We’ve all heard of coworking spaces as it’s the rage nowadays but there’s a new term similar to coworking called coliving.
In short for those who are still unsure of the term, coliving is a modern housing option that gives residents an opportunity to not only share their living space with one another, but also share similar intentions, values, and interests. As the millennials love to call it: collaboration.
According to coliving.com, coliving is all about community, but it also supports individuality. One of their catchphrases? Sharing over consumption, and collaboration rather than competition.
The concept is already present and very active in other parts of the world thanks to multi-billion startups such as Shanghai-based Harbour and San Francisco-based OpenDoor dominating their local markets.
Even coworking giant WeWork has begun to delve into this space with their subsidiary WeLive.
Malaysia has yet to fully see coliving take off as there isn’t any dominant player yet in the market.
However, we’ve recently seen a few pop up, and as with new concepts, quite a few spaces claim to be the first ones in Malaysia. Here’s a list of them, and what they have to offer.
Note: This article is not sponsored and the spaces are arranged alphabetically.
1) Co-Coon Co-Living KL
Located at Damai Residence in Kuala Lumpur, Co-Coon has shared spaces that were created throughout the building that accommodates both “Work” and “Play” needs. The space claims to be the first coliving concept for early career professionals, students, urban millennials and Gen Z’ers.
Speaking to Tan Yee Seng, the CEO of Tan & Tan Developments Berhad who are the people behind Co-Coon Co-Living KL, he mentioned that the space is not a hotel or a hostel.
“Instead, Co-Coon is an accommodation where multiple people live together and enjoy the benefits of collaborative and communal living through shared spaces,” he explained.
Co-Coon has the typical facilities of a coliving space such as meeting rooms, communal lounges and shared kitchens but with the addition of a skydeck at the top floor which has facilities such as BBQ and yoga/ meditation deck.
A stay at Co-Coon starts from RM800 per month with a minimum lease of 3 months and the space has what you need to stay and work comfortably.
2) JL Co-Living
Self proclaimed as also the first co-living space in Malaysia, JL Co-Living is situated in USJ 21, Subang Jaya. According to their website, the space was founded by Jessica Lee in 2018 and it was born out of her personal experience where she sought to solve a problem within community living in Malaysia.
She realised that there was a major lack in communication between housemates; people were becoming more isolated, and safety was a major concern.
The space has the facilities of a backpacker hostel such as shared bathrooms but with amenities of a coworking space like meeting rooms and hot desks.
As their website doesn’t show room rates or accepts bookings, a check on Booking.com showed that you can only stay in the space for a minimum of 3 nights at RM297 for the Deluxe Double Room.
3) LVE Space
Not much is known about LVE Space but they also claim to be the first coliving space in Malaysia. After contacting Ming, one of the people behind the space, we found out that the space is yet to be launched but they will be having a preview event on March 13.
“We will be having an event that’s a preview to show people the location, its not renovated yet,” he explained. “It’s more of to get people’s feedback and hear their thoughts.”
He further mentioned that this space will just be a pilot test as they want to work out the kinks and only after 6 months will they get another bigger space if this one is successful.
With plans to re-innovate the spaces in urban Malaysia, Ming and his team will be looking at utilising old and unused spaces to make them livable again.
4) The Bed KLCC
Located in the heart of KLCC at Vortex KLCC, Jalan Sultan Ismail, The Bed KLCC is more known for being a capsule hotel rather than a coliving space.
According to RojakDaily, The Bed KLCC is Malaysia’s first ever interactive coliving accommodation that offers a luxury capsule hotel experience fit for all. Although their website doesn’t specifically mention that they’re a coliving space, we reached out to them and their representative has confirmed that it is indeed a coliving space.
It really brings up the question that, what if hostels just start building up workstations around their space? Can they then be called a “coliving” spaces?
Although they consider themselves as a coliving space, their facilities are more hostel-like at the moment; there are no hotdesks, just common areas to work at.
The Bed KLCC’s specialty is actually their capsule rooms, but they also have private rooms for families or friends to stay in. Their prices range from the cheapest one at RM55 to RM170 per night.
Here are some bonus coliving spaces that don’t claim to be the first but are worth mentioning:
1) Sama co-living
Another player who has yet to launch officially, Sama already has big plans to launch a total of five spaces in the future although they’re still working on their first space at D’Latour Bandar Sunway.
The space offers fully-furnished move-in ready accommodation to make it a seamless experience for their residents. They also have a total of three different rooms for residents to choose from and it costs RM371 per night.
The representative mentioned that the monthly rates are still not available and although it’s not officially launched, interested customers can book tours to view the space now.
The space offers facilities such as a common living room, fitness center and even a swimming pool, hopefully once they have finalised the price for monthly rates, it will be much more affordable.
2) The Hatchery Place
The Hatchery Place is both a hybrid of a coworking and coliving space as they offer both options for customers to choose from.
Unlike most of the coliving spaces mentioned in this article, this space is located in a home. Although they don’t claim that they’re the first coliving space in Malaysia, having started in February 2016, they might just qualify as that.
During the day, the space is a shared coworking space and at night it turns into a shared coliving space. The rates for monthly hot desks specifically for coworking are RM320 and residents can also go for the coliving + coworking package that ranges from RM385-RM490 a month.
The upper floor is where the rooms are located at, while the lower floor is where the coworking happens. The space provides all basic facilities from washing machines to pantry areas (like a normal home) and offers occasional meetups and workshop events. There’s also a resident cat called Ginger.
It’s interesting to see so many new players coming into the coliving industry and although some of them claim to be the first in Malaysia, it won’t matter much. What does matter is whether they can sustain the business.
There are also pockets of coliving spaces turning up in places like Penang and Ipoh, though quite a few of them appear to be hostels that have adopted the terminology of coliving spaces as part of their evolution to attract digital nomads.
If the trend continues to pick up locally, we might even see giant coliving companies from overseas setting up shop in Malaysia. Since WeWork has recently expanded in Malaysia, they are possible candidates, with both the reputation and the venture capital money to roll out more coliving spaces in short amounts of time.
It should be noted that coliving is more than just physical spaces being set up. Some coliving groups actually don’t have permanent venues. Instead, they are nomadic, moving from place to place, but keeping the “coliving” aspect intact by living, and often working, together.
Other than coliving spaces, we’ve also covered coworking spaces and you can check it out here.
Feature Image Credit: Pexels / Afta Putta Gunawan