BY DIANA RANSOM:
"Operating within the sharing economy ideal of unloading your chores and transportation to startups like TaskRabbit and Uber, co-living startups suggest that your living arrangements may also be too cumbersome.
Other co-living companies include the New York City-based Neuehouse, Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Pure House and San Francisco's Negev. WeWork's entrant to the market, dubbed WeLive, may be Common's top competitor. WeWork, founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, has $1 billion in funding and a valuation that tops $10 billion.
So far, Hargreaves, who co-founded computer-programming school General Assembly in 2012, seems encouraged by the competition. Not only does his startup have venture backing -- $7.35 million from Maveron and Lowercase Capital, among others -- his connection at General Assembly promises a nearly endless pipeline for new renters. Roughly 300 people applied to live in Common's experimental dormlike community; just 19 were selected.
"This is the opposite of a winner-take-all market," says Hargreaves, who in a recent interview noted the potential for disrupting the rental market is vast. Indeed, the rental market is expected to reach $165 billion this year, according to research firm IBIS.
What's more, WeLive offers a rather different setup from Common, which Hargreaves thinks will be more palatable for some people. In places like New York City and Crystal City in Washington, D.C., WeLive is reportedly planning to rent out 360-square-foot "micro apartments," which will be incorporated within WeWork's co-working spaces. It had been reported that WeLive would open spaces this year, but a WeWork spokeswoman recently declined to comment on the timing.
By contrast, at Common, individuals have separate living and communal spaces that can be used for co-working. Renters, who are mostly students, according to Hargreaves, pay about $1,800 to $1,950 a month, and don't pay extra for laundry facilities, utilities, shared household supplies, and Nest thermostats. That's slightly more expensive than the average rents studio apartments fetched in the neighborhood in the past 13 months, according to New York real-estate firm MNS. They will need to be OK with sharing a kitchen, as there's one per floor. There are two bathrooms per floor, too, plus a half bathroom in the basement.
Unlike traditional rental apartments and homes that require at least two years of financial information, Common requests candidates provide six months of 1099 income or W2 information. Residents can also elect to rent month-to-month, so they don't need to sign one- or two-year leases, which are common in more traditional rentals. There's also an interview." (http://www.inc.com/diana-ransom/common-brad-hargreaves-co-living-space-in-new-york.html)