Death of the balcony: Why an outdoor space of one’s own may soon be a luxury in condoland
Soaring construction costs and a new emphasis on the carbon footprints of buildings are pushing some condo developers in Canada to contemplate what was once unthinkable: eliminating balconies.
While many consider an outdoor space an integral part of high-rise living, Ben Myers, president and owner of Toronto-based real estate advisory firm Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc., said he is getting asked more frequently about the value proposition behind balconies from developers with an eye to either dropping the costly perk or converting the less-lucrative square footage into indoor space, where possible.
“Every developer is looking for ways to, what they call, ‘value engineer’ their projects,” Myers said in an interview, noting that cost inflation and supply chain issues are changing the calculus for builders.
“They’re doing their due diligence. Doesn’t mean that every developer is going to come up with projects without balconies, but they’re certainly investigating whether it makes sense to do it on a few suites or try it on a full building and see what the results are.”
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