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Family-Friendly Building Amenities

Family-Friendly Building Amenities – Parents’ Wish List


The following is a working draft list of family-friendly building amenities put together by Parents for a Better Downtown Seattle (PBDS). PBDS is currently in the process updating and expanding this list so stay tuned for updates.


Consolidate units and common area amenities designed for families to the same floors, where practical. Families like to be near each other, so that kids can safely visit their friends’ homes and play in the common areas without leaving their floor. Families will also not be bothered by children’s noise and can more easily support each other when they live on the same floor.


  1. Two bedrooms units are okay for families with two or more children, particularly when the children are young. But, three bedrooms units are much better.

  2. Large master bedrooms are a waste of space. It would be better to have two or more decent size bedrooms. If families are going to stay long-term, all bedrooms need to be large enough to be functional for older children, who typically require more room.

  3. Two bathrooms and a water heater that can handle 2 or more showers in row is important. One of the bathrooms should contain a bathtub and be large enough to allow parental supervision.


  1. Bulk storage space located near the entry of the unit is critical for storing strollers, large toys, and other items that single-family homeowners would typically store in the garage or basement.

  2. Large storage units outside the unit are vital. No such thing as too much storage.

  3. Secure bike storage, preferably with enough room for bike trailers.

Unit Features

  1. Decks or any type of private outdoor space designed to prevent falling.

  2. A non-carpeted entry area where parents can pull off wet jackets and muddy boots.

  3. Soundproofing between units, and bedrooms not adjacent to living rooms because of noise.

  4. Open layout, so supervision is easy, especially between kitchen and living area. Ideally with counter height (not bar height) eating spaces in or near the kitchen.

  5. Windows designed to prevent falling when open. Child-safe window locks.

  6. Washers and dryers in the unit or a laundry facility that faces out on a playground or other family amenity, so that parents can supervise their children if in-unit laundry isn't provided.

  7. Units designed with visibility to common area play spaces, indoor or outdoor, to allow for easy supervision.

Common Areas

  1. Design corridors to acknowledge that children will play in them. Wide corridors are safer because they permit people to circulate past strollers or wheeled toys parked temporarily in the hall.

  2. Outdoor play spaces are highly desired by downtown parents. Ideally, there would be separate play spaces designed to appeal to preschoolers and older children.

  3. Rooftop play spaces should be designed to eliminate the risk of falling. Ground floor play spaces should be separated from the public for safety.

  4. Common area play room. These can be built in lieu of a business centers or other amenities that are hardly used.

  5. Locate an indoor play area inside the gym, so parents can work out while supervising their kids.

  6. Additional child-friendly play amenities include pools, squash courts, and other areas where kids can kick balls, ride bikes, play basketball etc.

#safety #housing

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