Austin has long been on the radar of Quarters, which bills itself as the largest co-living provider in Europe and the United States. Now the firm has picked a location for its first outpost in the Texas capital and one of its few in the U.S.
Quarters plans to open a five-story, 120-bedroom co-living facility at 1108 Nueces Street in downtown Austin in 2021, according to an announcement from the company, which is owned by Berlin-based Medici Living.
Jen Weaver’s Austin-based Weaver Buildings owns the 45,000-square-foot Nueces Street site and will be developing it.
“As an Austin resident since 2001, I have witnessed firsthand a population boom and subsequent housing demand for market-rate affordable options,” Weaver said in a statement. “By partnering with Quarters, Weaver Buildings is providing innovative and sustainable housing solutions to help meet this demand while also contributing to increased walkability in our evolving urban Austin.”
The project will be aimed at younger professionals, particularly those in the tech industry and creative types, as well as at students. The property will be all about amenitized living, with a lot of common-slash-shared spaces—including a rooftop deck, a large communal kitchen, and lounges—and rather barebones private rooms.
The idea is that such an arrangement and Quarters’ more flexible lease lengths will appeal to tenants who need little more than a place to sleep, bath, and occasionally plug in.
“Austin is the perfect fit for Quarters,” CEO Gunther Schmidt said in a statement. “With a well-established tech and music scene, Austin has become a mecca for entrepreneurs and a top city for young people. At Quarters, we provide an all-inclusive lifestyle specially tailored to young professionals and built around convenience, flexibility, and community. We’re excited to bring this unique offering to Austin and further promote the city’s incredible culture of innovation.”
Utilities and cleaning services will be included in the Nueces Street rents, Quarters has said. The company also said that its units typically go for as much as 20 percent less than a conventional studio in the same area. Quarters’ rents in Chicago start at more than $1,000 a month, for instance, and in New York City at more than $1,549.
Quarters is one of several co-living firms that has been circling major U.S. cities, particularly tech/creative-heavy hubs such as Austin, over the past few years. Like Quarters, these companies—including WeWork’s WeLive, Property Markets Group’s X Social Communities, Ollie, Bungalow, the Collective, and Common—have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for expansions.
Part of their secret sauce is that pricing, which is designed to provide more amenities and services for about the same price as a starter apartment.
The Austin plans are still under city review. Stay tuned.