Clayton on the Park: Where Neighborhood Connectedness Is a Top Amenity

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Imagine your typical weekday morning. You wake up, toss on some clothes and stagger to the kitchen for your morning coffee. Only when you round the corner, instead of reaching for the Chemex coffeemaker, what you find is your favorite brunch spot ever, with all your friends smiling back at you from café tables.

That’s not far from reality for Danny Babitz. As a resident of Clayton on the Park, he often starts his mornings with a short elevator ride down to the Kingside Diner, located right on the second floor of his residential apartment building. “I think I’ve tried every possible combination of ingredients in their omelets by now,” Babitz jokes.

If he feels like taking in some art, he can do it right in the lobby, where the prestigious Anthony Philip Fine Art consultancy displays a rotating selection of locally and nationally famous artists—and there’s a good chance he’ll connect with a few fellow Clayton residents there, too, since the gallery is free and open to the public.

Clayton on the Park: Where Neighborhood Connectedness Is a Top Amenity

After work, if it’s a nice night, he might head up to the rooftop, where chances here, there’s a neighborhood-friendly charity fundraiser going on—maybe for children’s cancer initiative Alex’s Lemonade Stand—or a workout class or a special event celebrating a local brand.

“My family makes fun of me that I don’t ever need to leave my apartment,” Babitz says. “And they’re right, because I don’t.”

Clayton on the Park: Where Neighborhood Connectedness Is a Top Amenity

When luxury high rise residents say things like this, they usually mean that their apartment keeps them in a safe bubble of seclusion: an on-call dry-cleaning valet, an in-building gym, a pet-washing station … the neighborhood they live in a distant place seen from a window. Not for Babitz and his Clayton on the Park neighbors. While the 32-year-old financial services manager does enjoy the fact that he can wander down to the billiards room and get in a round of pool on a lazy weekend afternoon, what he likes even better is the fact that he can invite his neighbors on Bonhomme Avenue to come in and pick up a cue.

Clayton on the Park: Where Neighborhood Connectedness Is a Top Amenity

In crafting its 24-story, 213-unit property across from Shaw Park, KDG (formerly Koman Group) has accomplished something rare: an exclusive upscale living experience that could isolate residents within a cocoon of members-only amenities but instead connects them with neighbors far beyond the doorman’s desk. The secret? The building staff invites non-residents inside, and they do it often. On any given day, a resident might find, say, a trunk show pop-up from an area boutique in the lobby—and if fellow shoppers from the neighborhood show up too, that’s a great chance to socialize and grab some good deals on scarves.

Babitz has embraced his building’s unique status as a community hub. “In the business world, where I work with an extended team, I’m always looking for space to do team events,” he says. “Sometimes we’ll reserve a conference room at Clayton on the Park, or do a lunch meeting at Kingside, or we’ll have a fun team event in the first-floor game room. That’s all available for me to share with my team.” He laughs. “And you can’t beat the commute.”

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