Node founder/CEO Anil Khera at Node Dublin.
Having only the clothes on your back used to be a sign of poverty. For an up-and-coming generation of creative, risk-taking and global workers, it’s a concerted choice to value experiences over possessions. And co-living start-up Node is embracing the trend to provide a new brand of housing tailored just for them.“I think we need to re-live the way we live – particularly in cities,” said Node founder and CEO Anil Khera. “Toronto and other cities are going through massive growth … That’s putting all sorts of stresses on the housing market, and we really want to be part of the solution for housing.”Since 2016 the company has been building first-of-their-kind urban rental apartment communities in cities around the world, including Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Dublin, London and Manchester. The Node concept provides affordable, trendy furnished rental units designed by Canadian design firm DesignAgency and outfitted with high-spec appliances and smart-home technology to make daily living efficient and convenient. The target market are professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs who find themselves working in increasingly unaffordable and isolated cities.Node rents include all utilities and residents enjoy shared amenities, including an efficient and sleek co-working space and lounge area. Renters – aka “Nodies” – are supported by on-site “curators” who co-ordinate social and volunteer events, assist with roommate matching and create partnerships between the Node community and local businesses, including the arts and charities. A Node app is also provided to facilitate relationships and keep people connected.
Living room of the Node Kitchener, coming this fall.
This fall the company will break ground on its first Canadian residence in downtown Kitchener, bringing its co-living model to Ontario’s burgeoning tech and innovation hub. Node Kitchener will provide 38 private apartments – one-bedrooms are approximately 450 square feet and two-bedrooms are approximately 650 square feet – with rents ranging from $1,000 to $1,600 a month. A communal residents’ lounge, co-working space and outdoor patio with city views is also planned.“We saw what’s going on there so we thought we’ll bring our concept to Canada and test it out,” said Khera, noting that the longer-term goal is to branch out into other cities, including Toronto.Canadian entrepreneur Khatija Ali, the 28-year-old founder and CEO of BioSapien Inc., is living in a Node community in Brooklyn, NY. When she arrived in 2018 she came with only her personal belongings. “The only thing I bought were kitchen utensils,” said Ali, who said she was enticed by the “ready-to-go” concept of the apartment and appeal of living and working side by side with like-minded entrepreneurs.She also found the vetting process to be hassle-free, even though she’s considered a foreigner, and says her monthly rent of US$3,000 is extremely competitive. “Down the road you get a studio for US$2,800, but nothing is included,” she said. “The co-living concept is what allows me to stay in New York.”
Node Brooklyn kitchen.
For Ali, whose efforts are focused on launching a ground-breaking 3D printable biodegradable mesh as a new chemotherapy delivery vehicle, co-living is also an opportunity to connect with other young CEOs and chat about how they’re handling similar situations pertaining to growing a business. “You realize being a CEO is tough … and it’s nice to know everyone is in the same boat,” she said.Connecting people underpins the Node concept. “At the end of the day they are apartment buildings, but the ethos of the journey – having help with furniture, finding a roommate, connecting digitally and physically – none of that is being done by traditional apartments,” said Khera. “We’re bringing very interesting people together. Nodes are diverse communities from different backgrounds and experiences who might not have the chance to meet through other networks.”To learn more about the co-living concept, go to node-living.com.