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Project Brings Together Traditonal Apartments, Co-Living Units In High-Priced LA

California Landmark Group has completed construction on the first multifamily development to feature a co-living component in Los Angeles. 

Dubbed C1, the 68-unit multifamily property in the Marina del Rey submarket features 51 market-rate studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and 17 fully furnished co-living units. The co-living units range from three to six bedrooms.

California Landmark tabbed co-living company Starcity to manage the co-living aspects of the development.

C1 apartment and co-living development in Marina del Rey

The studio units start at $2,600 a month, while the co-living units start at about $2K, California Landmark officials told Bisnow.

“While the co-living units are larger and fully furnished, which makes them more expensive to develop, the cost per bedroom drops and we can provide individuals more affordable housing options than traditional rental units,” California Landmark President Ken Kahan said in a news release. 

The C1 development at 4210 Del Rey Ave. highlights the growth of co-living in the multifamily landscape in Los Angeles.

Co-living or communal living emphasizes residents living in shared spaces. Think adult dorms. Residents have their own rooms but share common spaces such as a kitchen, a living room and other common areas. All of the units are usually fully furnished. 

Communal activities are emphasized by management. Weekly dinners, movie nights and other group activities are encouraged and common in these co-living buildings. 

While some critics believe this could be a housing fad, others see co-living as an offshoot of the growing sharing economy, paralleling the growth of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services that transformed transportation and coworking and flex-space firms WeWork and Convene's services changing traditional office space. 

The rent to live in a co-living unit is usually cheaper than renting a typical apartment, Starcity co-founder and CEO Jon Dishotsky said.

“We believe that as Los Angeles continues to experience a housing crunch, developments that offer multiple solutions to different types of LA residents will be key to keeping housing affordable for all,” Dishotsky said in a news release.

The lobby of California Landmark Group's C1 development

In October, Starcity opened the city of Los Angeles' first co-living building in Venice. Starcity transformed a former apartment building for corporate housing into a 31-unit co-living building.

Last year, co-living company Treehouse began construction on the first ground-up co-living development in Hollywood.

The Treehouse Hollywood development is accepting applications for residents and slated to open sometime this year. Rent starts at $1,788, according to the company website.

The co-living units at C1 average 1,650 SF and have three to six bedrooms with private or shared bathrooms. The units come fully furnished and residents have access to shared communal spaces such as rooftop patios and a pool, a gym and other common areas.

The building also has a large main floor lobby with a communal kitchen and doubles as a coworking and event space. 

Kahan said co-living hasn't impacted the multifamily industry in Los Angeles yet since the number of co-living units is still minuscule compared to traditional units. However, he expects co-living developments or developers adding a co-living component to grow.

"How this pans out over time remains to be seen since no one knows how deep the rental pool is for this product," Kahan wrote in an email. 

Kahan said the building's shared spaces will be available to all residents whether they are living at one of the co-living units or traditional apartment units. 

He said co-living is not just a societal trend but also a good way to add affordable units to the housing market. 

"We felt the market is underserved with respect to lower priced, market rate housing for individuals," Kahan wrote. "By providing some units at a price point 30% lower than comparable single or one bedroom units an individual can still live in a new building in a great location.

"It’s application to housing, particularly in Los Angeles where rent-burdened tenants can pay as much as 50% of their income on rent, was inevitable and we’re proud to be at the forefront.”