Hot new property: the pickleball court

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A golf course is so yesterday: The thing to have if you’re building a new luxury real estate development is a pickleball court, Architectural Digest reports.

Why is this important: When prominent high-end architects and developers jump on a consumer lifestyle trend, it’s likely to stick around and attract big bucks.

Driving the news: Luxury real estate developers in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico can’t build pickleball courts fast enough, Architectural Digest said.

  • “Ten years ago, golf was a key asset in driving residential sales, especially when it came to vacation homes, but lately buyers are more drawn to pickleball,” according to Architectural Digest.

The big picture: Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America for the second year in a row, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2022 Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report.

  • USA Pickleball, the sport’s governing body, said that 4.8 million Americans now play the sport – a mix of tennis, badminton and ping-pong – for a growth rate of 39.3% over the past two years.
  • The pandemic has accelerated the sport’s popularity.
  • “It’s crazy, where all of a sudden people are putting up courts in their driveways,” USA Pickleball CEO Stu Upson told Axios.

Details: The pickleball court building trend is being embraced by both luxury residential developers and resort builders – as well as homeowners associations and local municipal recreation departments, who are creating land right and to the left.

  • Luxury real estate developer Discovery Land Company “is leading the charge and offering pickleball courts at each of its 26 properties,” says Architectural Digest.
  • “The game has been so popular that Discovery is currently doubling the number of lots in many of its locations, but the additions still won’t be enough to meet owner demand, according to company founder Mike Meldman.”
  • Meldman told AD, “The great thing about this game is that it appeals to people of all ages and it doesn’t require skill or athleticism. It’s easy to play but has a steep learning curve, which always makes it difficult as skills improve. It’s also a great workout.

Premium: The pickleball court at The Standard Residences in Miami was designed by architecture firm Urban Robot and “doubles as a dance floor complete with a disco ball and disco lights,” according to Architectural Digest.

Go deeper: Pandemic-era hot sport: Pickleball

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