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The world’s biggest co-living space offers a hangover drip, 'sky pool'

Sarah Paynter

Co-living is bigger than ever — literally. 

The Collective Canary Wharf, a 20-story, 705-room co-living building — with eye-popping amenities like an Olympic-size “sky pool” and a hangover drip — is the largest co-living space in the world based on number of units, according to its developer. 

A bedroom at The Collective Canary Wharf costs about $130 a night. Credit: Ed Reeve.

Co-living is a shared living experience that gives tenants the privacy of their own room while facilitating social connections through shared spaces and amenities. For about $130 (£80) a night or $420 (£330) a week, a person gets their own room, kitchenette and bathroom, free WiFI, professional room cleaning and linen change services at The Collective Canary Wharf.

The lounge of Mthr, The Collective Canary Wharf's bar and restaurant. Credit: Ed Reeve.

“With loneliness on the rise in our cities, more than ever we find people are looking to make tangible connections,” said The Collective founder and CEO Reza Merchant in a statement. “The Collective is a direct response to this need.” 

The new construction, custom co-living development is located in Canary Wharf, London’s financial hub, where Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and other prominent firms have offices and about 315,200 people work.

The Collective Canary Wharf spa offers a spa and nail salon. Credit: Ed Reeve.

The 20th floor of The Collective Canary Wharf is topped with an Olympic-sized pool with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the city. Members can relax at the spa, fully equipped with a sauna and nail salon, and where residents can get deep-tissue massages and a hangover drip (typically a saline infusion with electrolytes and vitamin B to rehabilitate after a big night out). 

The Collective Canary Wharf's co-working lounge. Credit: Ed Reeve.

The gym offers a personal trainer and group classes. Plus, the building has a virtual reality golf simulator and game room, a co-working space, a 40-seat cinema, and a library. Members connect by cooking and eating together in the communal kitchen and dining areas, or meeting in the building’s basement bar. 

A kitchenette and dining area in a unit at The Collective Canary Wharf. Credit: Ed Reeve.

“We really want it to be a destination and want to provide members with an amazing space,” said Ed Thomas, The Collective’s Customer Experience Lead.

The community also offers two to three free nightly classes for members, from breathing and mental health sessions and live music performances, chef-run supper clubs, to community member-run coding classes and jewelry-making workshops. The activities are bookable through The Collective’s mobile app. 

Mthr restaurant with panoramic views on the 20th floor of The Collective Canary Wharf. Credit: Ed Reeve.

Mthr, the 20th-floor restaurant with panoramic views, is slated to open to the public on November 11 — and to members at a 10% discount. The menu is crafted by head chef Arnaud Delannay to facilitate community, from shared appetizers to “family style” entrees to group desserts. 

The Collective Canary Wharf library. Credit: Ed Reeve.

A home for nomadic millennials

The Collective Canary Wharf is the first to allow flexible stays, according to the company. From one night to 12 month stays, the model is structured to give travelers a sense of being a part of a community.

“People are more nomadic these days. People do not have to build their lives around tenancy agreements… We believe people can have a transformational experience in a one-night stay,” said Thomas.

The Collective Canary Wharf. Credit: Ed Reeve.

Only one week after launch, the The Collective Canary Wharf is at 80% capacity.

“It is the best of both worlds because you surround yourself with like-minded people, but you also have your own privacy and your own space,” said Adam Saez, a resident (member) at the new Canary Wharf location who previously stayed at the Collective’s first location, The Collective Old Oak.

The Collective Canary Wharf lobby cafe. Credit: Ed Reeve.

The ‘sharing economy’

The Collective, which also has a co-living space on the west side of London, has been in high demand. Since September 2016 Its first location has a 97% occupancy. Members have become friends, started businesses, gotten married, and had babies, said Thomas. 

The company is planning a total of 8,500 units in New York City, the UK and Europe. The Collective ishas raised about $1 billion in investments and one of its most notable investors is DTZ Investors, a specialist European real estate fund manager. Like Uber, WeWork and Airbnb, The Collective is riding the wave of the burgeoning sharing economy.

“There has been a value shift from owning to accessing,” said Thomas. “I don’t think there has ever been a more relevant time for co-living.”

The Collective Canary Wharf communal kitchen. Credit: Ed Reeve.

Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter

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