Hotel Icon Ian Schrager Thinks Communal Living Is the Future

Co-living spaces are blurring the distinction between hotels and apartment buildings, according to hotelier Ian Schrager.

(Bloomberg)—The next big disruptor in hospitality, according to Ian Schrager, is co-living spaces.

“Communal living is blurring the distinction between residential and hotels,” the hotelier and Studio 54 co-founder argued during Bloomberg’s Year Ahead: Luxury conference in Manhattan on Thursday.

The mastermind behind the Public Hotel urged audiences to look at millennial buying statistics as evidence of this trend, which has seen growth in so-called co-living, where residents buy into furnished, semi-serviced apartments, either by the unit or by the bedroom. These are sort of communes for digital nomads with pop design, Casper mattresses, Nest thermostats, and other covetable accoutrements of the startup set. Critics have called them “dorms for adults,” while more evangelical residents praise them for the instant community they create.

“When I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to get a car!” Schrager said, comparing millennials’ lack of interest in cars to their evolving living habitats. “Now my daughters don’t want a car.” Relying on Uber and Lyft or car-sharing pilots from Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes was once unthinkable—now it’s de rigueur. “It’s just things are changed,” he said.

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