Since Dandara Living entered the Build to Rent space in 2016, the company has won numerous awards including HomeViews UK number one national management company. Resident wellbeing is a core value, with a focus on outside space, shared community areas, and fitness opportunities. Dandara Living’s Director of Customer Brand & Experience, Juliet Self, explains why it was important to create a premium gym space at it’s Manchester Chapel Wharf Build to Rent development.
Social amenities to create a community
Dandara Living designs, develops, and operates prime residential accommodation in city centre locations, giving people great places to live at affordable prices. Manchester Chapel Wharf contains 995 apartments arranged across four blocks. The development is ranked 2nd (of 49) on independent industry site HomeViews.
It’s easy to see how Dandara Living have prioritised resident physical and mental wellbeing at Chapel Wharf. The apartments feature spacious balconies overlooking green spaces, whilst indoors residents can choose to use shared kitchen spaces for hanging out together. A programme of regular community events, some in collaboration with local partners, ensures residents can tap into a lively social scene where they live.
Creating a gym space to rival commercial options
“Our social spaces are designed to help residents feel as comfortable and relaxed in shared areas as they do in their own apartments,” explained Juliet, who has made a career of customer experience in the leisure industry. “The gym is an extension of this vision.”
Juliet and her team were determined to create a truly premium gym at Chapel Wharf, enabling residents to save time and money by being able to cancel any existing gym membership outside of the development.
“It’s important that this gym design was done right and done well. We wanted to create something meaningful for residents that would encourage active participation and socialising. The combination of design, space, and products in our gym makes it a USP for this development.”Juliet Self, Director of Customer Brand & Experience, Dandara Living
Equipment partners to bring the vision to life
Dandara Living Manchester Chapel Wharf’s gym is set over two floors and exclusively kitted out with Technogym equipment. The ground floor features a large functional zone with a rig, a track and sled, Technogym Skill Tools, and free weights including a Smith machine. On the upper floor there’s a wide range of Technogym strength and cardio equipment, including Technogym Excite Live and Skill Line, overlooking an amazing view of Manchester city centre.
“Technogym products are top quality and user friendly, with such a high level of functionality. By choosing advanced and unique products like Skill Run, Technogym Bike and the digital support of mywellness, we created the experience we wanted for our residents.”Juliet Self, Director of Customer Brand & Experience, Dandara Living
Chapel Wharf’s gym features Technogym Excite Live cardio range, which features QR codes to support users with content, programming, and a seamless fitness journey.
“By partnering with Technogym, we are supporting our residents’ fitness efforts even when they train elsewhere. The connectivity of Technogym equipment and the mywellness platform means residents can have an uninterrupted training experience at any Technogym site.”Juliet Self, Director of Customer Brand & Experience, Dandara Living
Digital connectivity for a 24/7 residents’ gym
Dandara Living opted to use Technogym mywellness as digital support for the resident fitness journey. Every gym user is signed up to the platform, and can use the app to track their progress, book studio classes, and get extra information on how to use each piece of equipment.
Alongside the gym space, Dandara Living partners with local training companies to offer personal training sessions. Technogym mywellness also supports these external partners by offering a joined-up digital journey that users can track on one app.
The studio space offers a vibrant mix of class options including yoga, Pilates, bootcamp, and indoor cycling using Technogym Bike. Residents can choose to attend live classes or enjoy a virtual experience via Technogym mywellness digital content. Dandara Living has the option of creating their own fitness content in the future, but for now they are more than happy with the professional content supplied on the platform by Technogym.
90% uptake across 1000 homes
Juliet says 90% of Chapel Wharf’s residents are now using the 24-hour gym, and the space is never empty. The gym is frequently mentioned in online reviews of the development, and always gets great feedback in Dandara Living’s resident surveys.
“I knew we had to build something really special to enable residents to cancel their commercial gym membership. People are always surprised at the level of equipment we’ve got here. In fact, the gym is often the thing that makes people decide to apply for an apartment.”Juliet Self, Director of Customer Brand & Experience, Dandara Living
Wellness offers that support the future of Build to Rent living
As the way we live continues to change, Build to Rent developments are adapting to offer flexible, hybrid amenities that cater to residents’ needs. Dandara Living’s success proves the importance of customer experience. At Chapel Wharf, the team have created a community where people meet, make friends, and feel at home. The amazing gym space helps them focus on their health and wellness in holistic ways that support the body and mind.
Dandara Living has a number of exciting new projects in the pipeline, and each one will offer a new and special way for residents to get the best out of their home space.