Sky-high rent in New York City might soon be a thing of the past, if the founders of WeLive have it their way. The only stipulation: you have to get pretty close with your neighbors—as in, share-a-room-and-toilet-and-kitchenette close.
Operated by the co-working company WeWork, WeLive’s fully-furnished living space has all the trappings of luxury: a chef’s kitchen, a yoga studio, a bar, a soon-to-open rooftop jacuzzi, free internet and cable, and more. And at $1,375/month, the price is definitely right, for the right person.
Because yes—WeLive is a communal living space, meaning that you’ll need to be comfortable with sharing. That $1,375 gets you a place to sleep, but on a pull-down Murphy bed in a shared room with a curtain for privacy.
The official WeLive words on the arrangement: “From mailrooms and laundry rooms that double as bars and event spaces to communal kitchens, roof decks, and hot tubs, WeLive challenges traditional apartment living through physical spaces that foster meaningful relationships.”
And it’s not to say there aren’t other options. $2,000/month gets you a private bedroom with a shared bathroom and kitchenette, while $2,550 gets you your own private studio. And there are 2 and 3+ bedroom rentals available as well. You can also pay an additional $125/month for access to cleaning services, barre and yoga classes, and community events.
For a building located at 110 Wall Street, in New York City’s pricey Financial District, the rent is definitely solid. According to real estate research firm MNS, the average market rate of a studio in the Financial District is $2,705/month. Keeping in mind that that average studio isn’t furnished and doesn’t come with all those other amenities, WeLive’s rent seems like a deal.
But not everyone is so thrilled with WeLive’s business model. The Real Deal pointed out a clause in the residential membership agreement that essentially required WeLive tenants to sign off on their right to pursue class-action lawsuits against WeWork—meaning that WeWork doesn’t have to take any responsibility for damage to tenants’ personal property.
Business Insider also questioned how community-building a place with month-to-month leases will really be—or whether WeLive will end up feeling like WeStayedInAHotelForAWhile.
That said, WeLive really is a pretty exciting change in the status quo of private apartments. Yesterday, Andy Josuweit, founder of Student Loan Hero and champion of doing things differently to save money, tweeted of WeLive, “Mark my words, this is the future of renting.”
WeLive currently only has a residential location in New York City, but its next location, in Arlington, Virginia, (and 20 minutes from the heart of D.C. via Metro) is already planned. Slated to open in May, rent there will be a bit cheaper than in New York, with communal one-bedrooms going for $1,000/month and private rooms for $1,300/month.
Other cities will have to wait for now. In the meantime, there’s always the option of building a plywood bedroom pod and crashing at a friend’s place.