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Logan Square Rental Development Tries Something New: Coliving

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$1,200 will get you a room in a three-bedroom apartment

In the age of tech and "disruptive" startups, words like coworking, ridesharing, and engagement have entered the daily lexicon, however one term that we may become more familiar with in Chicago is "coliving." Sure, we've all had room mates, but coliving is where a company matches up several people in a shared space, but each person signs a separate lease and is only responsible for their own rent and utilities as if they had their own apartment. And while coliving is more common in coastal cities with out of control rent prices, there's one building in Logan Square that is looking to bring this type of living arrangement to Chicago.

The new Logan Square L apartment building at 2211 N. Milwaukee Avenue has made headlines in recent months for its pricey apartments and unusual amenities, but the building is looking to shake things up further by offering individual rooms for rent. According to the details on the development's website, the rooms are being offered in three-bedroom units—those same units that received so much flak for being some of the most expensive in the neighborhood—for about $1,200 per person. The apartments are fully furnished and are only being offered through a standard 12-month lease. When it comes to utilities and monthly rent, those who sign up for this type of living arrangement are only responsible for their portion. So if a room mate isn't able to cover their rent that month, the only person affected is that particular individual. The apartments are being offered as co-ed units and renters do not get to choose who they live with.

Aaron Galvin of Luxury Living Chicago, the lead broker for the development, tells us that demand has been strong for the building and that the coliving spaces allow renters to take advantage of living in a brand new building and having access to its amenities at a lower rate. "We've been blown away by the people who are moving in from the Logan Square neighborhood and this is justifying the need for this type of development," Galvin tells us. "What's exciting about this coliving situation is that we're taking the idea of community and bringing it into the units now."

Galvin admits that the prices of some of the units have "really pushed it" for the Logan Square area, but says that the coliving apartments combined with the 12 affordable units also provides a number of renters the opportunity to take advantage of living in the building at a more reasonable rate. And while coliving seems to make sense for cities like New York and San Francisco where tech companies often need to find housing quickly for new employees or staff members who will only be at a certain location for a temporary period, Chicago's rental market is not as nearly competitive. However, Galvin says that "demand has been very strong" for this type of living arrangement at the new L development.

So, what about the legality of this type of living arrangement? With the continuing debate over Airbnb and and the closure of many SROs, it may seem like coliving would fall into some grey area. Galvin tells us that the tenants renting an individual room will sign a standard 12-month lease and that it's all perfectly legal. "People love Logan Square and want to stay in the neighborhood and want something newer, like what Logan Square L is offering," Galvin adds.