London’s The Collective To Build 500-Unit Co-Living Tower In Brooklyn

The Collective, the development firm behind the UK’s first large scale co-living community in West London, has revealed plans to build a similar tower in Brooklyn.

Located on the border of the Broadway Triangle, around 30% of the 500 apartments will be affordable.

Co-living offers residents en-suite rooms with access to communal facilities such as a gym, TV room and kitchen.

The Brooklyn building will serve as the Collective’s flagship location in the US and is slated to include a food hall, community-focused restaurant and bar, several co-working areas, a fitness centre, outdoor terraces with barbecue and lounge areas, and a landscaped outdoor plaza with artwork and public seating.

The building will also host workshops, seminars, performances, while also providing residents with rehearsal spaces and an art gallery, according to Curbed.

The Collective built the UK’s first co-living tower two years ago. Old Oak, near Willesden Junction, is a 550-unit co-living tower built over 11 floors. It features furnished en-suite bedrooms, shared kitchens, a gym, roof terrace, spa, movie room, library, games room, public restaurant and 400-desk co-working space.

The weekly rent at Old Oak ranges from £245 to £280 for an en-suite apartment or £290 to £325 for a studio, with all bills included.

Old Oak became the UK’s first large-scale co-living space when it opened in 2016. Since then, developers have submitted plans for 700 co-living units in Canary Wharf, 220 in Stratford, 320 in Ilford and 170 in London Bridge.

DMZ thinks more co-living developments will spring up in major cities around the world, appealing to cash-strapped millennials who want a taste of urban living.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has even acknowledged co-living as a form of accommodation in its draft London Plan, a policy document that provides guidance to London councils.

PLP, the architects behind the Collective, told the BBC they have been asked to advise on and design a number of co-living projects all over the world.

However, critics aren’t convinced about the social benefits of co-living developments and highlight concerns about the small size of the apartments.

An application for 170 co-living units is currently being considered by Southwark Council, which told the BBC it remains to be convinced of the concept, as people should not be “forced through economic necessity to live in very small flats”.

James Murray, London’s deputy mayor for housing and residential development, added that while co-living might provide “suitable accommodation for a very specific group of people with a very specific need”, he believes it is “not the answer across the board in any way”.

Others, however, think co-living is one way of helping to alleviate London’s housing crisis, while at the same time providing a lifeline for people suffering from loneliness.

A recent survey suggests three quarters of 18 to 34 year-olds in Britain feel lonely, so perhaps the social interaction that co-living affords could provide the answer.

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