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Tag: The Collective

Massive 323-apartment London co-living rental block up for sale

A property described as Europe’s largest rental co-living block, The Collective Old Oak in London’s Paddington, is up for sale with bids expected to top £100m.

The industry magazine Property Week says Savills and JLL are marketing the block, which is fully occupioed with 546 residents who live in what has emerged as a ‘co-living style’ – more communally than traditional private renting.

Property Week says it understands that this is not the first time the building was for sale – one investor said he had been approached by Knight Frank last year.

The niche nature of co-working, says the magazine, has led some market experts to suggest it may be difficult to attract buyers.

A spokesman for The Collective says now that co-living “has been proven”, the time is right “to assess investor appetite”.

Co-living startups: The commune is back, but for profit

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Trend alert! Communes are back!

But not in the way you’re probably thinking of. Group housing is a big trend among 20- and 30-somethings (although not exclusively), but this time around, they’re calling it “co-living,” and it comes with a twist: It’s not just a lifestyle, it’s a business model.

Several startups are in the co-living business, which they say is really about redefining real estate as a service model. These companies, like Pure House, The Collective, Common, and even WeWork, are certainly in the real estate business, but they offer housing that includes a philosophy of community, shared space and a built-in social life — and also nice furniture, pre-installed internet and TV service, distributed cooking, grocery shopping done for you, housekeeping and plenty of social activities. Think running clubs, yoga and happy hours.

The trend slots right in with co-working and open cubicles in terms of constant interaction with other people, and it definitely nails a bunch of well-honed millennial stereotypes. I visited a co-living house in Oakland that’s an 11-bedroom Victorian mansion. It’s one of three properties operated by a local startup called Open Door, and the two co-founders live at the house, which is full of earnest, attractive young professionals who talked sincerely about being “process thinkers” and sourcing local, organic beef for their group dinners.

That said, it’s also pretty good living. Sometimes someone cooks for you (and one of the housemates at Euclid Manor, which I visited, is actually a chef), the house itself is absolutely beautiful and fully furnished, there’s housekeeping, someone else handles the grocery shopping, and when there’s a problem, you just send your housemates a note on Slack. Are the residents learning all the survival skills they might need later in life? Maybe not; but they all seem to like it there.

And for companies the business model, which is essentially just property management, with lots of perks thrown in, is promising enough that WeWork, the co-working startup with its staggering $16 billion valuation, is renting crash pads in two co-living locations, one in New York and one in Washington, D.C. So for the second part of my story, I spoke with WeWork co-founder and chief creative officer Miguel McKelvey about how the company imagines housing in the future.

The WeLive model is, or has the potential to be, a little different — it’s not as permanent feeling as something like Open Door and its co-living houses. You can rent apartments (or rooms) for just a few days, a month, a few months or longer. It’s almost like a fancy hotel, but when you check in, you have everything you need, including friends.

You can hear that interview in the Dispatch this week or by clicking here.

Co-living solution for ‘Generation Rent’?

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A new building complex in north London is offering a different kind of accommodation aimed at millennials, (people born around the beginning of the 1990s,) mixing small private space with quirky shared spaces.

‘The Collective’ has 550 small bedrooms and communal areas that include a spa, restaurant, games room, library and roof-top with plastic igloos – with most bills included in the rental price.

Is this co-living a good deal, or just another way to exploit young Londoners in the property market?

Video journalist Dougal Shaw went along for a tour of the building, which has just welcomed its first inhabitants.