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Must-have condo amenities sometimes just for show

November 12, 2018

Randall Davis said he spent a couple million dollars on the lobby and over-the-top amenities in Arabella, his luxury high-rise opening this week in the Galleria area.

But how many will residents will use the 9th-floor swimming pool, its flowy white cabanas and adjacent catering kitchen? Probably very few. How about the fitness room with its designer carpet and faux gold brick wall? Hardly at all.

Even if they don’t use the pricey perks, residents want them there, said Davis, one of Arabella’s developers. They like showing them off and telling their friends about them.

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Houstonians who can afford a million-dollar condo and care about fitness are likely members of one of Houston’s upscale health clubs. And why would a resident use the swimming pool that’s open to the entire building, when they could splash around in a private pool on the balcony of their penthouse unit (Arabella has 10)?

So why bother with the wine storage, the card room and the indoor pool?

“You have to have the amenities to compete, so I try and do my group of amenities better than everybody else’s -- more over the top, better finishes, more spectacular,” Davis said. “That’s always my objective.”

nancy.sarnoff@chron.com

twitter.com/nsarnoff

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