At this point, I’m sure you’ve heard of coworking. It’s a working environment where startups, freelancers, and small companies come together to share resources and ideas as one community. Coworking has become more than a trend in the past few years, it is an evolution happening at work. If this is news to you, schedule a tour at your local coworking space – it will change the way you think about the office.
Coworking is a simple concept. It usually consists of some type of all-inclusive membership pricing paired with a management mentality that puts the members and community first. The only problem with coworking is that it’s not for everybody. Coworking is niche to people that consider themselves freelancers, entrepreneurs, or are somehow associated with the nomadic workforce.
On the other hand, everyone in a certain phase of life looks for an apartment / loft living solution that is fun and energizing, but doesn’t break the bank. Many people want to be in walkable areas of town with local bars, restaurants, and other amenities. This usually means they’re in or around downtown. As these demands continue to rise, so will the prices of real estate.
So how do you meet the increasing demands of young urbanites while maintaining a cost of living that is affordable?
Coliving borrows all the great concepts of coworking and applies them to living environments.
Residents of a coliving community can either choose to have their own dedicated micro loft or share certain amenities, such as kitchens and bathrooms, with their suite mate. Some coliving units also come partially outfitted with a bed, art, barstools, and other basic furnishings. The common areas downstairs are complete with local beers on tap, laundromats, local coffee, and large entertainment areas. Instead of signing a 1 year lease with a big deposit, you sign a month to month membership agreement with a small signup fee. These agreements are all-inclusive, meaning your utility bills, internet, morning coffee, and afternoon beer are all included in your monthly rate. As a Common Desk member recently put it, “It’s like Disneyland for adults.”
Coliving began in areas of the country where the cost of living continues to skyrocket. In New York City startups like Common are raising millions of dollars in venture capital to continue opening new locations. Because of the similarities between coworking and coliving, larger and more established coworking companies like Wework are also launching coliving concepts.
Coliving offers a better price point because of the creative density established in the building. The units themselves are smaller, making them more affordable than traditional lofts. As Dallas lofts and apartments become increasingly expensive, you’ll see more concepts like this coming to neighborhoods near you soon. But cost of living isn’t the only factor fueling this phenomenon.
As the world continues to become increasingly mobile, people are looking for more options. Millennials (and whatever you call the generation after them) want flexibility. They want to make decisions on the fly with little commitment. Coliving allows for this. Residents of coliving communities are the type that trade possessions for experiences. They’d prefer to take an Uber over car ownership and typically stay in an AirBnB instead of a Hilton. They’re the disruptors that are lobbying for more mass transit and better urban parks.
If you live in Dallas, I might know a company working on opening a coliving space for you. It may or may not be next door to one of your favorite local breweries. ;)
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