The Adult Dorm: Co-Living Spaces for the Post-Grad

Shared living room in co-living space in Nagoya, Japan

What does the millennial renter want in post-college housing? Flexibility, above all. Transparent pricing a close second. And a sense of community, for a not-too-distant third. Enter co-living, the housing concept designed for millennials.

The idea: Rent a small room in a big house filled with amenities—a shared kitchen, TV room, and gym—and like-minded peers. Co-living offers flexibility: Rental periods often range from one night to one year, no long-term lease required. The deposits are generally low, and broker’s fees are typically barred—a perk New Yorkers will especially understand. Most rental fees are inclusive of Wi-Fi and utilities, and co-living communities offer resident events like speaker series, dinner parties, and movie nights. Other possible perks: microbrew coffee, a resident mixologist (yes, that’s a thing), and an on-call housekeeper. Here’s a roundup of co-living spaces around the world:

Ollie, Kip’s Bay, NYC

Sofa bed in small apartment at Ollie Kip's Bay
Above: In a studio apartment at Ollie Carmel Place, the sofa doubles as a pullout bed. Photograph courtesy of Ollie.

Ollie currently offers co-living spaces in New York and Pittsburgh, with Jersey City and Los Angeles locales coming soon. It operates 55 furnished apartments at the separately owned Carmel Place building in Manhattan’s Kip’s Bay; included in the rent: gym, laundry, and community events. Ollie emphasizes hotel-style amenities like on-call housekeeping, premium TV, and regularly stocked toiletries (you’ll never run out of shampoo). Rents at Ollie Carmel Place start at $2,562 per month.

WeLive, Washington, D.C.

Communal dining room in modern WeLive co-living space in Arlington, VA
Above: A communal dining room at WeLive Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, doubles as a sports bar when the game is on. Photograph courtesy of WeWork.

An offshoot of the popular WeWork co-working spaces that operate in nearly 20 countries, WeLive is just getting started with two locations: one in Arlington, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) and another in New York. Cable, Wi-Fi, and utilities are included in WeLive rent, and while each room has its own kitchenette, the entire community shares a large kitchen and dining room for social time. One plus: The WeLive app allows residents to invite each other over for parties, flag problems, or request housecleaning. Rent at WeLive Arlington starts at $1,500 per month.

WeLive, Wall Street, NYC

Plywood bedroom with built-in shelves in WeLive Wall Street
Above: A bedroom at WeLive’s second location, on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. It has a custom plywood bed with Tuft & Needle mattress and sound-absorbing panels. Photograph courtesy of WeWork.

Both WeLive residences are sited above WeWork offices that residents can access when needed. All units have high-definition televisions, wireless speakers, and tech-enabled thermostats. Rent at WeLive Wall Street starts at $3,050 per month.

Ampeer, Washington, D.C.

Bedroom at co-living space Ampeer in Washington, D.C.
Above: The Ampeer community in Washington, DC, is located in the Patterson Mansion, where President Calvin Coolidge lived in the 1920s while the White House was being renovated. Photograph courtesy of Ampeer.

Ampeer in Washington, DC’s chic Dupont Circle neighborhood caters to a professional set. Hotel-style services include daily continental breakfast, custom coffee drinks offered 24 hours a day, and concierge-like staff to recommend nearby restaurants. There’s a staff mixologist on the second floor—the social lounge—to pour your favorite pre-dinner drink, included in the cost of rent. Units have luxe cotton linens, Caesarstone countertops, and high-end kitchen appliances with all utilities included. Rents at Ampeer start at $2,800 per month.

Common, Brooklyn

Communal kitchen at Common co-living space in Brooklyn
Above: A communal kitchen at Common’s Lincoln residence in Brooklyn. Photograph courtesy of Common.

The most established name in the relatively new co-living business, Common has properties in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Each hosts regular community events such as potluck dinners and movie nights, and communal kitchens are kept stocked with the basics (olive oil, salt, paper towels, etc.). One perk: Common operates 13 properties across four cities, and renters can transfer to any open room in another location with as little as two weeks’ notice. Rents in Common’s NYC residences start at $1,340 per month.

The Collective, London

Small bedroom in The Collective co-living space in London
Above: Bedrooms at the Collective in London have double beds, en suite bathrooms, and built-in desks. Photograph courtesy of The Collective.

The Collective bills itself as the “world’s largest co-living building,” offering 500 units in its Old Oak property near Willesden Junction in London. Rooms are basic but shared spaces are plentiful: The building has several dining rooms and communal kitchens, a rooftop garden, spa, movie screening room, sports pub, and a bar and restaurant, called the Common, in the ground floor. Rent includes utilities, gym, and regular housekeeping. Rooms start at £712 ($941) per month.

Roam, Miami

Communal kitchenette at Roam co-living space in Miami
Above: A communal kitchenette at Roam Miami. Photograph courtesy of Roam.

Roam caters to the global nomad, with locations in Tokyo, Bali, Miami, and London (and San Francisco coming soon). Its Miami locale occupies a 1908 Victorian boarding house in Little Havana on the Miami River and has a shared pool and lawn. Its 38 rooms are all air-conditioned, and each has its own sitting area and bathroom. Roam offers co-working spaces with “impeccable” Internet connections, plus a library, yoga room, and an outdoor barbecue patio flanking the pool. Rentals at Roam Miami start at $1,800 per month.

Roam, Tokyo

All-white bedroom at Roam co-living space in Tokyo
Above: Roam Tokyo offers bedrooms in two color variations: “A really white one that gives you this clean Tokyo Zen feeling of resting in a cloud, and a natural one that will provide a more earthy home.” Photograph courtesy of Roam.

Each studio at Roam Tokyo comprises 340 square feet—generous for the city—and even includes its own balcony and tiny kitchenette. The building, located in the Akasaka neighborhood, has 20 rooms with private bathrooms sporting new tech-y toilets and rose pink tiles. Decor in the common spaces is adventurous: The gym room has a circus theme, and the kitchen and dining flaunt an eclectic mix of used furniture from the American midwest and the Japanese countryside. Rooms at Roam Tokyo start at $1,800 per month.

LT Josai in Nagoya

Wood staircase in shared living room of LT Josai co-living space in Nagoya
Above: A shared kitchen, dining, and living room on the first floor of LT Josai. Photograph courtesy of Naruse Inokuma Architects.

Designed by Naruse Inokuma Architects, LT Josai is a new three-story house in Nagoya with 13 bedrooms of 7.2 square meters (almost 78 square feet) each. Also included: a communal kitchen, a long shared dining table, study space, and a lofted lounge with rug and floor cushions for socializing. Rent at LT Josai starts at 51,000 yen ($475) per month.

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