This Startup Tries To Make NYC More Affordable For Young People

A few months ago we published an article about the challenges students face looking for rooms to rent in Europe, and told you a story about a young woman called Sofia, who was desperately trying to find a place to live in Amsterdam. Now let's cross the Atlantic and have a look at one of the most expensive real estate markets  - NYC, and how young people are fighting for their right to live there.

Between the broker’s fee, the income requirements and finding furniture, to find an apartment in NYC can be really difficult. That’s where WeLive  comes in. This startup takes away all of the headaches that come with securing a short term or long term stay in the city that never sleeps.

WeLive is creating a new way of living built upon community, flexibility and a fundamental belief that we’re only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. From mailrooms and laundry rooms that double as bars and event spaces to roof decks and hot tubs, WeLive challenges traditional apartment living through physical spaces that foster meaningful relationships.

Earlier this month, WeLive opened its first residence on Wall Street in New York City’s popular Financial District. Rent starts at $1,375 a month for a two person shared studio, or $2,000 for an individual studio. And, although the cost per square foot may be higher than other buildings in the neighborhood, the tiny size of the bedrooms actually makes the monthly rent lower than your average Wall Street pad.

The tiny, impeccably designed rooms and communal spaces are designed to foster a sense community, while removing some of the barriers that come with high end living. The building has a doorman, a laundry room with a pool table and a workout studio that can also host parties or movie nights.

The building features a huge kitchen equipped with dishes, utensils and a refrigerator stocked with all of the beer and San Pellegrino you can drink. The monthly amenities fee includes a cleaning service and unlimited yoga classes. There are also plans to put a trendy restaurant in the lobby.

Although personal space is limited, (the average bedroom is only 450 square feet) all spaces are fully furnished and the building has gorgeous New York City views. The units come equipped with beds that fold into the wall to save space and plenty of stackable shelves so that residents can keep all of their personal belongings in order.

However, the idea is that WeLive renters won’t spend much time in their small rooms but instead will congregate in the communal spaces. That’s what you’re paying for after all. There is a full time community concierge and a mobile app which lists ongoing events and opportunities so that you can always find things to do.

With many Millennials being priced out of the real estate market, we’re desperately in search of new, innovative ideas and concepts which not only allow us to live in the way we want to live, but to also look super cool while doing it.

This project is just one example of many that are redefining the “Sharing Economy”. These new “co-living” residences are an alternative for those who value access over ownership. So whether you are planning to go to New York for a short time or thinking about making a permanent move, WeLive offers a nice alternative.

And, it’s not just NYC – the company has plans to expand globally and open 68 more communal living spaces by 2018. A building located in the Washington D.C. area is currently in the beta phase.

WeLive’s founders have set some ambitious goals and are already thinking of creating entire neighborhoods and even cities. Perhaps they might even be able to leverage the power of aspirational, co-minded Millennials to power WeWorld.

Photo: Shutterstock

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