WeWork unveils its first co-living apartments in New York

Co-working company WeWork unveils its first co-living apartments in New York

WeWork has unveiled images of its first foray into the co-living trend – a residential block with shared living spaces in New York's financial district, run by new sister company WeLive (+ slideshow).

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Billed as a "disruptive alternative to the way people live", the first WeLive project – a cross between student housing and hotels – is located at 110 Wall Street in New York.

Four floors of the building were already occupied by WeWork, a company that offers rented desk spaces at relatively low cost, with shared amenities for workers.

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The company has now converted other floors to create the first 200 fully-furnished and serviced residential units for its new co-living concept, which applies the same principles of using shared space to help reduce costs for residents.

A second test site has also opened in Arlington, Virginia.

"This concept is another layer of our platform focused on enabling people to live more fulfilling lives," a spokesperson for WeLive told Dezeen.

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"Just as WeWork changed the way people work through its philosophy of shared space, services, community and social interaction, WeLive offers a disruptive alternative to the way people live."

Like other co-living start-ups springing up across major cities in the US and UK, WeLive describes itself as a community-driven concept that aims to provide shared living spaces for young renters seeking an increasingly sociable lifestyle.

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"Built with a focus on community and functionality, WeLive enables people to focus on what's most important to them by offering one of the most flexible housing solutions on the market today," said a statement from WeLive. "Simply show up and begin your life without the hassle."

Studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom units are available in WeLive's properties, and residents can share or have their own depending on how much they want to pay.

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Kitchens, lounges and bathrooms are shared within their units, while large communal areas are designed for building-wide use.

Prices start at $1,375 (£980) per person for a space in a shared unit in WeLive's New York scheme, while individual studios begin at $2,000 (£1,420) – plus a monthly amenities fee of $125 (£90). Rates are slightly lower for the Arlington branch.

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As well as furniture, the units come with bed linen, towels, kitchenware, internet and cable TV – all covered by the amenities fee.

Units are finished simply with a combination of stained and natural wooden surfaces, pegboard storage areas and white tiles.

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Fridges are kept stocked with beer and San Pellegrino soft drinks. A range other products ranging from clothes hangers, to books and shampoo are also included as part of the deal.

The company is also providing communal events for residents, held in the building's shared spaces. These include meals, cooking classes, karaoke and game nights, and fitness classes, and residents are encouraged to keep in touch through a WeWork app.

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"Connecting with people in ways formerly unattainable in apartment buildings, this We community is finding friendships and more with the people they now call neighbours," said a statement from the company.

It continued: "WeLive replicates the security and comfort of a suburban neighbourhood but with the energy and vigour of a major city."

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The co-living trend is booming in major cities as the housing market moves away from the ownership towards a service model, according to entrepreneurial companies like The Collective, Pure House and WeLive.

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"I don't have possessions anymore, I'm all about experiences and it's high time that our workspaces and living spaces caught up," said The Collective's chief operating officer James Scott, who believes co-living is filling this gap in the market for young renters looking for a hassle and belonging free existence.

"There's definitely a future based on this whole co-movement," he added.