WeLive Is Tricking Adults Into Living in Dorms

Illustration for article titled WeLive Is Tricking Adults Into Living in Dorms

WeLive, the dystopian shared living space offered by WeWork, officially opened its doors on Monday in New York City. For only $1,375 per month plus an amenities fee, WeLive offers residents unnecessarily tricked out common areas including “a Chef’s Kitchen, Laundry/Arcade and Yoga Studio,” “all the coffee, tea and beer you can drink,” and one whole murphy bed per person. It’s a beautiful, lonely, humiliating idea that we all fucking deserve.

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The communal living space, which comes fully furnished in a kind of Ikea-plus style and is rented out month-to-month, offers “a series of opportunities,” according to WeLive’s co-founder Miguel McKelvey.

“What will make you energized and motivated to be awesome today?” he said in an interview with Wired. “Is it an awesome shower in the morning, is it a great breakfast, is it a beautiful view? Or is it all of those things together? Do you prefer to watch a movie on an iPad by yourself, or in a room full of 50 people? You need to be able to enter these kinds of social experiences with options.”

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Image via WeLive.
Image via WeLive.

The idea of WeLive is upsetting because it makes it easier for its tech-dependent adult infants to make superficial connections and to never be alone with their thoughts. It’s also upsetting, though, because it means that well-to-do (those rents are insane) New Yorkers are voluntarily living in something that sharply resembles a college dorm.

A dorm room at Ursinus College. Image via AP.
A dorm room at Ursinus College. Image via AP.

The residences are also, in effect, single-room occupancy (SRO), a form of affordable housing, of which many units have been converted and rented out to wealthy recent graduates. According to a 2014 report in the CUNY Law Review, SROs in New York have declined from 200,000 units in the 1950s to 15,000.

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An SRO in Los Angeles. Image via AP.
An SRO in Los Angeles. Image via AP.

Of course, these units aren’t available to residents who can’t afford a private apartment (studios at WeLive go for $2000 per month)—instead, they are for the tech millennial who has so much money they can actually buy their way out of adulthood.

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“We are happy if there are some bros here having a good time,” McKelvey told Forbes. “But there will also be people here eating wine and nice cheese and watching ‘The Bachelor,’ too. It’ll be diverse, and if we do our job, it will stay that way.” Meaning McKelvey will be stoked if there are rich men and rich women living there.


Image via WeLive.

Senior Editor, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

While this isn’t for me, the less-snarky aspect is that it is encouraging community in a society that is ever-more less-communal. As a young adult after college I moved to the other side of the country, lived alone, and had no community. This is one positive side of housing like this.