Bloomberg's Kyle Chayka takes a look at Common, a Brooklyn, N.Y., start-up that is running with the co-living trend and aiming to lure business-traveling urbanites with tech amenities and rent-as-you-go flexibility.
The company has updated a 1931 Crown Heights townhouse with modern upgrades such as doors that can be unlocked with Apple iPhones and watches. The property's 19 bedrooms, which range from 100 square feet to 150 square feet, are priced at $1,800-$1,950 a month. The rate includes utilities and household basics, such as cooking supplies. Designed as a first of many, the company plans to expand the set-up to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other parts of New York.
The retro-looking lightbulbs hanging over the kitchen counter are energy-efficient LEDs. The “smart mattresses” are provided by startup Casper, the luxury sheets come from Parachute, and the private social network is being custom-built. To qualify for one of the 19 bedrooms in the semicommunal setup, you need to pass a background check; once you’re accepted, you must sign a month-to-month rental contract—but that’s all done online, without a single Realtor.