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Asprela will receive the first major co-living project in the city

Asprela will receive the first major co-living project in the city
15 Feb 2021

The concept is still taking its first steps in Portugal, but it is close to universities, large companies or office parks and public transport that co-living finds its' space. In July 2022, one of the main university centers in the city will increase the residential offer to a very specific audience: students and young workers, with a building of 280 apartments, offering studios and one-bedroom apartments.

If the closing of universities during the first confinement alienated students, remote working did not have the same effect on younger professionals (between 25 and 35 years old), who found in the concept of co-living a way of, living alone, during the pandemic, while not feeling isolated.

For this reason, and for the certainty in the resumption of old routines, Smart Studios will start the construction in Asprela of a residence focusing on these two types of public. There will be 280 apartments to rent, with common features such as meeting, study, dining rooms, lounge areas, gym and a space for practicing fitness and yoga.

The investment is a slice of a 130 million euro investment from the company that already has ten such projects in operation in Lisbon and Coimbra.

In an interview with Dinheiro Vivo, the manager of Smart Studios, Vera Kendall, says that, during the pandemic, "co-living turns out to be the ideal solution for this new reality. Our residents have the option of working alone in their studios with a desk, wi-fi, private bathroom and kitchenette so that they don't have to leave the house, but we also have large study rooms that allow use, guaranteeing the necessary safety distances".

At the beginning of the month, the Mayor of Porto stated, in a session of the Municipal Assembly, that the housing problem in the city can only be mitigated with diversified responses, reconciled with the needs of the population. Rui Moreira considered the option of co-housing and co-living, even admitting the availability of the municipality to "assign municipal land”.

The idea of ​​living in shared spaces started to gain strength in the city with the construction - still underway - of a co-living unit for a senior population. The investment is from an Israeli startup and amounts to 10 million euros. It focuses on transforming two secular homes and an old working-class neighborhood on Rua do Bonjardim, next to Trindade Metro station, into 39 apartments. The work, with 3,200 square meters of construction, will respect the "facial qualities, morphology, volume of the buildings of the 19th century", as the idea was "to take the buildings and the working-class neighborhood of the early 20th century and bring the building into the 21st century, exacerbating its qualities", the company spokesman in Portugal, Afonso de Oliveira, told Lusa in November.

In addition to these spaces, there is a restaurant, rooms for yoga and pilates classes, a lounge with kitchen, a multipurpose room with terrace and interior spaces. The national partners of the Israeli startup Willa also explained that the option for Porto was due "to its teeming community of expats from all over Europe”, but also to the "unique spatial and historical quality” of the space in the downtown area.