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For New Yorkers missing the college dorm experience, your prayers have been answered. This week co-living startup Common has opened its first building in Crown Heights. TechCrunch caught up with founder and tech entrepreneur Brad Hargreaves to find out more about what's going on, but here's the gist:
- The building has four floors, 7,300 square feet of space, and 19 private furnished bedrooms, four communal kitchens, a large dining room, work space and a roof deck.
- The bedrooms, which range from $1,800 to $1,950, are available on a month-to-month basis. Utilities and wi-fi are included.
- There are built-in smart phone features like Bluetooth door locks compatible with keycards, phones and the Apple watch, and Nest thermostats. Mattresses are from Casper, and furniture from Restoration Hardware and West Elm.
- Services include free laundry, regular deliveries of coffee, tea and paper towels, and weekly cleanings in bathrooms and common areas.
- There will be group events, like a weekend potluck.
- About 250 people have applied for the 19 available Common spots so far in the neighborhood, according to Hargreaves.
- Common plans to open at least one more location in Brooklyn.
We've written about these co-living spaces before and have come to the conclusion that though many millenials may appreciate the lifestyle (as is apparent from the number of applications Common says it's gotten), this kind of co-living doesn't do much to help with the affordability crisis in New York.
According to StreetEasy, there are currently two furnished Crown Heights three-bedrooms available. The first, which is asking $4,900 a month would come out to about $1,600 per person; the second, which is asking $3,900 a month, would come out to about $1,300 per person, but two people would have to be okay with bunk-bed living.
But if you want to be slightly more economical and go the unfurnished route (hey, thrift stores have some great stuff and maybe you can skip the Common-style extras, there's a four-bedroom for $1,400 a piece and a five-bedroom for less than $1,000 a piece.
So the question is, if communal living is your thing, is Common worth the extra cost?