How About a Concierge for Your Spiritual Life?


Other developers are bringing their own spiritual practices to their customers. In Columbus, Ohio, Gravity, a sprawling new development on a site with 10 acres so far, includes a Transcendental Meditation center. (Transcendental Meditation involves a silent, repeated mantra.) Brett Kaufman, the developer, has been practicing 20 years, he said.

He described the development as a “conscious community,” that takes a holistic approach to a wellness lifestyle. “The physical health thing is important — we have gyms, we have trainers and yoga studios and running clubs,” he said. “But we believe we need to treat the mental health and spiritual side of things with the same level of importance.”

Mr. Kaufman said plans also called for a location for mental health professionals, therapists and life coaches called Innerspace, a convenient on-site amenity 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 that in the wake of the Covid crisis and a year spent in near isolation, wellness messaging is more appealing than ever. “There’s a national conversation happening around mental health,” said Justin Alvaji, Jardine’s senior community manager. “We wanted our tenants to feel like the building was a sanctuary and wanted to go the extra mile.”

Aree Khodai, a spiritual concierge, said she would work as connector and coach for residents participating in the new program. It’s something she has been doing informally for friends and acquaintances for years, introducing them to various shaman and vetted spiritual practitioners 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 past work, she has connected clients with everything from movement classes to edgier experiences like mushroom micro-dosing, which she described as “a journey,” with “an intention behind it and a sense of lessons and insights.” (Gardenhouse and several others are partnering with a third-party provider that Ms. Khodai works with to provide the spiritual concierge services.)

Credit…Ryan West