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Communal living complexes: A growing trend in packed cities

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NEW YORK — Misti Schindele has the luxury of space in her new home, but she doesn’t pay a fortune for it – a rarity in high-priced New York City.

“I can do all the cooking down here. We can eat at this big table.”

That’s because Schindele shares not just an apartment, but an entire building outfitted with group kitchens and common areas. The 36-year-old social media blogger is part of new wave of city dwellers moving in to communal living complexes.

It’s a place where living with strangers is actually part of the appeal.

“I was like can I go from nine-and-a-half years of basically living by myself to now living with a community and then I realized that I actually wanted the community.”

Schindele has a private bedroom and her own bathroom. Her building is owned by Common which has properties in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C.

She said what attracted her the most was the price. She pays $1650 a month in Brooklyn where the average rent for a one-bedroom is about $2500.

“We just opened a building in Chicago, where rents start at $950 a month,” said Common’s CEO Brad Hargreaves. “All of our pricing is all included: utilities, WiFi, shared supplies, cleaning and it’s fully furnished.”

The creative forces behind We Work recently debuted a similar high-end concept called We Live which offers group exercise and even a bar.

Schindele likes co-living so much she just renewed her lease for another year.

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