Other developers bring their own spiritual practices to their clients. In Columbus, Ohio, Gravity, an expansive new development on 10 acres so far, includes a center for Transcendental Meditation. (Transcendental meditation involves a silent, repeated mantra.) Brett Kaufman, the developer, has been practicing for 20 years, he said.
He described the development as a “conscious community” that pursues a holistic approach to a wellness lifestyle. “The thing about physical health is important – we have gyms, coaches and yoga studios and running clubs,” he said. “But we believe that we have to treat the psychological and spiritual side of things with the same meaning.”
Mr Kaufman said plans also include a location for psychiatrists, therapists and life coaches called Innerspace, a convenient on-site facility for residents that will also be open to the general public. (Gravity has retail space, offices and will have more than 1,000 residential units when completed, including rental apartments and co-living spaces.)
Some developers and real estate agents say wellness messaging is more attractive than ever after the Covid crisis and a year in near isolation. “There is a nationwide discussion about mental health,” said Justin Alvaji, Jardine’s senior community manager. “We wanted our tenants to perceive the building as a place of refuge and wanted to go the extra mile.”
Aree Khodai, a spiritual concierge, said she would work as a liaison and coach for residents of the new program. It is something that she has been doing informally for friends and acquaintances for years and introducing her to various shamans and certified spiritual practitioners whom she knows personally through her work as a yoga teacher and healer.
“We’re tapping into something that’s already happening,” she said. In her previous work, she has connected clients with everything from exercise classes to more eccentric experiences like microdosing mushrooms, which she described as “a journey” with “an intention behind it and a flair for lessons and insights”. (Gardenhouse and several others work with a third party that Ms. Khodai works with to provide the spiritual concierge services.)