Live-work-play:A new wave
For most youngsters starting work in a new city, co-living becomes a necessity rather than a choice. Though the concept has been around for a long time, the last two years have seen start-ups like CoHo, Construkt and ZiffyHomes entering this space with innovative ideas.They take apartments on lease and convert them into co-living spaces with amenities.
However, there still aren’t too many such spaces that also offer a chance to work on the premises. But The Hub, at Safina Plaza, an iconic shopping arcade in Bengaluru, is an exception.
According to 23-year-old Azaan Sait, its founder, millennials like the convenience of co-living. “They can avoid brokers, move in at short notice and enjoy end-to-end facilities, right from community kitchens, pantries and laundry services to media lounges, and maintenance on call,” he says. At The Hub, they have access to a 4,000 sq. ft terrace, an unexpected lung space in the heart of the city. For out-of-towners, this can be a godsend.
Sait started The Hub as an experiment. He converted an old establishment, the Safina Hotel, into a co-working and co-living space. Around 10 of his friends had been staying there for more than a year but it was only in April that The Hub evolved into a complete live-work-play model, with new resident members moving in.
One such resident is 24-year-old Ramyata Rao, a venture capital consultant with an interest in crypto technologies. Rao was earlier staying in a start-up hostel in Bengaluru. “I wanted better amenities and a community with diverse people. I found all that in The Hub.” While her workplace is elsewhere, Rao does sometimes work out of The Hub. “It’s interesting living in this space. You communicate with around 50 people a day and they are working professionals and people from start-ups too.”
The Hub selects residents through an event, called the “community huddle”, every month. This is an attempt to understand prospective residents, and whether they can fit into a modern, diverse community. People can co-live here for anywhere from a few months to a year. The co-working space is also rented to outsiders, so you don’t have to be a resident to use it.
There are 33 rooms for co-living at The Hub and a shared studio for two is priced at Rs14,985 per month, per person.
Can co-living change the way people live? Not every investor is convinced. For instance, Udhay Shankar, an investor, start-up adviser and co-founder of an annual crowdfunded event called the Goa Project, is on the fence. “Co-living does solve big problems in housing but the business is capital-intensive and hard to scale, so it remains to be seen.