Co-Living Companies Make Waves in New York City

January 15, 2020
Lunch is better when it is shared with friends By bernardbodo - Adobe Stock

Co-living has always been part of the fabric of New York City. While it usually meant an ad hoc community of strangers thrown together out of desperation, the co-living process now looks a lot different. After savvy business people sniffed out the potential for big money, they created bonafide co-living companies that renters can use to shoulder the work of navigating the city's overwhelming rental market by providing roommates and furniture in move-in-ready apartments. Although co-living spaces vary in amenities, these communities often provide social outings and cleaning services, and in some cases, the spaces feel more luxury than budget. All this comes with a price: Rents often start at over $1000, cheap for New York but more expensive than other budget, shared room options. But there is no sign of curated co-living slowing down as more and more of these companies spring up around the city. 

New Yorkers have long shared apartments in order to afford the city’s famously high rents. This, of course, often entails hunting down an apartment with a real estate agent — and paying a broker’s fee, plus a hefty deposit — then furnishing the place, lining up roommates and getting electricity and internet service up and running.

For several years, co-living companies have been popping up, providing a fast, streamlined alternative in the form of fully furnished, move-in-ready rooms in shared apartments.

Lately the trickle of co-living activity has become a torrent.

Homegrown companies are expanding into new neighborhoods. Brands that have built up their businesses elsewhere are planting their flags here. And even traditional real estate companies are getting into the act.

“No one wants to be left behind,” said Matthew Polci, a managing director at Mission Capital Advisors, which has been financing an increasing number of co-living projects.

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