The Collective plans $150M co-living project in Williamsburg

Project also includes space for student dorms

292 North 8th Street, The Collective’s CEO Reza Merchant (Credit: Scuares via PRNewswire and Facebook)
292 North 8th Street, The Collective’s CEO Reza Merchant (Credit: Scuares via PRNewswire and Facebook)

UPDATE, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, 6:12 p.m.:The Collective is upping its bet on co-living in Brooklyn with its third development in the borough — one that will be geared toward students and people looking for short-term stay space.

The London-based co-living firm announced Monday that it is developing 292 North 8th Street in Williamsburg, which will mark its sixth project in the U.S. and fourth in New York City.

The 100,000-square-foot development will house 224 units, 97 of which will be reserved for students. The rest of the apartments will be studios “for nightly and monthly stays,” the firm said.

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The building also will have a student lounge, classroom spaces and a program of seminars and lectures.

The project will cost $150 million, according to a press release. Property records show The Collective paid $41.4 million for the site. An entity linked to the Kamali Organization bought the property — a factory — in 2016 for about $20.7 million, property records show.

Kamali and co-developer Macro Sea planned to bring an 11-story student dormitory project designed by Stonehill Taylor to lot, YIMBY reported. Stonehill also is the architect of record on the new project, according to the Collective.

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The communal housing trend has been on the rise of late, as investors, lenders and landlords slowly become more comfortable with the model. Meanwhile, the city is hoping that co-living firms can help alleviate the city’s affordable housing crisis.

But it hasn’t always worked out. In July, co-living startup Bedly abruptly shuttered, leaving more than 600 tenants with invalid leases. The company’s demise raised questions about the viability of co-living in New York City, and whether or not the model puts landlords and tenants at risk.

Founded in 2010 by CEO Reza Merchant, the Collective has two other Brooklyn projects in the works: 555 Broadway and 1215 Fulton Street, formerly the historic Slave Theater. All three are slated to open in 2022, according to the Collective.

The firm also is developing 2825 NW Second Avenue in Miami and 633 South LaSalle Street in Chicago.

Macro Sea didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Kamali couldn’t be reached.

Write to Mary Diduch at

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Macro Sea and its partner planned a co-living project for the Williamsburg site. It was a student dormitory.

Update: This story was updated to include the price of the development site.

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