The Collective to make New York history by opening $450 million co-living space

Brooklyn: British company, ‘The Collective’, is set to make shared-living space history in New York City by opening a $450 million co-living space in Brooklyn.

The Collective last week purchased a site at 555 Broadway, on the border of Williamsburg and Bushwick, for the 350,000-square-foot development, which will be the biggest ever space devoted exclusively to co-living in the five boroughs.

The shared-living space concept, which provides short-term leases in apartment-like spaces, is already established in New York, with companies like WeWork and Common already making a name for themselves.

The Collective CEO and founder, Reza Merchant, who secured the deal at just 29 years old, said today’s workforce needs even more alternatives to luxury new developments.

Merchant said: “People on middle incomes are forced to rent substandard and often illegally-converted rooms, in what were historically houses and flats built for families.”

Merchant started his business at 21 using one of the world’s original shared work spaces as its office – a university library.

He said: “Having experienced firsthand how difficult it was to find any remotely decent and affordable accommodation as a young person in London, it was obvious to me that something revolutionary needed to be done.”

The Collective opened its first package of four- to six-unit co-living spaces in London in 2011. Since then, it has raised just shy of $700 million to finance a global vision, with 6,500 units operating or under development in the UK, Germany and the USA.

Merchant would not enter into specifics about the development’s residence sizes, prices or its name, but he said The Collective’s London development, called Old Oak, offers studios with private kitchens and suites with shared kitchens for weekly and monthly fees, with utilities and WiFi included.

Monthly rents for studios range from £1,408 (roughly $1,827) for four months, to £1,257 ($1,631) for a year. Private rooms are between £1,213 (roughly $1,574) for four months to £1,062 ($1,378) per month for a year. By comparison, the average rent for studio apartments in Brooklyn in September was reported to be $2,275, and $2,589 for non-doorman buildings in Manhattan.

The co-living space, meanwhile, will be geared toward a diverse range of customers.

Amenities in the development will include a restaurant and bar, various outdoor retreats, a fitness centre and event spaces for seminars and other programmes. Creative types will have access to an art gallery, along with rehearsal and performance areas.

Merchant said: “We are very much focused on how people feel in our spaces and how we can create environments that enable people to be the best versions of themselves.”

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