Wait, I Can Afford This!

How Medici Quarters is Disrupting the NYC Residential Scene

There are a few things you know you’re getting when you get to New York City: incredible pizza, traffic jams at any time of the day or night, and some of the highest rental prices in the US. No way to avoid them right? Medici Living’s concept ‘Quarters’ would love to change that.

As part of the growing disruptive concept known as “co-living”, Quarters is bringing Medici’s successful European model to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Each resident has his or her own room & shared amenities including a kitchen, living area and outdoor space, a model that keeps rent prices well below the market average.  That’s right, we said outdoor space.

 In New York City, the average one bedroom costs $2,800 per month and locks you into a 1 year lease. With Quarters, your rent runs ~$1,800 per month with short term and month-to-month lease flexibility, simply by sharing space that’s typically under-used anyway; if you’re like many New Yorkers, your oven is just more storage space. NYC co-living is about more than just price – millennials and new-to-New Yorkers find themselves not only able to afford locations and amenities they’ve previously been priced out of, but also gaining lease flexibility, a ready-to-live furnished apartment, and a community of friends & events to use at will.

 When we first met Quarters, German Developer and CEO Gunther Schmidt and his team were testing the waters of bringing a hugely successful European concept to tackle an entirely different market: New York City. “The sharing aspect just has so many advantages because you’re not spending as much but still get a huge package that you wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise,” Schmidt said.

New Yorkers seem to be on board, with 2 buildings opened and filled to capacity thus far. Brokered by Vicus Partners, their first location at 324 Grand St. on the Lower East Side was a test of concept, featuring 15 furnished apartments with 3+ bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1 kitchen. Benefits include flexible lease terms, a roommate matching service and planned events like holiday parties or watching Game of Thrones in the lounge. Opened in early 2017, the building is now entirely full with a waiting list. Their next building, 629 East 5th St., opened in October 2017 and is also full to capacity with a similar model. With strong demand, Quarters is looking to open several more locations in New York City this year.

Despite lower than market value rental prices paid by residents, owners benefit from the model as well. Successful co-living companies like Quarters take out long term leases, bringing full occupancy to their buildings and ensuring owners a steady stream of revenue through the term of the lease. Additionally, owners receive one check from a reliable and financially strong source rather than several individual rental payments from riskier tenants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, new reports have emerged predicting that the residential vacancy rate of 3.8% will “skyrocket to 11% by the end of next year”; already, landlords are having to offer renters more concessions than in past years. A model like Quarters protects owners from the risks of a deflating or even stagnant market, because Quarters pays the landlord regardless of renter capacity.

For more information on Quarters, please visit their website or contact Bert Rosenblatt at brosenblatt@vicuspartners.com or 212-880-3746.