As cities become more saturated, people are shifting their focus to urban centers outside the top five. Cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle will continue to be powerhouses, but cities that have historically been overlooked will be getting a major spotlight in the turn of the new decade.“We’ve seen a real need for innovative housing solutions in growing, mid-size cities that are facing challenges of rising rents and demographic change,” said Brad Hargreaves, founder and CEO of Common.
Common recently announced a $300M expansion into cities with high innovative potential — Philly, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego, and Denver — within the next three years. We spoke to our Real Estate Directors about these specific cities and why coliving is a necessary and perfect supplement to the cities’ prospects.
“Philadelphia is one of America’s most iconic cities with a rich history and culture,” said Caesar Nguyen, Common’s Director of Real Estate, Mid-Atlantic region.
Being in the top six largest metros in the US with 1.6 million residents, Philadelphia boasts a diverse demographic (15% of Philly residents are born outside of the US) and a large educated workforce (44% of millennials has a Bachelor Degree or higher). Since 2005, Philly has experienced a major influx of young professionals who need access to high-quality housing options. However, with the median income of $40K, it has become increasingly difficult to afford quality housing near the urban core centers of Philadelphia.
Common’s first coliving project in Fishtown, a hotspot for millennials in Philly, will have rents starting at $995 by early 2020. Residents can take advantage of the home’s great amenities, the neighborhood’s thriving arts scene, easy public transportation, and close proximity to downtown (only a 10-minute subway ride to city center) while saving 30% to 35% of their living expense as compared to living in a market one bedroom.
In 2019, Miami was named the most rent-burdened city in the US, according to Freddie Mac, with 61% of renters paying more than 30% of their annual income in rent.
Not only that, but Miami is known to attract a lot of billionaires with its unparalleled location and environment, meaning that local residents who make between $40K and $60K have to essentially compete for real estate with these billionaires.
This real estate dynamic has created a clear niche for Common’s design-driven version of “affordable” housing in Miami. At Common in Miami, expected to open in mid-2020, someone making $45K a year can rent a bedroom for $1100 per month that includes WiFi, utilities, weekly cleaning, furnishings, and an app that connects you to your neighbors.“It’ll be more international, which we’re really excited about!” said Brian Lee, Common’s Senior Director of Real Estate, East Coast. Currently, about 30% of Common members were born abroad, but that number is expected to increase in Miami, given the large populations of Venezuelans, Colombians, and Cubans living in the city.“Our first projects will be in Little Havana and we’re currently designing homes with a distinctly ‘Miami vibe,’ which has been a ton of fun,” Brian added.
Atlanta is one of the 10 most populous US cities and the capital of the South. It’s been the #1 moving destination for the past 8 years and ranks #5 in terms of overall job growth and the number of entry-level jobs. “We should absolutely be in Atlanta,” said Brian.
The Beltline has also been effective in orienting real estate development in Atlanta, which explains the rise of denser, walkable neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward and Summerhill. The problem is that 90% of these new apartment buildings are “luxury,” so rents have been surging faster than in most other US cities.
As affordability becomes a larger issue, Common homes in Atlanta (in early 2021) can be a great option, whether you’re a nurse or an analyst or grad student moving to Atlanta. Rents will start at $1000 a month, covering WiFi, utilities, furniture, weekly cleaning, laundry, and community events.
The most exciting part? “Spaces will be bigger!” Brian says. “We’re designing apartments that Atlantans want to live in, so we’re talking walk-in closets, balconies, rooftops, parking for cars and scooters.”
San Diego may be famous for its sunny weather (average year-round temperature of 69.7 degrees) and beautiful beaches, but there’s a lot more to it that is bringing Common to the city. You can go to amazing restaurants, bars, museums, and even a Padres game at Petco Park. The transportation is also robust for a beach city: there’s a local commuter train called the Coaster which travels from North County to downtown, a trolley system that will soon connect the East Village with University Town Center, and a reliable bus system. San Diego has one of the most robust workforces in the country with an unemployment rate of 3.7% and a median household income of $70,800. You can find employers like Amazon, CBS Digital, and Microsoft in San Diego, and even more companies that are expanding their footprint in the city.
With 70% of San Diegans aged 20 to 34 not married and 65% renters in non-family households, the market is perfect for coliving. San Diego is facing a similar affordability crisis to many of the major markets across the United States. “Our coliving homes in San Diego — expected in 2021 — will have ample outdoor space to soak up the sun and larger bedrooms compared to Common’s other homes to store all the outdoor gear needed for this city,” said Amalia Paliobeis, Common’s Director of Real Estate, West Coast.
Offering the best of both urban and outdoor lifestyles, Denver is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country. It’s got everything from trendy restaurants and breathtaking concert venues to incredible microbreweries and — not one, but — four professional sports teams. Not to mention, residents can be in the Rocky Mountains within minutes and take advantage of the activities, such as hiking, biking, and skiing. With the influx of millennials moving to Denver, jobs have followed, most notably in the aerospace, biotech, healthcare, finance, hospitality, technology, and startup sectors. Nearly 3,500 companies have opened offices in Denver in the past five years, and the city even hosts the annual Startup Week convention. Denver attracts tons of these entrepreneurs and young professionals (over 100,000 in the past seven years), but it has become increasingly difficult to afford to live alone. Studios in downtown can be priced well into the $1,800 range. There is a great demand for lower chunk price rents.
That’s where Common comes in. “We’re in talks with a real estate partner who owns one of the best-located sites in the city,” said Sandy Albert, Senior Director of Real Estate, Central US.
By 2021 and perhaps earlier, Common will provide residents with an A+ location, walkability and neighborhood amenities at your doorstep, transit, high design, thoughtful building amenities (with mountain views of course), and convenience to go with the city’s fresh air, great job opportunities, great weather, and mountain lifestyle within a world-class urban setting!
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Keep your eyes on these 5 cities, as coliving enters their markets. Which city should we come to next? Stay up to date about our expansion by following us on Instagram. Rumor has it, we tease our newest homes and cities on there first!
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