Tel Aviv municipality promoting co-living projects in overcrowded city

City Hall working with WeWork to introduce legislation approving co-living residents

PEOPLE WALK past a cafe in Tel Aviv (photo credit: SHARON PERRY/REUTERS)
PEOPLE WALK past a cafe in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: SHARON PERRY/REUTERS)
Due to its ongoing housing shortage and prohibitive rents, Tel Aviv City Hall is working with the New York-based real estate company WeWork to open co-living spaces in the city’s downtown area, Calcalist reported on Wednesday.
WeWork, and its subsidiary WeLive, offers urban residents small, less expensive units that are attached to common areas, featuring shared kitchens, laundry rooms and recreational areas.
Noting WeWork’s successful models in New York City and Washington, Tel Aviv’s chief planner Orly Erel said the project would involve the construction of a 17-story building at a site being developed by the Israeli-based Azrieli Group.
WeWork plans to dedicate some of the floors in the new building to its WeLive brand, creating units for co-living, while using other floors for the company’s shared office spaces, Erel told Calcalist. WeWork and the Azrieli Group declined to comment.
“We want this project to move forward,” Erel said, adding that it may take two to three years to complete because the types of living quarters designed by WeWork currently do not meet the legal specifications of what constitutes an apartment in Israel.
“There’s an issue with the size of these apartments,” she added. “Israeli law does not know how to deal with [co-living units].”
In the meantime, Erel said her staff is actively working with WeWork to introduce legislation that would approve co-living units.
WeWork, founded in 2010 by Israel-born Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, has 207 locations across 65 cities around the world, including several shared office spaces in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.