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Co-living roundup – London boom, new launch and Brighton’s first scheme

The still nascent co-living sector is starting to gather momentum if the last week is anything to go by, with the launches of new schemes in London, Reading and Brighton.

Here, we take a closer look at what’s been happening recently in this burgeoning marketplace.

Gravity Co launches its fifth property in the UK’s very own Silicon Valley


A London based co-living & PRS brand, which has a strong focus on community, flexibility, wellbeing and professional growth, has announced the launch of its fifth property this summer in ‘the epicentre’ of one of the UK’s most thriving tech hubs, Reading.

Gravity Co will launch ‘Gravity Royal Heights’ - a newly developed property and home to 53 brand new studio, one and two-bedroom apartments as well as four penthouse apartments, five floors up that boast ‘incredible views’ over the historic market town.

Each apartment has been designed with an open-planned, contemporary style, and comes fully furnished with high-quality furnishings and built-in, modern, high-spec appliances.

Gravity residents (known to the company as members) will also not need to worry about rapidly increasing energy prices, as utility bills are included in the monthly rent which starts from £1,100.

The firm says every member in Reading will also have their own login to the Gravity App, where they’ll find 24/7 wellbeing support, access to key Gravity contacts and on-demand cleaning services.

What’s more, members will have access to Gravity’s partner network as well as more than 700 discounts, all at the touch of a button.

The Gravity App also enables members to be instantly connected to the ‘thriving’ Gravity community, with over 200 live-in members across four existing London properties and more than 300 social members.

Situated in the heart of Reading, in one of the town’s most sought-after postcodes, Gravity Royal Heights is just a short 10-minute walk to Reading station (which offers fast services to London Paddington and is the western terminus for the soon-to-open Elizabeth Line). It also sits less than a five-minute walk to Reading town centre, which is home to plenty of cafes, bars, shops, restaurants and gyms, as well as the Oracle shopping centre.

The River Thames and the Kennett and Avon Canal are on the doorstep, and there is some excellent countryside nearby, although the town does suffer from an over-abundance of chains and a slightly too-built up feel.

Referred to as the Silicon Valley of the UK, Reading has become a mecca for technology companies and start-ups, and is home to some of the world’s largest tech brands including Visa, Ericsson, Huawei, Oracle and Virgin Media.

With many offices close by (Visa’s is less than a minute’s walk from the property), Gravity says it will work alongside resident companies, not only to provide accommodation to staff living locally, but also to support with corporate relocation.

It argues its hassle-free living experience can help fast-growing companies attract talent in today's highly competitive environment by providing ‘best-in-class accommodation’ and taking care of all the typical pain points faced by young professionals who need to relocate.

It has become something of a hotbed for entrepreneurs in the capital, and Gravity says it will aim to support the numerous start-ups that have made Reading home.

“Technology is a big part of our DNA at Gravity which is why we want to be where tech is thriving. It’s exactly why we’ve come here. As more and more companies base themselves out of Reading, there are some exciting opportunities to work with developments such as Green Park Business Park and Thames Valley Park which we know we can provide a lot of support to,” Riccardo Tessaro, co-founder and chief executive of Gravity, commented.

Susanna Rock, co-founder and CIO of Gravity, added: “We want to introduce Reading to a new way to live. At Gravity, we’re much more than just rental accommodation. With a community-focussed approach that has multiple layers to it, we’re the ideal living solution for those moving into the area. Especially for those who need to relocate for work. When you’re new to an area, it can be quite daunting. But with Gravity, we really focus on creating a community that is ready to both welcome and support as much as they can.”

Gravity Royal Heights is the first in a two-phase development plan, with further properties set to be added to take the scheme to over 90 units on completion.

London’s biggest co-living company expands

Built Asset Management (BAM), the capital’s largest co-living operator, says it has further cemented its status as London’s leader in high-end co-living properties with the announcement of a doubling in size of its portfolio in East London.

The portfolio makes BAM the largest co-living specialist of its kind in the capital, now operating more than 1,300 units across London. 

The doubling in size of co-living units under the BAM portfolio relates to properties specifically within East and South-East boroughs, now with over 100 units in these areas. New boroughs added to the BAM portfolio include Lewisham, Croydon and Southwark.

Alex Gibbs, co-founder and director of BAM, said: “Establishing London-wide coverage is a key milestone for our business and East London has always been in our sights. It enables us to provide a much more diverse offering to our customers to suit their needs and preferences, and it also enables us to support our renters through a longer phase of their London journey.”

He added: “A new job requiring a move to the other side of the city no longer dictates the need for a change in accommodation provider as well.”

Co-living units added to the BAM portfolio across East and South-East boroughs are largely five-six bed homes, the majority of which include gardens and en-suite bedrooms.

As with all BAM properties, the new additions to the portfolio operate on a ‘fuss-free living’ basis. This means they are fully-furnished with all bills included for maximum ease.

“We very much intend to keep expanding our East London offering,” Gibbs added. “The team is rising brilliantly to the challenge of becoming the local experts at a London-wide level. London is such a large and diverse city that it is hugely beneficial to be able to consult with people moving into the city and really help to shape their London experience for the better by having options and opportunities in a variety of locations. With the imminent arrival of Crossrail and the ever-developing social scene in East London, we see some very exciting opportunities here in the coming months and years.”

Brighton’s first co-living urban village well underway

Plans are in motion to deliver Brighton’s first-ever co-living and co-working urban village, which will be made up of 429 studio apartments across three adjacent property sites on Melbourne Street and Lewes Road.

Kosy Co Living, part of the Kosy Living group, has unveiled images of the second phase – Enterprise Point – which will house 278 studio apartments with shared communal areas.

Unlimited access to a wide range of modern facilities and amenities will be on offer to residents at the new co-living scheme. These include co-working areas, fitness and wellness suites, café/dining options, a cinema, games and leisure room and outdoor spaces including gardens, BBQ areas and a roof garden terrace.

Additionally, residents will benefit from an all-inclusive rental package that includes housekeeping, all bills and utilities as well as 24/7 access to the co-working facilities and events – ‘all covered in a single monthly rent payment’.

“With phase one ready to begin, we are thrilled to release our vision for the second phase of our co-living urban village,” Paul Brundell, chief executive at Kosy Living, said. “This will be a truly unique living option for Brighton and will attract local professionals and graduates who are keen to stay in the city - a vital part of solving the housing shortage whilst helping retain its skilled working population.”

He added: “Our development will be transformative for this area by improving the public realm along Melbourne Street and regenerating a run-down brownfield site. There will be better pedestrian areas and cycle-friendly pathways, new green spaces, new dining options and co-working spaces for locals.”

Kosy Living announced its partnership with Maven Capital Partners and Puma Property Finance for phase one on Melbourne Street earlier this year. The first residents of the scheme are set to move in in 2024.


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