WeWork Launches WeLive: Something New that’s Really Very Old.
The idea of shared living space is nothing new. But on the other hand it’s entirely new in the hands of the recent entrants to the market.
The disparaging call them “adult dorms” but having survived life in a dorm at my dear old alma mater, I can say these new co-housing solutions are about as far away from my college dorm as you can get. My parents and anyone else who has ever been near a tie-dyed T shirt would have called them communes. It’s micro-lofts, which are again nothing new, but combined with co-working space, and fully furnished right down to cutlery and sheets it becomes something else entirely.
Like a hotel meets a dorm meets an apartment meets an incubator. I think it’s a brilliant solution. If I wasn’t saddled with 50 years of possessions I’d move in in a second. Imagine not having to worry about anything except your clothes and a few groceries in the fridge (and even those, in some cases, are optional?)
As affordability continues to be an issue, and rental/condo designers in urban locations respond by decreasing unit size, this could be the trade-off. We’ve all talked for a long time about how our buyers/tenants need to think about the whole building as theirs to call home, and then we build common area amenities with an un-used billiards table and a lot of squishy sofas that no one wants to sit on.
This refreshed co-housing model could be the answer.
Shared bikes and cars and offices are working. So how fast will the idea of shared housing spread, and how far? I’ve been studying these for a year now, and they are popping up faster than I can keep track of. The first link above takes you to the announcement that WeWork has launched their housing product, WeLive (of course) and they have the velocity and size to really make a huge impact.
Watch for it.
Blatant plug for attention: I’m working with a US group to tell the story and create the brand for one of these. They aren’t quite ready to tell the world just yet, but when they are, I promise you’ll read about it on my website here! They have another twist to add to the product offering, one that makes them entirely unique. Watch and wait…news coming soon!