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Where Dogs Rule the Roost

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Where Dogs Rule the Roost


Luxury buildings in New York City have created an ever-lengthening check list in their amenities arm race. Child's playroom? Check. Roof deck? Yes. Fitness center? Definitely.

But a growing number of developers and real estate agents say there is a new must-have service—and it caters to tenants with four legs.

Dog owners, once reviled by boards who feared building damage, incessant barking and even bites, are now being courted by developers who promise everything from on-site dog runs, spas and day cares to pet concierges available to arrange for a pooch's every desire.

"More and more of our residents have dogs and treat them as their own kids," said Jamie Kaufman, the manager of the concierge and amenity program at Rose Associates.

Later this summer, Rose Associates will unveil a concierge program in an initial 20 properties across the city that includes a partnership with the Spot Experience, a growing dog services provider with four locations in the city.

Residents will be able to arrange for drop-off and pick-up service at their apartments, home training sessions and priority access to Spot's other services, including anesthesia-free dental work.

Membership fees, normally $200, will be waived for residents, who will also receive a 20% discount on services.

"We just find it's the next step in offering amenities," Ms. Kaufman said. "It is a shift."

The partnership is a smart solution for buildings that have limited space on-site but want to broaden their potential resident pool, said Spot owner and founder Mitch Marrow.

"I think people have figured out that first and foremost if you exclude pet owners, you're excluding a large number of high net-worth people and prospective buyers," Mr. Marrow said.

No official count exists for the number of dogs in New York City; though 97,568 dogs were licensed with the Health Department in 2011, dog groups put the number closer to 1.4 million.

"These dog amenities are just the next evolution," said Robert Marino, president of NYCdog, a coalition of about 60 dog groups in the city.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303753904577454780835071746.html

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