By the end of the year, a German coliving brand called QUARTERS aims to have a hub up and running in Northern Liberties — on the 1100 block of North American Street, just down the street from WeWork’s inaugural Philly spot.
Once completed, the NoLibs six-story complex will house 74 shared apartments, or 186 “units,” for a total of 60,000 square feet of space on the site of what used to be a takeout beer store.
As a refresher: Coliving’s central thesis is that independent workers and entrepreneurs can save by paying one global price for access to a workstation and housing, increasing efficiency and eliminating commute time. Residents usually get access to communal work areas and independent living quarters.
“With its steady economic growth, incredible cultural institutions, top universities, and major airport, Philadelphia is well positioned for continued growth and well-matched to QUARTERS’s unique offering,” said in an emailed statement Gunther Schmidt, founder and CEO of Berlin-based MEDICI LIVING Group, QUARTERS’ parent company.
According to Schmidt, QUARTERS will aim to offer a combo of community and “deluxe living accommodations” at a price 10 to 20 percent more affordable than the going rate for standard studio apartments in the buzzy NoLibs neighborhood.
QUARTERS announced at the end of last year that it raised $300 million in funding at the end of last year in a bid to expand its U.S. presence. It currently operates hubs in Chicago, New York and Berlin.
Together with a $1.1 billion funding round raised by MEDICI LIVING Group, the two orgs plan to deploy 1,800 new units in the U.S. market over the next three years, and 6,000 additional units to the European market by 2024.
Upon launch, QUARTERS’ location in NoLibs could be the only active coliving option in the city. Coworking hub Indy Hall had a coliving project called K’House, but it was shuttered in the summer of 2017. A European company called Startup Home — through its U.S.-based division, Startup Home US — mulled a Philly expansion in 2016, but no plans have materialized so far.
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