It’s a concept that defies what the pandemic has engrained in so many people, but developers are still hoping co-living will be a hit in Boston.

Construction of the city’s first co-living project, 7INK, continues to move forward at Herald and Albany Streets.

Some are questioning the viability of shared living spaces, kitchens and in some cases, bathrooms in these current times.

Ted Tye, Managing Partner with National Development, told Boston 25 News he believes there is a still a market of young professionals for co-living in Boston.

“I think COVID has actually made co-living more of a thing,” said Tye. “We’re able to create a lot of social interaction and community within a building, which has become much more important to people.”

Boston 25 News got a peek of the 7INK project in October 2019.

Tye said the pandemic has since inspired some changes in construction. That includes more outdoor space, more windows and a plethora of spaces to work from home.

“Places where people can get out of their apartments and work. There will be small meeting rooms and small spaces throughout the building where people can close the door,” explained Tye.

It’ll still be a while before 7INK welcomes any residents. The project is set for completion in early 2022. By then, Tye expects a vaccine will have been available for a while and things will be different.

“We hope by the time we open, we will have COVID in the rear view mirror,” said Tye. “In the event that we don’t, we’ve taken a lot of thought and precautions.”

Boston’s Housing Innovation Lab has studied co-living as a way to create more housing density and new affordable opportunities in Boston. Director Taylor Cain said the pandemic has certainly presented questions as to if and how co-living will match people’s needs.

“So much of this moment has forced us to look at our spaces differently and think about what we want from our living environments,” said Cain. “Now we think of everything happening in our homes.”

Despite some uncertainty about the future of co-living, National Development is currently considering more co-living projects in the near future.

By Drew Karedes
Boston 25 News

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