- Definition and characterization
- A small number of floors and, accordingly, apartments
- Prestigious, well-maintained area
- Exclusive project
- High quality building and finishing materials
- Lack of commercial properties
- Unity of interests
- Interesting offers
Among the many offers of the real estate market in Russian cities, there is more and more such an interesting and still unusual phenomenon as “an apartment in a club-type house”. Agree, it sounds very intriguing and immediately attracts attention, distinguishing the ad from the mass of ordinary “housing in a new building” or “apartments from a developer”.
A club is almost always something closed, implying an unification of people according to their interests, an organization where not everyone is accepted, only on recommendation or for special merits. Of course, there are also clubs, of which anyone can become a member, the main thing is to share the interests of other participants..
However, all this refers to the usual associations such as the “Club of Philatelists” or “Cat Lovers”, but not everyone knows what a “Club-type house” or simply a “Clubhouse” is. And developers and realtors themselves often use this characteristic in ads simply in order to have every right to increase the value or attract potential buyers..
Let’s try to figure out what a Club House is, what are its differences from other offers and whether all residential complexes that have received such a high-profile title can actually claim this title.
Definition and characterization
So, as Wikipedia says, the Club House is an elite small apartment building. As you can see, the key word here is precisely “elite”, that is, expensive, prestigious, inaccessible to most ordinary citizens.
But after all, elite real estate is a much broader category than Club-type houses, therefore such residential complexes should have other features, distinctive features and advantages. These main characteristics that distinguish the Club House from other market offerings include:
A small number of floors and, accordingly, apartments
A very important condition that immediately sharply reduces the number of buildings that can be called a Club House. A high-rise of 20 floors, no matter how elite it is, no matter how expensive the repairs in its halls and areas in front of the elevators are, and no matter how attractive its location, it cannot be called a club-type house! A typical Club House is a residential building with a maximum height of five to six floors, and most often only three to four floors, each of which contains two or three apartments. The ideal option is the only apartment that occupies an entire floor and guarantees maximum privacy in the center of a big city. Only such a house can become a real club, all residents of which know each other..
Prestigious, well-maintained area
Today, more and more often, developers call small country mansions with several apartments as club-type houses. However, in order to become truly elite housing, the Club House must be located in an area with an impeccable reputation, developed infrastructure and fairly expensive land. Of course, the historical center of the metropolis can be called an ideal place, but the Club House can also be located in a forested area, on the shore of a reservoir or on the sea coast, while not too far from the main infrastructure facilities – shops, restaurants, and so on..
Each club-type house is a unique phenomenon, built according to an individual architectural project, taking into account not only and not so much the wishes of the developer, but the peculiarities of the area, the surrounding city landscape, and so on. The club house is simply obliged to fit perfectly into the landscape, standing out against the background of the rest of the building only for the better. An exclusive project also implies that each apartment in the Club-type House has its own layout, not like the others, that is, a potential buyer should get a choice of several options, and not necessarily a free layout, just a thoughtful and convenient arrangement of rooms. If an apartment in the Club House is purchased at the construction stage, the future owner gets the right to independently plan how many rooms there will be in his apartment, how they will be located, that is, to take an active part in the creation of the project and its implementation.
High quality building and finishing materials
In principle, this characteristic applies to all elite real estate, and, ideally, is the most important requirement for all residential and commercial buildings, but in the description of the main differences of club-type houses, it is impossible not to mention the desire for natural, expensive materials, since potential buyers pay Special attention. If the buyers themselves can decorate their apartment, guided only by their own taste and imagination, then the arrangement of common areas, exterior and landscape design falls on the shoulders of the developer and must correspond to the high status of the house.
Lack of commercial properties
Unlike most modern new buildings, the first floors of which are traditionally occupied by shops, cafes, beauty salons, and so on, the Club House is exclusively residential, offering only apartments, apartments and, possibly, a penthouse on the top floor. On the one hand, maintaining a beauty salon or boutique in a small apartment building, where there are not so many tenants, is unprofitable from an economic point of view, on the other hand, the inhabitants of the club-type house themselves strive for solitude, so that the flow of visitors “from the street” entering the store located on the basement floor will definitely not please them. This feature implies that the Club House should be located in an area with a developed infrastructure – since it is undesirable and unprofitable to place stores in the building itself, the apartment owners will have to use the nearby facilities.
However, as noted by realtors working with elite real estate, including Club-type houses, most buyers of apartments in such buildings have their own fitness trainer and stylist, they can order groceries from the supermarket with delivery, and dinner from a restaurant, so the presence of a sports and entertainment center in the house for them is rather a minus than an advantage.
The clubhouse should offer its owners maximum comfort. If in an ordinary new building, underground parking offers fewer parking spaces than apartments in a building, then in a club-type house there are at least two, or even better, three, car places for each living space. People here are by no means poor, so two or three cars in a family are more a rule than a rarity. In addition, in the Club House there is a mandatory concierge service, and not always sleeping grandmothers with knitting, but quite adequate young people, a video surveillance system that works around the perimeter and on every floor, as well as security in the parking lot. The infrastructure of a club-type house usually includes a sauna, although a separate apartment can please its owners with its own bathhouse, a pool in the courtyard or in a separate annex, on the ground floor or an exploited roof, as well as recreation areas in the local area, for example, a picnic area with a barbecue , several cozy gazebos and a playground. Also, the infrastructure of the complex may include a fireplace room, a billiard room and a smoking room. Residents often choose what they would like to see in their home, such as a yoga room or a small Victorian movie theater. This choice also testifies to the community of interests of residents and a well-chosen contingent..
In addition, the Club House presupposes the presence of all communications, including cable TV and high-speed Internet, multi-level air conditioning systems and the maximum available autonomy, for example, its own heating system – a mini-boiler room, an artesian well, a separate substation, and so on..
Despite the fact that there are usually not many floors in a building, the presence of silent elevators is mandatory, and in some cases each apartment has its own elevator leading directly from the underground parking.
Unity of interests
And, finally, the most iconic distinguishing feature of the Club House – to buy an apartment here, it is not at all enough to have ten million dollars. The selection of tenants is undoubtedly the most amazing feature of the Club-type House, which, unfortunately, is now far from always being performed by the developer..
To become the owner of an apartment in such an elite residential complex, it is necessary to fill out a detailed questionnaire, which indicates not only the place of work or business, but also interests, hobbies, and hobbies. The questionnaire is checked by the owner of the building and if there is a criminal record or other “dark spots” in the biography, a potential buyer may simply be refused.
In some cases, apartments in Club Houses are bought out immediately by relatives, business partners or top managers of one large corporation. Potential buyers may also be faced with the need to pass an interview, in which not only representatives of the developer or specialized real estate agency will take part, but also future neighbors. Sometimes, if the owners of an apartment move and put up their housing for sale on the secondary market, the new owners need a recommendation from one of the neighbors, so that in this case the apartment does not get into the free sale..
It is worth noting that it is the possibility of choosing neighbors, living next to people of the same social class and approximately the same level of income that makes Club-type Houses especially attractive for buyers of real estate with high status and income. This is the main difference between such residential complexes from the rest of the elite real estate, however, often a developer who wants to quickly sell square meters may neglect the stage of filling out a questionnaire and interviewing. In this case, the Club House, in fact, ceases to be such, turning into one of the many elite, expensive, but open to all residential complexes.
It is very interesting and indicative that few of the residents of the Club House would like to see show business stars, scandalous politicians or former officials as their neighbors..
Their reputation is too ambiguous, there are many spots in their biography and the risk of fans, enemies or dissatisfied people is too great. Inhabitants of closed club buildings value silence and tranquility above all else..
By the way, if the contingent in the Club House has developed successfully, that is, it consists mainly of bankers, famous businessmen, athletes, then the price of an already expensive real estate can grow by 10-15% – you have to pay extra for good neighbors. It is precisely because of the closed nature of sales that it is often quite difficult to find out the average cost per square meter in club-type houses. In general, the price of such apartments is comparable to other elite offers and in Moscow ranges from $ 30,000 to $ 35,000 per square meter. It is very difficult to find an apartment in such a closed club for less than $ 4-5 million in the capital..
The first club-type houses appeared in Russia, of course, in Moscow on the territory of the so-called “Golden Mile”. In the early 2000s, when the reconstruction of the site between Ostozhenka and Prechistenskaya embankment began, preference was given to the Club houses, which ideally fit into the historical appearance of the capital and met all the requirements of closed, elite housing not for everyone in the very center of the city..
Then, before the financial crisis of 2008, apartments in Club-type houses extremely rarely appeared on the open market – they were sold exclusively through specialized agencies. A striking example is the Moscow house “Monolit-Plaza”, where only members of the “Monolith” club could buy an apartment..
The crisis has somewhat reduced the demand for elite real estate, however, interest with the Club Houses remained high and the tendency to construct just such buildings in the historical city centers and in picturesque suburbs with developed infrastructure remained. Today, one of the most interesting Moscow proposals today is called the Club-Type House on Plyushchikha, in Khamovniki. An individual project, Italian marble and precious woods in decoration, a quiet, respectable area – this residential complex meets all the requirements for “housing not for everyone”. Other landmark proposals are Agalarov House on Krasnaya Presnya and Ambassadorial House, the project of which was developed by the Ostozhenka architectural bureau, the building includes 12 apartments.
The club house “Agalarov House” (Crocus Group), built in 1987, consists of only 34 apartments
It should be noted that in Moscow it is not uncommon to find club-type houses, which are located not in new buildings, but in historical, carefully reconstructed buildings. A striking example is the Club House at 4 Varsonofievsky Lane, located in the Meshchansky District of the Central Administrative District of the capital. Gated, guarded courtyard, quiet area, close to museums and monasteries. The price of a five-room apartment with an area of about 230 square meters is more than $ 3 million.
Most of Moscow’s club-type houses are located in the Central District, but there are other proposals, for example, a three-storey residential complex in Meshchersky, designed for only 8 apartments. Near the lake, surrounded by nature and at the same time not too far from the Moscow Ring Road, in the immediate vicinity of the Skolkovo scientists’ camp under construction – a rather interesting option, which, in addition to residential apartments, also offers sauna, swimming pool, parking.
According to the company “Petersburg Real Estate”, in the Northern capital today there are no more than 10 real Club houses, the main highlight of which was not the price, but a special atmosphere. The first club-type house in St. Petersburg was the “Fifth Element”, which was built by the “Stroymontazh” corporation.
Among other small-apartment, elite buildings in St. Petersburg, Stella Maris stands out – only 15 apartments located on the banks of the Malaya Nevka, the building has its own marina, house number 4 on Bolshaya Morskaya Street (near the arch of the General Staff Building), a house on Kamennoostrovsky, 58, including 9 apartments. There is a Club House on Krestovsky Island, but all the apartments in it were purchased immediately by friends and relatives of the investor, so information about the building is closed.
The cost of square meters in the Club Houses of the Northern Capital is slightly lower than in similar Moscow projects, but it still reaches $ 30 thousand per “square”.
Now many club-type houses are being built in Sochi, which is confidently catching up with Moscow in terms of the cost of elite real estate and the number of new buildings. But the Sochi Club Houses are the most democratic option, differing among other offers on the real estate market only in a slightly smaller number of apartments and a higher cost. The selection of tenants here is a rarity; everyone can buy a house. And to create a truly club atmosphere in a building where many residents come only in the summer is quite difficult. Among the most famous elite buildings in the resort capital of Russia, one can single out the “IDEAL House”, which is positioned as the first residential complex on the Black Sea coast from the system of club real estate IDEAL-Club. An apartment with a complex of services of a five-star hotel – this is the level of service provided by Ideal House. But there are too many apartments in this building – the building has a variable number of storeys from 16 to 22 floors, so this project does not fall under the definition of the Club House, despite the developer’s statements.
Stella Maris club house on the bank of the Malaya Nevka in St. Petersburg
There are also small, 3-5-storey low-rise buildings in Sochi, the cost of one square meter in which varies from 3 to 5 thousand dollars, but it is impossible to call these rather attractive offers real Club Houses – the main requirement is not met – a careful selection of future owners.
So, we can conclude that the main difference between a Club house and a simple small apartment house is the concept, the idea. If a strict selection of tenants is not carried out, a small apartment building, albeit very expensive and attractive, will remain so. A club-type house is intimate, closed, a real community of like-minded people.
Many experts note that in Russia there are no real club-type houses at all – there is no relevant legislation, according to which the owners themselves can enter the management company and choose their neighbors, conduct interviews with potential buyers and make other important decisions regarding their home. Yes, Russian brokerage and construction companies also try to “maintain the brand” by conducting face control, but this process is not legally prescribed and is carried out according to the rules and considerations of the investor himself.
At the same time, interest in Club Houses is growing – wealthy people still value comfort, solitude, a select society and a convenient location most of all, and only a club, closed option can provide all this.