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Re: New York Times: Breaking the Ice, by Design (The Social Saffron - Newark Ave & 1st)
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I think that the typical routine would be for one of you to sell...at half of what you paid for the apartment.

I met the love of my life, my darling Babaghanouj, at just such a gathering. Skin as soft as firni but a passion like Vindaloo.


So the gist is that you should spend a half million on an apartment and the realty company (whom you will be paying monthly) will treat you to a MIXER? Gosh, who could resist.

Posted on: 2010/2/15 16:18
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Re: New York Times: Breaking the Ice, by Design (The Social Saffron - Newark Ave & 1st)
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Let's say you do hook up/date someone for a while that you meet at your residence? If the relationship doesn't work out, you still have to live in the same building as your ex. blech.

Posted on: 2010/2/13 16:43
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New York Times: Breaking the Ice, by Design (The Social Saffron - Newark Ave & 1st)
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Breaking the Ice, by Design

New York Times
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
Published: February 10, 2010

EARLIER this month, the W Hoboken Hotel and condominium tower offered itself as a host location for a speed-dating event that drew almost 400 would-be sweethearts — a number to be recorded by Guinness World Records, according to its organizers.

The record is for size of a speed-dating event. But if there were a category for, say, Best Use of Real Estate to Promote Matchmaking, or Most Creative Use of Amenities to Foster Relationships, the event would no doubt be a contender, too.

Although not necessarily a shoo-in. These days, it seems that all sorts of residential complexes are being designed so that relationship-building is more or less part of the infrastructure.

“Everything at the Saffron is set up to foster a sense of community,” said James Caulfield, whose company, the Fields Development Group, recently opened a 76-unit condominium complex by that name in Jersey City that is attracting mostly young and single residents. “That could mean romance, or simply friendships,” Mr. Caulfield said, “but we want to allow people to take part in each other’s lives, and have a sense of neighborhood, and being at home, when they walk in the door.”

The Saffron not only has a central courtyard with benches, for casual mingling, but also a top-floor community room that includes extra-large washers and dryers. “We encourage residents to go up there to do weekend loads that may be too bulky for the smaller units in their apartments,” Mr. Caulfield said, “and they can just hang out there.”

The community area opens to a rooftop deck, and it also offers several shower stalls for use after sunbathing.

These amenities can serve as ice-breakers even for shy people, Mr. Caulfield said, echoing managers at some other properties. “Sometimes we have single people who come to the open houses with their parents, and then when they move in, it’s like they’re being dropped off all alone at college,” he said. “But we’ve seen it over and over: people might keep to themselves for a while, but if just one person catches their eye, and says, ‘Oh, hi, I live in No. 321,’ it is the start of people feeling at home.”

At the three New Jersey extended-stay communities known as AVE, which offer furnished and unfurnished apartments with hotel-style service, most of the residents move in at “flux points” in their lives, said Lea Ann Welsh, the president at Korman Communities. Because of that, she said, the goal is never to have people feel they have to enter a room alone if they don’t want to.

Ms. Welsh, who developed the AVE concept for Korman Communities, and oversees the communities in West Orange, Clifton and Somerset, said she sometimes personally escorted new residents who might be feeling a “little shaky” into the weekly Friday night reception or the monthly themed dinner party at the communities.

“Often,” she said, “people come to us who are in fragile situations — many of them just divorced, or maybe just transferred here for work, in a place where they don’t know anyone, and it’s certainly going to be less uncomfortable if they are greeted warmly by our staff.”

Once they do get comfortable, the “romance bug” bites quite a few, she said — including a man and woman at the Clifton AVE, who recently started seeing each other after, well, seeing each other at the gym, beside the pool, at the cafe where breakfasts are served and at the laptops in the business center.

“We had a lot of relationships that get taken to the next level,” Ms. Welsh said, meaning that two one-bedroom types are sometimes known to move into a two-bedroom place together. She spoke of a couple who met several years ago at the Somerset AVE after he was transferred by a large financial firm to work in Manhattan, and met her, recently divorced and living there with two children.

The couple are now married and have built their own home, Ms. Welsh said.

Ronald S. Ladell, the vice president for development at AvalonBay Communities, another developer of “relationship-building” rental communities, acknowledged, “It certainly isn’t like it was when I rented in New Jersey 30 years ago,” adding: “That was the day of two-story brick garden apartments. I never knew my neighbors’ names — never mind taking a walk, or breaking bread together.”

Today, he said, the most popular places for people to meet or mingle at AvalonBay’s various suburban complexes around the state are at the dog runs, which offer benches for the humans — or else the outdoor “cucina” cooking areas and rooftop decks.

“Suburban people want the ability to interact with each other just like urban people do,” Mr. Ladell said, “and we try to provide the facilities for that.” AvalonBay has woodsy complexes in Lawrenceville and Tinton Falls, among other suburban communities, and is building a 180-unit complex in West Long Branch, near the Jersey Shore.

At the Jefferson, a modestly priced condo complex developed by American Properties Realty in the Princeton suburb of Ewing, Stefanie Soden and Steve Neuhof, both 27, moved in together last summer — but said they had chosen the building because it offered the chance to feel “rapport” with other residents.

They often meet people when walking their beagles on the wooded paths, Mr. Neuhof said.

O’Ryan and Sarai Goring, another couple at the Jefferson, said they attended a gathering for new homeowners at the community’s clubhouse and were delighted to fall into “instant friendships” with several other young couples. They made plans for future get-togethers at one another’s apartments.

Posted on: 2010/2/13 13:39
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