The price of communal living at New York’s WeLive, the lavish space operated by co-working giant WeWork, is about to go up.
According to a report from The Real Deal, the bourgie co-living enterprise sent out an email over the summer explaining to residents that come January, rent would be going up.
Here’s a look at the numbers, as per The Real Deal piece:
WeLive studio apartments will rent for $3,050 per month (up from a current $2,000) and 4-bedroom pads will go for $10,000 (up from around $6,000) ... Two-bedroom apartments will now go for between $5,400 and $6,400 per month and three-bedroom pads for $7,350, the email states.
In a statement, WeWork described how “incredibly pleased” the company was with WeLive’s “performance.”
“The test period for the building is coming to an end; the pricing now reflects market rates,” the company added.
Yet WeWork also disputed some of the numbers in The Real Deal’s story. It took issue with the $10,000 figure for a four-bedroom unit—it says the number is actually closer to $8,000 per month. The $3,050 figure matches the number currently listed on WeLive’s website, though the company told me in April that studios initially started at $2,550, not $2,000 as The Real Deal reported today. When asked to provide updated figures for two- and three-bedroom units, the company hemmed and hawed and wouldn’t provide a straight answer.
WeWork also insisted that the change in rent isn’t an increase, per se, but rather an adjustment that simply moves the pricing to market rate. (Debating semantics is apparently as integral to co-living spaces as a sense of community.) It also argued that the many amenities it provides—including furnished units and classes—help justify the cost.
But according to Rory Bolger, an associate real estate broker for Citi Habitats, the numbers cited by The Real Deal aren’t actually that kooky, primarily because the units are furnished and the extra amenities bring them under the “luxury living” umbrella.
“It seems like it’s in line,” Bolger told me when reached by phone today. He added that two factors—furnishings and the possibility for short-term rentals, which WeLive allows—would jack the price up.
A quick look at housing in New York’s Financial District, where the WeLive building is located, confirms that it’s indeed expensive as hell: Studios generally fall in the $2,200 to $3,400 range, with furnished units coming at a higher cost.
Of course, this doesn’t make it any easier to swallow the fact that living in New York is a miserably expensive and wildly unpredictable experience that often necessitates living with other people unless you’re made of money. But it’s a reality WeLive appears to have no problem taking advantage of.
According to Bolger, co-living is hardly in new, especially in cities with the gravitational pull like New York—WeLive has just learned to take advantage of it. “In general, rental [in New York City] is insane,” Bolger said. “They’re taking what’s going on in New York City and advertising it and marketing it that way.”
Do you reside in the WeLive building or another pricey co-living space? Get in touch with me here: firstname.lastname@example.org