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Co-living, the disruptive rental phenomenon, has been on a tear in NYC over the past year, with new companies getting into the shared housing business and existing companies expanding their footprint with new buildings.
Brick Underground has been tracking co-living companies, and counts 15 companies currently operating in New York City—an increase from our count of 10 companies last year. Our guide breaks down the different niches targeted by these co-living brands, what they offer, how much they cost, and where the newest buildings are located. (We also include links to interviews with co-living renters who describe what it's like to live in this type of housing situation.)
It's not a new concept, of course: Co-living startups have been offering rental rooms in the city since at least 2012, but recent months have seen significant expansion and investment in the new-ish housing model.
[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article was published in May 2019. We are presenting it again here as part of our winter holiday 2019 Best of Brick week.]
What is co-living?
New to the co-living craze? Detractors like to refer to co-living spaces as “adult dorms,” and there's some truth there. Essentially, co-living is living with strangers. However, instead of all piling onto one lease after meeting through Craigslist, you are only responsible for your room. (Exactly how legal all of this is in New York City is a question for another article.)
What’s the attraction then? For renters, especially newcomers to NYC, it offers a turn-key experience. As anyone who has endured finding an apartment and/or roommates in New York City can tell you, the process can be one headache after another. Co-living seeks to eliminate some of the common hurdles, while charging a premium for individual rooms.
Jeff Holzmann, COO of iintoo, a global commercial real estate investment firm, says co-living is an ideal fit for millennials.
“Students, young people, are a lot more willing to consider an arrangement like co-living. The demand is driving the supply,” he says. And as co-living becomes more well-known, thanks to big names like WeWork getting in the game, the perception is shifting from an unconventional living arrangement to mainstream. “Once that’s changed, everything else is details,” Holzmann says.
Another key element that’s driving the demand for co-living, says Holzmann, is technology, which co-living’s key audience loves, and depends on, to navigate life in a way that previous apartment hunters did not.
“People can download an app and find co-living quicker and easier than finding an apartment [the traditional way]. New York City is going to accommodate that,” he says. “The gig economy has allowed that to happen.”
Most significantly for some new renters, some co-living spaces do not have stringent income requirements or require guarantors. Co-living also removes the politics and annoyance of splitting bills, keeping common spaces clean, and furnishing an apartment. Many will also ensure there are always basic staples on hand, like salt and pepper, cleaning products, and toilet paper. Everything is typically included in the monthly rent.
Proponents will tell you that when you factor in all the costs of day-to-day needs and conveniences, co-living is actually cheaper than conventional renting, but that's obviously subjective and up for debate. The arrangement definitely does offer a flexibility that standard rental agreements do not. Some buildings offer minimum stays as short as 30 days, or even a single night, and many allow residents to hop from property to property. Some New York co-living companies have crashed and burned, but plenty have survived, and thrived.
Going for big investment
Co-living is attracting major investment dollars. Quarters, the largest co-living provider in Europe and the U.S. (and part of the Medici Living Group) recently raised $300 million for its American venture, while co-living company Common has partnered with Tishman Speyer to develop Kin, which promises to apply select principles of co-living to family-oriented housing.
Meanwhile, U.K.-based The Collective is building the largest co-living development in New York at 555 Broadway on the border of Bushwick and Williamsburg (opening in 2022); purchased lots at 1215 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant this past March for another co-living 2022 debut, and acquired Long Island City’s Paper Factory, where the company will open its first U.S. property as a “short-stay co-living solution.”
What are the differences between co-living companies?
More options means more competition, which typically leads to lower prices for consumers. There is a bit of that happening in the co-living marketplace (some of the companies listed here dropped rents in the last year), but at least for now, the impact of a crowded field seems to be even greater specialization. Which means the chances are even better that there’s a co-living solution out there that’s perfect for you.
Co-living offerings can roughly be sorted into three categories: full-service/large scale, boutique, and budget. Many co-living buildings also offer residents opportunities to socialize, events, and outings so newcomers and the interpersonally lazy can meet people without too much effort. Some have a “let’s-explore-this-crazy-city-together” vibe, while others are more community and service-oriented, or personal development-focused.
Some co-living buildings offer affordable units
All these investment dollars are resulting in the creation of some affordable housing in the city; the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is partnering with co-living companies to make apartments with relatively attainable rents. The Collective has already stated that 30 percent of the 500 apartments at 555 Broadway will be affordable, with placement determined through the city’s housing lottery.
Here is our guide to 15 co-living options in New York City, and what each of them has to offer.
Tagline: "All inclusive co-living"
Cost: $1,260-$2,200 a month. Note that bedrooms are technically not rented individually, instead you pay a portion of the full apartment rent. Electricity and gas are not included. A company spokesperson says that including these utilities could "unintentionally make residents less mindful of their usage, which in turn would promote waste."
Aesthetic: New condo flair.
Personal space: There are studios and bedrooms in larger apartments, and all units are furnished with high-end, transformable furniture. Renters get a quilt from West Elm, two pillows, a storage bin from Pehr, and a scent kit from @aroma. Residents get the benefit of weekly housekeeping, towel and linen service, premium TV programming, and wifi.
Minimum stay: One year. When possible, the company tries to offer shorter-term leases at its projects.
Who’s there: A mix of ages and demographics, weighted toward millennials. But 20 percent of its inquiries are from baby boomers, according to the company. Read an interview with an Alta+ by Ollie resident here.
“Co” factor: In addition to ongoing events organized by an in-house community manager (think Sunday brunch, sunset yoga, etc.) and social excursions in and around New York, residents of Alta+ can use a gym, indoor lap pool, indoor and outdoor lounges, barbecue areas, an event space, a co-working lounge, a game hall, and more.
How people are vetted: The company says it vets the same way standard landlords do: with criminal background checks, and credit and income qualifications. Residents can use Bedvetter, the company’s roommate matching platform (which it developed), to match themselves with other roommates if they like.
Company history: The name “Ollie” is a play on “all-inclusive," and refers to the hotel-style services residents receive. The company says its focus is on scalability and affordability.
Alta+ by Ollie in Long Island City is the company’s newest venture and opened in May of 2018. It includes 169 micro-suites (495-941 square feet) with two and three bedrooms, and 297 standard apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms. The company also operates Ollie at Carmel Place in Kips Bay (opened in 2016), and a Downtown Brooklyn location is opening later this year. You’ll also find Ollie in Pittsburgh, and projects in Los Angeles, Boston, and Denver are in the works.
Tagline: "Co-living is city living made better"
Cost: The lowest rate we found was $1,340 for a bedroom in the company’s Albany building, located in Crown Heights.
Aesthetic: Mid-century/Shaker. Living room spaces are furnished with items from West Elm and Restoration Hardware. Some buildings have outdoor common space as well.
Personal space: Residents get a room with a bed, nightstand, lamp, and pillows, as well as a bare hook for art of their choosing. Rent includes utilities, cable, a washer/dryer, weekly common space cleaning, wifi, pots and pans, and basic supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, and garbage bags. (They used to provide olive oil; no more. We could see how that cost could add up quickly.) The company is open to residents moving between buildings, and is flexible with move-in dates for roommates, allowing residents to move in on different days, with rooms taken on a first-come, first-served basis, which is not the case with all co-living companies.
Minimum stay: Varies by building and city. Most tenants are on six-month or year-long leases. (One young woman told us she "FaceTimed her Crown Heights apartment and rented it online" because she was in a rush to secure an apartment in NYC.)
Who’s there: Common’s website says, “Our community in New York is just as diverse as their city is.” We find that somewhat hard to believe (New York is pretty diverse!) but Common does say that you’ll find recent college grads as well as established professionals and married couples. The average age of a “Commoner” is 30.
“Co” factor: Common does organize events, but it also lets residents take charge, and helps fund outings they come up with. Residents of all Common buildings nationwide can communicate via Slack. Overall, Common seems to be more interested in fostering community than playing cruise director. The company recently introduced the Common app, which enables community members to view and sign up for events organized by Common (museum trips, yoga classes, etc.), or create their own and invite members of the community.
How people are vetted: Applicants apply online and must pass financial and background checks. Prospective members are then briefly interviewed by phone.
Company history: Founded in 2015 by Brad Hargreaves, who previously created the computer education hub General Assembly. Common operates 15 co-living spaces in New York City, in Crown Heights, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Ridgewood in Queens, and Hamilton Heights in Manhattan. Its newest space is the Common Grand in Clinton Hill (pictured above). The company also has buildings in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, and plans to open buildings in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as well.
Tagline: "Live Smart, Live Easy."
Cost: Rents range from $1,000 to $4,000 a month. Average rent is $1,500 a month. Furnishings, Wifi, utilities, bedding and towels, kitchen utensils, and monthly housekeeping are included, and most units have washers and dryers and dishwashers. Some buildings are equipped with smart technology such as keyless entry and "smart mattresses."
Aesthetic: IKEA meets West Elm.
Personal space: Residents get a furnished room in a two-, three-, or four-bedroom apartment. (Studios are also available.)
Minimum stay: Three months.
Who’s there: Young people (ages 18-35) from all over, with the majority being students and young professionals, although "digital nomads" and people in town temporarily for internships come through Roomrs. (We went to the opening of a Roomrs building in Williamsburg and met some residents. Read our report here.)
“Co” factor: Aside from shared kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces, some buildings have communal spaces such as rooftop decks and furnished basements. Roomrs provides an internal social network and organizes events for residents that are also open to the public.
How people are vetted: Applicants apply online and submit documents for both a credit check and thorough background check. Prospective residents can receive approval and move in as quickly as 24 hours after applying.
Company history: Roomrs was founded in 2017 by CEO Or Goldschmidt after he spent several years of working in New York real estate. Believing millennials and members of Generation Z aren't suited to the renting process, Goldschmidt set out to create an alternative that's less confusing and offers an easy way for newcomers to meet people. Roomrs apartments can be found throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, with an inventory of approximately 500 rooms overall; the company plans to offer 1,000 rooms in NYC by the end of 2019, as well as enter new markets.
Tagline: "We are Easy Living"
Cost: Rooms start at $1,599 (down from $1,750 around this time last year) and include internet, electricity, heat, cable and Netflix, and laundry. Buildings also have features such as a co-working space, rec room, movie room, bike storage, rooftop decks and grills.
Personal space: The apartments are furnished and include Casper mattresses, sheets and pillows, and high-end appliances. Built-in gadgetry allows keyless entry to the apartments and rooms, and renters can operate doors, light, heat, and blinds through an app.
Who’s there: “International young professionals, digital nomads, and millennials” between the ages of 25 and 35 who “love the urban way of living.”
“Co” factor: Members can take part in weekly events and additional networking and entertainment opportunities. A communal kitchen and living room area is outfitted with a large table and a TV, and there are communal work areas. The Quarters app enables residents to book services, communicate with other members, and get tips on local news and events.
How people are vetted: Prospective residents fill out an application, and community managers give tours.
Company history: This German company arrived in New York in 2017, opening a location on the Lower East Side. Quarters started renting at an East Village location in March 2018, and in February of this year announced plans for a Bedford-Stuyvesant location with 23,000 square feet of residential space. The company also has apartments in Chicago and Berlin, and plans to expand throughout Europe and the U.S. over the next two years. With more than 1,700 beds, the company claims to be the largest co-living provider in the world.
5. Outpost Club
Tagline: "Easy move-in. Easy Living."
Cost: Rates range from $690 to $2,190, depending on the length of stay, type of room, and availability. Apartments are set up with new appliances and furnishings, keyless entry, Nest thermostats and security; there’s also twice-weekly cleaning and household essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, and soap.
Aesthetic: Hostel that makes an effort.
Personal space: If you want, you don’t have to have any. Sharing a room with someone, college dorm-style, is a possibility here. Beyond that, both shares and single-person bedrooms are set up with pillows and sheets, towels, and extension cords.
Minimum stay: One month.
Who’s there: Residents range in age from 21 to 35, and the split is about 50/50 between citizens and non-citizens, the company says. It’s a mix of students and professionals, with professionals purportedly making up the majority.
“Co” factor: Outpost Club offers multiple events per month that are free to members, as well as communal living rooms, kitchens and co-working spaces.
How people are vetted: Interested residents fill out an extensive application.
Company history: Outpost Club was created in 2016 by three Ukrainian expats after they experienced the challenges of finding housing in New York City as international renters. Their complaints included credit checks, background checks, scams, agent commissions, paying first and last month’s rent, and more. “The whole things sucks,” says New York account manager Jacob Shapiro.
Outpost Club is a little less slick than its competitors. The company has opened additional houses in Williamsburg in the last year, and is operating in East Harlem, Boerum Hill, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ridgewood, and Flatbush. (They’ve also expanded to San Francisco.)
Tagline: "Comfortable homes for community living" and "Don’t just live—Live Dwell."
Cost: Rooms start at $1,300 (down from $1,350 last year). The company estimates its residents get $400 worth of amenities with their all-inclusive rent. Those include: wifi and utilities, Netflix and Hulu, an Amazon Echo, and cleaning service, as well as bread, eggs, juice, olive oil, snacks, and breakfast.
Aesthetic: Crown Heights Pacific: Homey Brooklyn with a dash of “Architectural Digest.” Crown Heights St. Marks: Chic Brooklyn mansion with al fresco living.
Minimum stay: Three months; flexible lease terms available.
Personal space: Bedrooms are furnished, and some are big.
Who’s there: Artists, entrepreneurs, recent college grads, couples, and working stiffs.
“Co” factor: Each building has a live-in house manager who gets input on event planning and what to spend the discretionary budget on. In addition to common living and kitchen spaces, both Dwells have outdoor spaces.
How people are vetted: In keeping with the idea that residents should have a say in who lives with them, the application process is a little more personal and involved. Prospective residents write a few paragraphs about why they think they would be a good fit, and then tour the house and meet current residents.
Company history: Dwell currently operates two co-living spaces. The original Dwell co-living space is in a restored brownstone in Crown Heights. Dwell Withers, a two-story place in Williamsburg, is no longer around, but Dwell St. Marks, a fully-furnished “mansion surrounded by calm,” also in Crown Heights, has opened.
Both are single-family houses, because “we want people to feel like they are living in a home instead of an adult dorm,” says Noah Avidan, Dwell membership coordinator.
“On-demand booking is great for Uber, but we think that people still want some agency in choosing who to live,” he says.
Dwell has residents play the most active role in social programming of the co-living companies we looked at. “Our goal is to create a system where we empower members to feel like they are helping shape the sort of environments they are living in, while at the same time making it easier to live together,” Avidan says.
7. June Homes (formerly Residenz)
Tagline: "Your new home awaits you!”
Cost: The least expensive location we found was a private room in a Prospect Heights four-bedroom apartment in a renovated townhouse for $1,050 a month. Included in the cost are linens, wifi, Netflix, HBO, and cable, basic household items, kitchen wares, and an espresso machine; numerous June Homes have an outdoor space.
Personal space: Bedrooms range from spacious to small (we even found a twin bed in one) but they are all very nicely-designed and welcoming.
Aesthetic: Stylish without being cookie cutter, depending on the apartment.
Minimum stay: 30 days.
Who’s there: “Creative, hard-working professionals and students from around the world.”
“Co” factor: Aside from finding you a bedroom in an apartment, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of emphasis on community at June Homes.
How people are vetted: Of all the co-living companies we looked at, June Homes is the most upfront about its screening process, and doesn’t promise effortless approval. According to its website, every member goes through extensive criminal and background checks as well as a three- step approval process that includes interviews with its employees. Some apartments are equipped with CCTV video surveillance in common areas. It also has specific daytime and overnight guests policies.
Company history: We included Residenz, a co-living company with just two, stylistically different apartments in our roundup last year; one was pretty nice (West Village), the other (Harlem), not so much. Since then, it’s transformed into June Homes, a venture-backed startup in San Francisco, and boy, does it show.
June Homes now has private rooms for rent in apartments all over the city, in areas like Times Square, Chelsea, Upper East Side, Hudson Yards, Williamsburg, Prospect Heights, and Sugar Hill. (You can also rent a full apartment on short notice, for a short term.)
Tagline: "Curated apartments in a global co-living community."
Cost: Node’s New York City apartments are located exclusively in one of five renovated 1900s townhouses in Bushwick. The least expensive room we found was one in a four-bedroom apartment for $1,375. Included in the monthly fee is laundry, wifi, smart-home features, SMEG refrigerators and access to outdoor space with a grill and a fire pit. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for $2,700 in one of those, which doesn’t exactly sound like co-living to us, although whoever lives there can partake in Node community events.
Aesthetic: Youthful, sophisticated and chic. (Node’s site offers some pretty cool video walk-throughs.)
Personal space: The apartments are furnished, and you can rent a room and be matched with other people, or come in with a group of preselected roommates.They’ll also help you score some locally-curated art.
Who’s there: "Globally-minded, creative people who want to connect with residents, both locally and globally.”
“Co” factor: Node has a "community curator" for every city who plan events for tenants; the curator also provides volunteering opportunities. Check out our interview with a Node curator here. (He’s also a resident.)
How people are vetted: Via website application and meeting the community curator onsite.
Minimum stay: Some apartments are available for six months. Most leases are for a year, though they are flexible with tenants who have life-changing events and need to move out earlier.
Company history: Founded in England, Node also has spaces in Los Angeles, Dublin, London, and Manchester, with Toronto and Seattle coming soon.
Tagline: "Privacy within your home, community within your reach."
Cost: Studios start at $3,175, and tenants get access to a stocked kitchen, towels and bedding, wall-mounted, flat-screen TVs, monthly cleanings, a front desk to receive mail and packages, and an on-site community manager.
Aesthetic: Stylish college campus.
Personal space: WeLive offers furnished studios, and rooms in two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments, which are minimalist, with a dorm-like feel. The decorating effort is focused on the common spaces, which are decked out in oversized art, velvet chairs, fuzzy pillows, and a mishmash of mid-century and industrial accents.
Minimum stay: One month, although WeLive Wall Street does let you book a night at a time.
Who’s there: WeLive describes its appeal as broad, with members including the expected young professionals new to the city as well as new parents with small children, workers who want to cut down on their commute, retirees, and empty nesters.
“Co” factor: WeLive offers lounges and a bar, plus regularly-scheduled events and mixers, and residents can message each other on the WeLive mobile app. Gatherings include happy hours, cooking classes, and health and fitness classes. There is also a laundry/arcade room, reading lounges, media lounges equipped with Apple TV, premium cable, an exercise and screening room, and fully-stocked communal kitchens with brewed coffee, tea, and citrus-y water.
How people are vetted: Prospective members fill out an application and set up a tour. WeLive runs credit and criminal background checks on all applicants.
Company history: An offshoot of the well known co-working company WeWork, WeLive opened its first location in the spring of 2016 at 110 Wall St. It also runs a location in Crystal City, Virginia, and a Seattle space will open in 2020.
A company spokesperson says, “WeLive is intentionally designed to allow members the opportunity to connect, interact, relax and recharge."
For some, WeLive can offer the shortest commute possible—there's a WeWork office facility in the same building as the WeLive on Wall Street.
Tagline: “All-inclusive, fully furnished, community-first coliving!”
Cost: Private rooms start at $1,150 a month, with utilities, wifi, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, laundry detergent, and cleaning included.
Aesthetic: Basic starter apartment.
Personal Space: Bedrooms come with a bed, pillows, sheets, and hangers.
Minimum stay: Two months.
Who's there: Artists, professionals, and entrepreneurs.
"Co" factor: Each residence house has a designated house leader, and weekly dinners. If you're not feeling the group emphasis, Tribe is probably not the place for you.
How are people vetted: Candidates submit a written application, which is followed by a phone or Skype interview.
Company history: Started in 2015 and previously known as Founders House, Tribe operates co-living spaces in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Bushwick, Ditmas Park, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and Williamsburg, and recently expanded to San Francisco. The company changed its name, because as it grew, people who weren't launching a tech company wanted in. Still, the company is rooted in the startup incubator concept.
"Our product is much more than just housing," says Tribe president Ben Smith. "The most benefit comes from meaningfully connecting with others in our communities, so we make sure that everyone is carefully vetted before moving in...the people you know and surround yourself with have a significant impact on both your happiness and success in life. Our company helps people find others to live their life with—a 'tribe' to support and help them succeed," Smith says.
11. Goal House
Tagline: “Goal-oriented community + Communal House = Goal House”
Cost: Rates start at $1,175 for a private bedroom; shared room starts at $800 a month.
Aesthetic: Spartan incubator with a big TV—it’s not about the decor here, it’s about achieving your full potential. (“Just bring your positive attitude.”)
Personal Space: Bedrooms and common areas are furnished and equipped with the basics, including a memory foam mattress, kitchen supplies, toilet paper, a washer/dryer, and a cleaning service.
Minimum stay: Three months.
Who's there: Working professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, musicians, etc.
"Co" factor: Community plays a big part here. In addition to goal sessions and networking events, there are dinners, game/movie nights, and “Game of Thrones” screenings.
How are people vetted: Aspiring Goal House residents submit an application form in which they provide basic info, as well as more about their stated goal or project; have a five-minute interview, and undergo a credit and background check.
Company history: Founder Ben Smith (who also started Tribe co-living, sort of Goal House-lite) started the off-shoot last year to create a tight-knit community where people could support each other in their goals and hold each other accountable. “Whether someone is working on improving their fitness routine, learning a new language, starting a business, or mastering their salsa dance technique, we believe that being a part of the right community can help.” Goal House is a five-floor townhouse in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
Tagline: “Co-working and co-living in beautiful places.”
Cost: Rates are different for Outside members versus non-members. (In addition to a break on rates, members pay $249 annually for curated perks for the travel lifestyle, access to exclusive community channels, and a network of experts.) In New York City, the monthly cost for a shared room is $1,500 for members and $1,800 for non-members; a private room is $2,300 a month for a member, while non-members pay $2,800.
Residents get fast wifi, linens and toiletries, a fully-equipped shared kitchen, laundry, weekly cleaning, and coffee.
Aesthetic: Outsite’s single New York City space, a seven-bedroom, three bathroom loft is in Brooklyn—although it’s identified as “Outside Williamsburg Grand”—and it’s got all the trappings: rustic brick walls, “unique” hardwood floors, and high beam ceilings. There’s also a communal outdoor roof deck.
Personal Space: Basic, but comfortable, with a private desk in addition to a bed. (Outsite is serious about being a place where people can get work done; the wifi speed is specified for each location. Brooklyn’s is 230 Mbps.)
Minimum stay: Stays are generally from one to three months, but there is some flexibility. And members can book very short stays, such as a few nights.
Who's there: Digital natives and location-independent workers, according to the company. Guests range from 25 to 55, a spread that company reps say continues to expand. The ratio of Americans to international residents is about 60/40. Expect a mix of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and full-time remote workers in a variety of industries, from creative to business and beyond.
"Co" factor: With the help of a community manager, Outsite hosts weekly events in-house, such as dinners or breakfasts, as well as off-site events. Examples in Brooklyn include a freelancer happy hour, and a Brooklyn photo walk with a creative director. (These are open to the public, too.)
How are people vetted: Prospective members submit their application online, and Outsite reviews to ensure they'll be the right fit for the community.
Company history: It’s hard to imagine getting a lot of work done in some of its other locations, the list of which reads like a trust fund kid’s global walkabout. Additional U.S. outposts can be found in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Venice Beach, Lake Tahoe, Austin, Santa Cruz, Puerto Rico and beyond; international locations include Bali, Lisbon, the Swiss Alps, Costa Rica, and Santiago, Chile.
Tagline: “A new way of neighboring.”
Cost: Individual rooms start at $1,100; Venn also has one-, two-, and three- bedroom apartments for rent, both furnished and unfurnished. Wifi, washer/dryers, common space cleaning, and storage are included, and many apartments have gardens or rooftop decks.
Aesthetic: On-trend urban boho in a neutral palette.
Personal Space: Bedrooms look comfortable, and are outfitted with basic furniture.
Minimum stay: One year.
Who's there: A company rep described the community as being made up of creators, digital nomads, tech entrepreneurs and students, adding, “We encourage the addition of families and older professionals because we believe that a well balanced neighborhood includes people from all backgrounds and ages.”
"Co" factor: Venn takes the “co” into the community, which in New York, is Bushwick. (Venn describes the neighborhood as an “emerging cultural center” of the borough.)
Members can use Venn satellite spaces in the area such as a co-working space, “club house,” cafe, gallery and event space. The company has apartments in eight buildings all within a few blocks of each other, either on or just off the main artery of Halsey Street; the Venn concept is that residents of each will connect and commingle at apartments and recreational spaces to create genuine community.
Organized events are common and include live music, workshops, yoga, and gatherings around neighborhood happenings. A “one-of-a-kind” app enables members to manage apartments, order and pay for local services, create and join local activities, and connect with each other.
How are people vetted: Venn says it spends a lot of time learning about potential members, “getting to know them like we would our friends.” Potential members are met in person.
Company history: The company also operates spaces in Tel Aviv, where it was founded in 2016, and Berlin, and Venn offers the option of full apartment rentals or rooms in shared apartments.
The company’s mission stresses community activism and it says its financial model reinvests revenue back into the neighborhood through "local small business support, cultural and creative projects, educational opportunities, safety initiatives, and programs to minimize displacement.” It also claims to be an "an alternative to stuffy co-living/working models that act like exclusive clubs hindering urban exploration, neighborhood participation, and community engagement.” Zing!
14. The Assemblage
Tagline: “Assemble with us.”
Cost: Rates vary according to availability. Out of all of the co-living situations we found, The Assemblage operates the most like a standard hotel, with studios and one-bedroom apartments available to be booked by the night, and no one actually sharing a kitchen, bathroom, or common living space. (We found a Deluxe King Studio for $313.65 a night; that same studio for a month could be booked for $298.35.)
Aesthetic: Rooms: Luxury enlightenment. Communal and event spaces: Malibu cult.
Personal Space: It’s all personal space here. Furnished apartments are equipped with a kitchenette with appliances, bathroom, high-speed wifi, a 55-inch Samsung TV, organic cotton linens, and even live plants. Housekeeping and laundry service is also included.
Minimum stay: One night. The Assemblage operates two locations: a multi-function co-working/event space with an Ayurvedic cafe and meditation spaces in Nomad and a hotel on John Street in the Financial District. A Park Avene location is in the works as well.
Who's there: “A network of creatives, entrepreneurs, investors, strategists, & beyond.”
"Co" factor: There is a co-working space at The Assemblage, but the real “community” here is via The Assembly, a program of ongoing classes, events, and workshops, that include seminars with wellness leaders, “conversations with cultural icons” dinners, movie nights, access to retreats at The Assemblage’s Sanctuary in Bethel, New York, and more. Guests at The Assemblage have access to programming and events; anyone can join for $200 a month.
How people are vetted: As far as we can tell, if you can afford The Assemblage, that’s good enough for them, but if you have bad chi, the community probably won’t take kindly to you.
Company history: The Assemblage is not your ordinary co-living space in a variety of ways, starting with its origin story. Facing a diagnosis of stage three metastatic melanoma, The Assemblage founder Rodrigo Niño (the CEO of Prodigy Network) was in distress. He traveled to Peru, where he took part in an ayauhasca ceremony. “I had a hallucination, which showed me a societal framework in which individuals contribute their interests and passions to improve society as a whole,” he says. “This is the premise of The Assemblage: To bring together like-minded individuals to combine technology, consciousness, and capital. We believe impact and capital are not mutually exclusive.” A core tenet of The Assemblage is that members can “do well by doing good.”
Tagline: “Your beautiful home with amazing roommates.”
Cost: The least expensive space we found was a room in a three-bedroom apartment in a Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment for $1,250; in some apartments, you can pay $1,550 and have a private bathroom. Membership includes furnished apartment, utilities, high-speed wifi, an equipped kitchen, cleaning, laundry facilities, toilet paper, maintenance.
Aesthetic: Brooklyn co-living, 2019: wood floors, neutral tones, globe lights, chrome and brass accents, etc.
Personal Space: The bedrooms are a nice size and include a dresser, bedside table, a few knick knack shelves, and curtains.
Minimum stay: 30 days
Who's there: People from ages 19 to 35, including local professionals and international graduate students.
"Co" factor: Aleph has community managers that plan events for members, although members also plan gatherings themselves. Recent examples include a wine and cheese event where residents packed toys for hospitalized children. Aleph says it sets itself apart from other co-living operations with "ultra-personalized attention." This may appeal to folks far from home: The company describes itself as "that nurturing mother that's constantly taking care of you."
How people are vetted: Prospective members fill out an application, have an in-person interview, and are screened via credit and background check.
Company history: Aleph was founded last year. It operates six locations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Stuyvesant Heights; the company is expanding to Manhattan and the UK in 2019.
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