future lockdowns or specified meterage for social distancing.”

That being said, lockdown and the pandemic have undeniably influenced the results of the survey, in as far as affecting what people will be looking for in their future homes, and consequently the demand that developers will be looking to fulfil.

Of the key development trends highlighted in this survey, wellbeing is perhaps one that most people will already be aware of.

With a heightened awareness of mental and physical health, the wellbeing industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years, growing from a lifestyle movement to an expected part of both commercial and residential infrastructure.

As Maria Morris, Head of Residential, Middle East explains, lockdown has not only served to remind us of the importance of wellbeing within our own homes but has also accelerated this already prominent trend into a priority consideration for buyers:

“The focus on wellbeing and amenities are now increasingly at the top of our buyers’ list of considerations, and as such the level of adoption from developers that previously would have taken years has happened in a few months.

“Wellbeing is now very much at the top of the agenda, and not just gyms and yoga – this is something we found before the pandemic in our Wealth Report and also in our Global Buyer Survey.

“Developments are moving towards that sense of community and how they can improve the whole living experience with a focus on amenities, general wellbeing and lifestyle.”

The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria

An example of this kind of all-encompassing lifestyle and wellbeing-centred development is the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

For the first time in its history, buyers will have the opportunity to own a part of perhaps one of the most iconic addresses in NYC, with 375 branded residences for sale, alongside the same number of rooms within the reimagined hotel.

Homes at The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria will have their own entrance and lifts to ensure total privacy and security for residents, as well as access to outstanding facilities including over 50,000 square-feet of leisure and wellness amenities. Residents will have their own dedicated concierge team and have access to all hotel facilities.

Andrew Miller, CEO of Dajia US, owner and developer of the Waldorf Astoria gives further insight into the wellbeing credentials of this outstanding development

“The redevelopment and restoration of Waldorf Astoria New York is designed to prioritise wellbeing for residents and guests, allowing these condiminiums, with an exceptionally strong global brand, to stand out in this market. All aspects of the property are formulated to elevate lifestyle offerings for residents. From the partnership with the spa and wellness centre of the hotel, to the level of privacy and ease of working from home within these residential amenities.

Each resident can maintain their desired level of privacy with their own Concierge Closet – an integrated vestibule accessible from the inside of the residence and the corridor.

This allows for contactless delivery, be it for room service, dry cleaning or everyday packages. We also have the Empire Club, a private business suite for residents, providing an elegant space to work from home with the option of a private office space, a coworking suite or a formal boardroom.

In times of uncertainty, we gravitate towards the security of brands that we trust and places we know. New York in particular is a global capital and has consistently reaffirmed that position decade after decade. Each set back gives rise to the next cycle of transformation. The city attracts people that thrive on creativity and dynamism and New York will continue to do well into the future.”

For more information and further insight into the future development market, download the Global Development Report today: