HOA Common Space ideas
HOAs are being built that are essentially their own communities with grocery stores, boutiques, restaurants, and schools. They tend to have plenty of parks and activities that people enjoy that help shape that community. That common space is valuable, and it needs to work well for the community and the demographic that it is catering to. Adding parks and communal spaces can also be costly, so ensuring that the community is doing things that will be an asset to many and last through trends is key. Older Homeowner’s Associations need to occasionally evaluate the community spaces that are existing and upgrade or switch gears as the community ages and popular trends shift. Demographics of communities also change, which may shift what the community residents tend to utilize. Below is a snapshot of ideas that communities may consider integrating that may be beneficial to residents and can transition through the years.
Community hot spots:
These hot spots can be used to relax on a nice day, host art classes, wine tastings, yoga classes, food trucks, live music or DJs, farmers markets, and craft fairs. They should incorporate some shade areas with a pergola or shelter and maybe even a stage and dance floor. Lighting is key so the space can be used at night as well. Planning these hots spots should include the ability for them to be used for many different activities so they can evolve with the community. Seating areas, lawn space, and nice landscaping will draw people in. The activities will create a sense of community.
Fun and games:
Creating areas where people can have fun is a great idea. These areas, once built, can be modular for the future. Corn Hole, horseshoes, large chess boards or checkerboards, and Connect Four boards are great games right now. Once the area that houses these games is built, adjusting the games with the times and the demographic is easier. All of these can be played on lawn areas, or a concrete pad can be added to make the area more defined and accessible.
These are huge assets for communities. Making them easily accessible and comfortable is important to make sure they are used. Adding benches, a place to get water for dogs and humans, and plenty of waste stations make these more popular. Fenced-in dog parks are great so people can let their dogs run free and do it safely. There are many add-ons that dogs enjoy that can be added, such as things to jump over and through, teeter totters, and weave posts. These dog parks are no longer just lawn areas, they can be as intricate as a children’s playground.
Fire features are being added to common spaces more often recently. These fire pits can be gas-fueled and on a timer, so they shut off after a pre-set amount of time. This helps keep costs down and is much safer than in the past. They can even require a key fob to operate if that works best for the community. These are great gathering places for residents of all ages. Add plenty of seating and string lights to make it comfortable and beautiful. HOA’s can even add a screen so they can use it to host movie nights by the fire.
These have always been popular, but what children’s parks offer has changed through the years. They are much more interactive and safer than they once were. Having playground equipment that is inclusive for kids with disabilities should be considered. A wide range of themes can also draw families to a playground. Options include space, transportation, pirates, and castles. The sky is the limit when searching for play structures that fit a theme. Anything interactive is a hit. There are companies that provide technology pillars and arches that play music or have memory games that are truly interesting. We can expect to see more of these types of technology items in the future.
A community garden is a nice idea for a small common space. Planting fruit trees, fruiting bushes, and raised garden beds for the community to work together to cultivate may be a great idea if there is enough interest. Getting a feel for if there are residents that have the know-how and time to work in a garden will be important for its success. A committee that oversees an area like this and has clear rules may be necessary. This may be a more popular idea in townhome communities.
Many community parks include art installations that draw attention and add to the experience. Whether it is a painting of wings on a wall for great Instagram photos, to interactive art pieces that encourage kids to play and enjoy, art pieces can add interest to a community space. Connecting people to art is valuable as it can help educate, open minds, and provide inspiration. Supporting local artists can also be a plus to encourage a sense of community.
Outdoor fitness areas have become popular in the last few years. Studies have shown that helps reduce anxiety, make workouts more enjoyable, and help people connect with nature. This could be a park dedicated to fitness for adults with climbing walls, pull-up bars, and dip stations. Adding walking and bike trails in a neighborhood is another great fitness idea that is value-added. Adding fitness equipment along the trail is even better to get people moving. Another step the residents may enjoy is adding benches, water fountains, and hand sanitizer.
These ideas could be retrofitted or added to an HOA’s space to bring value to the community in positive ways and help residents feel connected and happy.