Jun 2019

The Collective Dreams Big As Co-Living Hits Its Stride

The company’s original 546-bed scheme at Old Oak Common in London spent more than a year on the market but didn’t sell. Then in October it was refinanced by Deutsche Bank at a value above the original asking price.

A few weeks later it announced a move into the U.S., where it is opening a site in Long Island City in September and has two further developments in Brooklyn, one in Chicago.

And this month it announced its first project in Miami, a $210M, 12-storey scheme in the city's Wynwood district. It has expanded into Ireland, with a site purchased for a new scheme in Dublin. It is close to announcing its first site in Berlin. And next month, in London, it will open its biggest and most ambitious scheme yet, 705 rooms in a 20-storey tower in Canary Wharf.

Altogether it has more than 7,500 units in its pipeline, with a gross development value of more than $3B. The company said it now has a target of a mind-bending 100,00 units by 2025.

Overall, it has been a very productive few months for The Collective.  “It just so happened that a lot of things we had been working on for a long time came together at once,” The Collective founder and Chief Executive Reza Merchant told Bisnow on a video call from New York where he was working on the firm’s U.S. expansion.

The Collective’s growth mirrors that of the co-living sector in general. In the past year developer Medici Living has raised $300M to expand in the U.S. and a further €1B to expand in the UK and Europe. Fellow specialist Common has also been expanding in the U.S., and WeWork’s division WeLive has long-standing expansion plans. In the UK new schemes are springing up in London, Birmingham, Manchester and even secondary cities like Wolverhampton. 


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