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Condos push add-on rooms as more buyers seek a space apart (Crain's Detroit Business)

October 29, 2021

Condos push add-on rooms as more buyers seek a space apart (Crain's Detroit Business)

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Darian Neubecker sees the benefits. Neubecker, the senior vice president of Robertson Homes, said people who don't need a large office space and might benefit from both having separation from their homes and being close to them while they work could be takers.

"Young children can be a distraction at times, but it's the best of both worlds if you're not hopping in the car and driving 20 minutes," he said. "Certainly, any time you give a resident spaces with options for uses, it's well-received."

Neubecker said in recent years, his townhouses have had a 10-by-13 room in front of the garage that comes unfinished — buyers can use it for storage, or can finish it out as a Zoom room, or for other purposes. Now, he said, nearly everyone is finishing the space, which costs an additional $7,000. Neubecker estimates almost 200 such rooms have been built across Southeast Michigan.

But it's harder in a vertical building, like a condo development, where the walls are defined, he said.

"You're creatively using space and getting value for that," he said. "The trend for flexibility in design is going on and accelerating now."

The appeal is also apparent to Seth Herkowitz, a partner at the builder Hunter Pasteur. The CODA rooms are a couple of hundred feet away, sometimes on another floor. Herkowitz said as people have rethought the functionality of their homes since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it makes sense that a nearby, detached space would have some allure.

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