Ask people to list the household chores they dislike most, and chances are, doing laundry will consistently rank among the top ten. The need and appreciation for clean clothes gets overshadowed by the inconvenience of constantly having to wash and dry them.
So, when it comes to laundry, “people want flexibility,” says John Sellier, the regional director of sales for Mac-Gray Laundry Services, which is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, but provides services nationwide. “They want the convenience of being able to do their laundry when they want, how they want.”
Through a merger in 2014, Coinmach and Mac-Gray together now own more than half the market share of condos and HOAs in the country. CSC ServiceWorks, the parent company, owns a family of nationwide businesses, including Coinmach Corp., Mac-Gray, ASI Campus Laundry Solutions, Sparkle Solutions Corp., Appliance Warehouse of America, AIR-Serv, AirValet, Service Directions Inc. and Super Laundry.
A Necessary Amenity
That's why more and more newly constructed buildings are providing laundry units inside units. “If they can vent them, it works,” says Seth Breitman, vice president of SEBCO Laundry Systems in Raritan. “If they can't vent them, they sometimes put them in anyway, but imagine if you put a wet towel in a dryer, and it doesn't have a vent. That water needs to go somewhere.”
While it’s true that new construction touts space for individual laundry amenities, community laundry facilities still are still the norm in older co-ops and condominium complexes, as well as newer condominiums, which have been converted from apartment buildings where the plumbing will not allow for in-unit machines. Gone, however, are the days of dim and dingy laundry rooms located in a basement that no one really wanted to visit.