Rendering of a “WeLive” apartment on Wall Street (via WeWork).
WeWork, the international co-working startup recently valued at $10 billion, is hoping to cash in on the concept of pre-packaged “community”—with deluxe amenities, networking, and natural light—for a certain subset of financially-secure young people who aspire to live by the moniker “do what you love.”
For rents from $750/month for an office, WeWork Wall Street already lures freelancers, startups, and small companies in NYC with the promise of gym discounts, healthcare, purified water, and, according to its website, “the awesome power of community.”
Today, a spokeswoman for the startup confirmed that about 80 WeWork members and company employees have taken work-fun-life a.k.a. workfunlife to a new level, moving into 45 furnished “coliving” apartments at 110 Wall Street, which already rents seven floors of WeWork office space.
The startup would not confirm the rent for these apartments, but since some NYC millennials seem to appreciate a $4,000/month “dorm like atmosphere”.
Along with living accommodations, residents will have access to community events like fitness classes and potluck dinners, services like cleaning and laundry, and a digital social network—all of which can be coordinated through a mobile app….A monthly cleaning is included with rent (members will receive monthly bills for cable, utilities, Internet, and more frequent cleaning). Every floor has a common area such as a yoga studio or a movie theater. And the building has a community manager who will help plan Sunday night suppers, game nights, karaoke, and fitness classes.
“We are in the early stages of beta testing a new, community-driven living concept in New York City,” said WeWork in a statement. “This concept is another layer of our platform focused on enabling people to live more fulfilling lives. During this testing phase, we’ll be listening to feedback from our community.”
WeLive Wall Street will eventually accommodate 600 people on 20 floors, according to FastCompany. An internal document leaked over the summer suggests that this month’s pilot is the first step in a much larger coliving plan, accessible to as many as 34,000 WeWork members and generating $605.9 million (about 20% of the startup’s total revenue) by 2018. Something similar to 110 Wall Street is apparently in the works outside Washington D.C.
WeWork was hammered with bad press last year when about 150 of its non-union office cleaners protested making as little as $10/hr and were subsequently fired. The startup has since established a living wage of $18/hr for its cleaners, hired some of the old workers back, and pledged to work with union subcontractors.
We have reached out to service workers union SEIU 32BJ for any intel on staffing for WeLive, and will update accordingly. WeWork declined further comment.