It’s been a fascinating summer for co-living with several firms announcing their intentions for this burgeoning sector.
Co-living is campus-style student accommodation but for rent to people from all walks of life who want to live and work in the city. Tenants rent en-suite bedrooms and typically share kitchens and other facilities.
LiveWork, which combines micro-flats with co-working office space, wrapped up two deals earlier this month to bring 550 beds and 1,000 desks to central London. Their model is aimed at people who work from home and they will only target sites in zone one and two. Tenants get a 130 sq ft flat with a bed and desk. Kitchens are shared to save space and encourage social interaction. They also have access to a range of shared amenities, including a cinema room and a gym, as well as co-working space.
In June, a new co-living provider called Fifth State announced that it planned 5,000 units in London over the next six years. They will target sites in zones one to four which have capacity for between 300 and 600 units. The micro-flats will be from 172 sq ft and each will contain a king-sized bed, desk, shower room, storage space and a kitchenette. Tenants will also benefit from amenities including co-working spaces and gymnasiums.
Also in June, US co-working giant WeWork announced that it would soon launch its residential brand WeLive in London. They are eyeing a number of office blocks in the capital with the potential to be converted to co-living units. Its schemes in New York and Arlington County combine co-living units with co-working spaces. They offer a range of units from studios to three-bedroom flats and tenants can choose to stay for as little as one night or for several months.
Then at the end of August, Gravity announced that it was close to finalising deals to deliver more than 350 co-living beds in London and that it planned 2,000 beds over the next five years. The company is currently going through its first round of fundraising having only been incorporated on 1 August.
Meanwhile, The Collective put its 323-flat scheme in Old Oak, west London up for sale to test appetite from institutional investors and free cash for new purchases. Old Oak is currently the largest co-living scheme in the world and has its own gig venue, bar, spa, gym, games room, library, co-working space, and even a cinema. Rooms start at £230/pw and include bills, council tax, wifi, cleaning and gym membership.
It’s clear that the co-working movement is heating up and we look forward to further announcements in the near future.