By Corina Vanek | Arizona Republic
Yhara Quiroz wanted to move to downtown Phoenix, but decided it wasn’t a good time to buy a place with the area’s soaring costs for houses and condos.
She toured X Phoenix, a new apartment complex at Second Avenue and Monroe Street, planning to rent a one-bedroom apartment. She ended up signing a lease in one of the building’s co-living units, where she rents one bedroom in a four-bedroom unit, and lives with three other people, who are all on separate leases.
X Phoenix offers traditional leases on individual apartments, but also rents bedrooms in shared apartment spaces. The shared apartments cost less, which is appealing at a time of rising rental prices across metro Phoenix
“I’m in the process of selling my condo, and wanted to move to downtown,” Quiroz said. “I loved the yoga space (at X Phoenix), I also teach yoga. I was looking at a one-bedroom, but on the tour I changed my mind. The price point is good, that was one of the main motivators.”
Quiroz lives with three roommates and shares the kitchen and living room. The apartment has a regular cleaning service for the shared areas, so some of the awkward conversations that can come with living with strangers, like dealing with different levels of cleanliness, can be avoided.
“I think after COVID isolation, it has been really nice to be around people,” she said. “The community they are starting to develop is great, I’ve met so many people, so many friends in the building.”
Moving to a shared apartment was a chance to downsize after owning a condo in Phoenix, Quiroz said.
“I sold most of my furniture,” she said. “I moved from a condo into a furnished apartment.”
Quiroz also works in the building, teaching several yoga classes a week at the yoga studio.
Co-living is a trend that has grown in some of the smaller student housing markets, such as in cities in West Virginia, Montana and Indiana, Tom Brophy, research director at Colliers International in Phoenix, said. Some student housing developers are using the model as an option to allow renters to stay in their units once they are no longer students.
While the model is uncommon in Phoenix, developers of X Phoenix are banking on its popularity extending beyond college students.
The model allows a person to rent a luxury apartment for a lower price, and, in the case of X Phoenix, gives the residents a chance to live in an area with easy access to the largest employment centers in the city, either by walking in downtown or taking public transit, which could save residents additional money by not using a car, Brophy said.
X Co., the developer of X Phoenix, is preparing to break ground on the second phase, which will be followed by another high-rise from the same developer in the Roosevelt Row Arts District.
“We are anxious to get started, given the success we’ve seen with the first phase,” said Ben Brichta, a partner at X Co.
Leasing on the first phase began in the spring and has reached about 65%.
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