There’s been tremendous growth in coworking spaces across the country over the past 10 years. These spaces are appealing to small startups as well as those who work remotely or are self-employed as they’re affordable way to get office space and a sense of community without the big overheads. Is this same trend starting to gain steam in the living space?
Companies such as PodShare and Starcity are launching new co-living spaces in expensive California cities like LA and San Francisco. The space is reminiscent of dorm-style living, as tenants are given a bed in a communal bunk room. The bunk includes a whiteboard, TV, and storage space, as well as access to lockers in the building. Besides the bed, everything else is shared including the kitchen, bathroom, yard, and common space. To sweeten the deal, food staples like ramen and cereal, as well as toiletries like toothpaste and toilet paper, are also included.
Before turning your nose to the idea, co-living offers several benefits to Millennials and Gen Z’s in search of big city living. First, it’s an affordable way to live in some of the most desirable neighborhoods in big cities. The median rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,703 (gasp!). PodShare’s “Live-Anywhere Plan” offers bunks at $50/night, $280/week, and $1,000/month with no membership fees, security deposits, or utilities. This allows young professionals the opportunity to live close to their job and avoid horrible commutes from more affordable parts of town.
Co-living is also appealing to newcomers to a city. PodShare allows members to rent a bed in any one of six locations with no deposit or commitment. This provides a great opportunity for someone new to a city experience life in different parts of town to help them decide where they want to live more permanently. With the cheaper rent, it’s also a way to help tenants save up money for a deposit on a more expensive apartment.
One of the biggest reasons some are selecting to live this lifestyle is for the community aspect. PodShare founder, Elvina Beck, states that her overarching mission is to “end world loneliness.” Residents typically hang out together, network with one another, and form strong friendships living in such close quarters. Co-living isn’t for everyone, but for extroverts looking to form friendships and connections in a new city, it can be the ideal solution.