Property management platform Outpost Club leads the way in affordable urban living, merging co-living and co-working in NYC

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As New York City tries to provide more affordable housing to its residents, the real estate and management platform Outpost Club has been hard at work creating affordable housing dwellings.

The Outpost Club is redefining urban living in New York City by merging co-living and co-working under one roof. They offer residents not just a place to live but a shared community where like-minded individuals can live and work together.

Each resident has the privacy of their own room and access to communal bathrooms, kitchens, dining areas and workspaces designed to foster collaboration and community. The amenities typically feature fast Wi-Fi, regular cleaning services and complimentary essentials like tea, coffee, milk, etc., with some even boasting game consoles, adding a touch of fun to the modern living experience.

Outpost Club manages nearly 1 million square feet of residential real estate in New York City, housing more than 1,200 tenants across close to 40 buildings. The company is expanding shared housing opportunities while also working with the City to house college students who have low incomes.

Rather than creating new buildings on properties, which could end up taking multiple years for work to be completed, Outpost Club looks to find the best ways to utilize existing premises.

A crucial consideration in maximizing these spaces is the efficient utilization of each area. This includes creating common areas in spaces of the property that may otherwise go unused, such as the basement, rooftop or backyard of the property. Another important characteristic of Outpost Club is ensuring each unit is arranged to fit multiple people, with most being between three-bedroom and five-bedroom units.

According to Outpost Club CEO Sergii Starostin, the creation of Outpost Club was inspired mainly by his own experience of struggling to find a nice place to live when he first moved to the United States in 2016. Due to negative past experiences with his own landlord, Starostin grew to understand the importance of having a good landlord for tenants.

“A good landlord is a very important component for housing,” Starostin said. “[The units] must not only be affordable, but you must also like to live there. One that doesn’t have issues and is maintained appropriately.”

Outpost Club’s rental units start at $1,000 a month. Most of the people it serves are college students and young interns, who may otherwise struggle to find affordable units with such limited incomes. Outpost Club also works with the City of New York’s College Choice Program, which helps students of at least 18 years of age from foster families who enter the college system and start living independently find a home.

“We have about 60 people living in our properties as part of that program,” Starostin said. “The City of New York very much likes the way we do business, making things safe and clean and nice for the students.”

While Starostin said Outpost Club does not currently have any large projects lined up for 2024, he did note that they are still aiming for some in the near future, including multiple smaller properties in Queens. One notable project of interest is a development in Astoria. As that development changes hands, he is optimistic that Outpost Club could soon get involved with establishing affordable living spaces there.

In 2023, Outpost Club helped create affordable units for another 150 New York City residents, bringing the total number of their units to approximately 1,500. Starostin said he hopes to increase the number of units to 3,000 within the next three years.

“[The cost of living] has become more expensive for all of us,” Starostin said. “I think it’s very important to keep having [housing] options for people. For young people, it’s also a challenge because it’s not only the price that’s a barrier to entry, but also the documents required to rent something, the cost to move, and more. To move into the city nowadays, you must pay the first month’s rent and make a security deposit. Brokers can take one or two month’s rent as a broker commission. You add this all up and it will be between two and four months worth of rent.”

Outpost Club’s properties do not take broker commissions from tenants, as this is paid for by the landlords. By working with financial management platforms like Qira and The Guarantors, Outpost Club is able to provide security deposits towards rent. This allows tenants to move into their units and pay only the first month’s rent rather than multiple months.

Short-term leases are also offered for potential tenants who need to find a place to live on short notice. This type of flexibility allows for homes to be offered to numerous people for different reasons in an affordable way.

“We started the business with the community in mind,” Starostin said. “We try to foster community by providing them a place where they can meet and chat and introduce themselves at the common areas available. We also sponsor different events in the properties, allowing for more community integration inside the properties.”