Is Chicago ready for co-living?

Medici Living Group will rent bedrooms in shared apartments in Fulton Market

Apr.April 09, 2018 10:10 AM

Quarters in Fulton Market (Credit: Quarters)

Berlin-based Medici Living Group is bringing its first Quarters co-living location to Chicago next week.

The 175-resident location in Fulton Market is the first in what company CEO Gunther Schmidt said will be a broader push into Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We’re seeing massive demand, and we’re really reacting to that demand,” he said. “I think you’re going to see this expand in every city.”

The facility will be on the top five floors of MCZ Development’s 10-story project at 171 North Aberdeen Street, Schmidt said.

Apartments accommodate up to five people, with a kitchen, one or more bathrooms and bedrooms ranging from 77 to 198 square feet. Rents start at $1,200 per month and will average $1,600 per month including utilities, wireless internet and Netflix movies.

Leases are as short as three months, though Schmidt told the Tribune that the average Quarters resident stays for a little more than a year. Medici opened a Quarters location in Manhattan’s Lower East Side last year.

Medici is working with Naperville-based Caton Commercial Real Estate Group to identify other potential locations in Chicago, the Tribune reported.

Co-living is billed as an attractive option for millennials who want to move into hot neighborhoods but don’t want the commitment of a standard lease. Schmidt said there is also a social aspect.

“Imagine you’re from (Los Angeles), you’re moving to Chicago, and you don’t know anybody,” he said. “You’re immersed in this community, and within one week you have 100 new friends.”

New York-based Property Markets Group owns what it calls “social communities” in Logan Square and plans to open others on the Near West Side and in Pilsen, as well as in other markets including Miami, Orlando and Denver, Noah Gottlieb, a Chicago-based principal for the firm, told the Tribune. Gottlieb claims there’s a waiting list to get into the Chicago locations.

Co-living has gained its fair share of big-name backers, with traditional real estate firms like Boston Properties, Vornado Realty Trust and Rudin Management partnering with or investing in ventures such as Common, Ollie, Founder House and WeLive.  Overall, though, the concept has had its struggles. WeWork’s WeLive, for instance, planned to have 30 locations by the end of 2017, yet only had two. [Chicago Tribune] — John O’Brien

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