Communal living coming to Bedford-Stuyvesant

Developers are planning to erect a co-living and hotel complex at Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Courtesy of Tower Holdings Group, The Collective and Artefactorylab

A pair of international development firms plan to erect a so-called “co-living” and hotel complex in Bedford-Stuyvesant next year, which will offer dorm-style living at apartment-priced rents that one builder described as “the way of the future.”

“It’s different to renting your typical bedroom in New York or Brooklyn, where you have to do long term leases, where you have to put up money for furniture,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, who heads up Irish-American development outfit Tower Holdings Group. “This is a completely modern way of living because you don’t have to make those commitments.”

The residential complex planned for Fulton Street near Bedford Avenue — which Tower Holdings will build in partnership with London-based co-living company The Collective — will feature two 10-story and one seven-story towers stuffed with 400 fully furnished bedrooms connected via shared facilities, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

The three-tower development will feature an interior courtyard open to the public.
Courtesy of Tower Holdings Group, The Collective and Artefactorylab

Tower Holdings declined to share any information regarding the layout, or pricing of its upcoming co-living facility, but looking at The Collective’s London holdings offers some insight into the novel, European living standards the builders hope to sell Brooklynites. 

The firm charges £1083 per month ($1,384) for an “ensuite” — a roughly 100-square-foot room with a private bathroom and a kitchenette shared with another tenant— or £1,300 ($1669) per month for a 130-square-foot studio with a private kitchenette and bathroom, according to its website.

The rooms may not be spacious, but the developers are optimistic that a host of hotel-style amenities will more than make up for the meager lodgings. These include utilities, room cleaning service, and gyms, along with common and co-working spaces. And residents won’t even have to worry about managing their own social calendar — the landlord plans on scheduling cultural events and activities to keep tenants occupied. 

Leases at the co-living facility are offered month-by-month, making them ideal as extended-stay hotels, but will likely feature reduced rates for tenants looking for more permanent quarters.

The Fulton Street development will feature several common spaces.
Courtesy of Tower Holdings Group, The Collective and Artefactorylab

While the co-living trend was born in the old country, it has already taken root in recent developments across the city. A yearlong resident of a Boerum Hill co-living facility, called Common, on Baltic Street between Third and Fourth avenues said she was attracted to the no fuss housing deal, which came complete with furniture — and roommates.

“The model is really great, you don’t have to rustle up friends or people that you can establish a house with, you can have your own room,” said the tenant, who only gave her name as Linda.

Linda claims that the social activities — such as wine tastings, cooking classes, and holiday-themed get-togethers — offered by her landlord helped her get to know her neighbors, who she described as mostly recent college grads seeking easy accommodations.

“The tenants tend to have a community feel about them, like we get on the lifts and we become familiar with each other and get to know each other’s dogs,” she said. “A lot of younger people graduating from college are finding a very easy option to get into as far as independence goes, the barrier’s not too high, you can just rent a room.”

The Collective bought the T-shaped lot that was formerly home to the historic Slave Theater for $32.5 million, according to property records, but a spokeswoman for Tower Holdings Group said the company did not yet want to reveal the costs for the revamp of the site.

The Fulton Street side of the development formerly housed the Slave Theater, which a previous owner of the lot demolished in 2017.
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The two firms also plan to raise a 27-story co-living and hotel tower at 555 Broadway in Williamsburg in late 2022, on top of three parking lots they purchased for just north of $9.1 million in October 2018, according to records.

There will be a courtyard that’s accessible to the public in the middle of the development, which is expected to open in 2022, according to O’Sullivan.

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