Community-Oriented Developments Are Transforming How We Live/Work.
Some are referring to it as the “global-living movement”, others “live/work collectives”, but whatever you call it, it’s clear the demand for developments that cater to a more creative way of sharing space has moved past a trend and now is poised to disrupt the marketplace.
Both the job and housing market for millenials are unique and require innovation and change to the traditional way of living and doing business. As young professionals look for housing, top of their list (after affordability) is often social connection. They want homes that help them find balance – especially live/work spaces in walkable, vibrant neighborhoods.
Reports say that soon up to half of our young workforce will be freelancing in some capacity. The freedom to work from literally anywhere is a bonus but many find working from home isolating and the neighborhood coffee shop isn’t always conducive to productivity. So more workers are now considering shared or co-working spaces that include all the amenities of a grand office but without the high cost or concerns about a long-term lease.
This is where developers are stepping in, New residential live/work models are being built in a variety of styles. Popular versions include simple accommodations elevated with communal amenities geared towards freelance workers – things like co-working spaces, libraries and meeting rooms. Some properties have focused on spaces where residents can connect socially like onsite restaurants, games rooms, bars and theatres. Some developments are in high-rise condos and some are ground-oriented home developments with a central ‘common house’ where residents can work together, eat together, exercise together and manage the tasks of life like laundry in a more sustainable and social group setting, such as Common, the co-living community projects popping up across America. Similarly, Kin is a co-living community in New York, accomplishing the same thing with the added twist of being family-oriented and offering features such as in-house childcare concierges, and the unique community formed through their app, allowing for shared tips, opinions, services, and expenses throughout the community.
Some co-living/co-working spaces are for purchase, some for lease, and some are run more like Air-BnB apartment hotels with flexible month-by-month lease terms for nomadic workers who travel frequently and don’t want a place for more than the length of their short-term contract.
That said, collaborative living is not purely for millenials.One-in-three households are currently lead by someone over 65. Retiring and soon-to-retire baby boomers are exploring a variety of creative housing options that help them maintain their active post-retirement lifestyle, and include shared spaces that encourage connection like community gardens and kitchens.
The common ground for both boomers and millennials is their wish for maintenance-free conveniences. They are looking for services like a full-time concierge, all-inclusive property management, valet dry cleaning or laundry services and high-tech smart home facilities like keyless entry, smart thermostats and building sensors.
Community-focused live/work properties are beneficial in several ways: they are more sustainable, affordable and provide a social good which are all characteristics of a strong society. The sharing economy is going strong and collaborative living/working is clearly the direction for the future – young and old.