The Real Deal New York

WATCH: Common’s Brad Hargreaves on why co-living is more than “dorms for adults”

The firm founder says it can be "a long term way to live"
By Alistair Gardiner | July 10, 2017 12:00PM

During a panel discussion in February on the city’s multifamily market, Ofer Yadeni said what the rest of the industry may be thinking about co-living.

“If you are a 35-year-old and you live in [WeLive or Common], you are a loser,” the Stonehenge Partners CEO said. “I’m sorry, but if you live with 10 people and you share breakfast or lunch… where do you go with your girlfriend?”

As the founder of Common, Brad Hargreaves could have taken offense. But when he sat down with The Real Deal‘s Konrad Putzier, Hargreaves laughed off the remark, joking that doors have been shut in his face “plenty of times” by landlords and developers.

“But we’re generally pretty friendly people,” Hargreaves said. “So most people would at least listen to us before they told us we’re idiots.”

It looks like co-living isn’t disappearing any time soon, as rising rents are pushing a larger cross section of New Yorkers into shared living arrangements. Pioneer firms like Ollie, Founder House and WeLive weathered the early years, and big players like Boston Properties, Vornado Realty Trust and Rudin Management have either partnered with or invested in these companies.

Hargreaves discussed with Putzier the viability of the business, how Common managed to get some major developers in the mix, and why he thinks co-living is more than just “dorms for adults.”

Watch the video above to see the conversation in full.

Produced by Alistair Gardiner and Kerry Barger. Interview conducted by Konrad Putzier.

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