Belgium-based coliving firm Cohabs is looking to expand in New York City after receiving $70.2 million in funding this year.
Currently, Cohabs has 760 bedrooms across Brussels, Paris and New York City, where it owns three buildings in Crown Heights and Harlem.
Now, the company is looking for small vacant buildings in New York that could be transformed into coliving facilities that feature 10 to 30 bedrooms.
In addition to its expansion plans in New York, the company will open new spaces in Madrid.
Purchasing properties sets Cohabs’ model apart from other coliving operators, who typically sign master-lease agreements with landlords, redesign the space and rent them out.
“The master lease model is a real problem. Because as you can see, when you have a drop in rents you don’t have enough to pay the owner,” said Youri Dauber, CEO of Cohabs. “We believe that owning the asset is more capital intensive but it makes us more capable of doing great things within the asset.”
Although the pandemic has caused many coliving operators to go under, Cohabs has been able to reap the benefits of the increasingly consolidated market.