A growing real estate company offers frat-style housing — and community — for Charlotte newcomers in over a dozen houses across Charlotte.
It’s easy to see the appeal of fraternity and sorority housing in college. You get to live in a big house. There’s always an event going on. You’re surrounded by friends.
A new company is trying to recreate that experience for newcomers to Charlotte.
Called Community Room Rental, this five-year-old company has a 12 houses under management in residential neighborhoods across Charlotte. Neighborhoods include Cotswold, SouthPark, Pineville, Matthews and Ballantyne.
Most of them have at least six bedrooms and more than 3,000 square feet, and tenants can rent a room for six months or a year at a time.
The idea is for Charlotte newcomers to have an instant community. Each house comes with furnished common areas, WiFi, grills, outdoor space — and, of course, at least five other people.
Today, Community Room Rental has 90 people renting space. $650 per month will get you a private room with shared bathroom. It’s $750 for a regular room with private bath, and $850 for a master suite.
These are below the rental rates of top apartments in the same neighborhoods.
“Community Room Rental is still growing and filling not only an economic niche within Charlotte (offering rents 40-50% less than market), helping maximize city planning needs, but we also created inclusive communities that bring like-kind professionals together,” owner Jason Wallace told the Agenda.
Owner Jason Wallace, 43, lives in one of the houses himself, and the idea for the company mirrors his life.
Wallace moved to Charlotte from Texas for a banking job and immediately bought a big house. But he quickly realized that the four walls were all he knew in town. He started searching for roommates, not to make money but to create community.
The concept worked for him, and he thought it would work for other people too.
Two years ago, Wallace retired from banking and started working on Community Room Rental full-time.
Wallace said he typically shies away from the “frat” label because of the negative connotations it can carry with it. But he said he fully embraces the fraternity aspect, the idea of shared living and fun.
There are certainly differences from campus Greek life. For one, everyone’s an adult and the average age is 36. Everyone is getting up at 6 or 7 in the morning. All the houses are co-ed, and 40 percent of renters are female. Some houses are majority-women.
But some aspects are remarkably similar. Community Room Rental throws themed events throughout the year, including a “Slip and Slide” party, Valentine’s Day bash and ugly sweater party.
Judging by their Facebook page, there are professional photographers documenting it all for social media — and it gets pretty wild.
The company expects to continue to add homes in different parts of town, with an eye on NoDa and South End.
I’m bullish on the concept. Charlotte is drawing as many as 60 new people to the city every day, and a large percentage are relatively early in their professional life. A lot of them have to be used to Greek life. Why not help them put down roots?
If you’re looking to connect with Community Room Rental, here’s their website, Facebook, and Instagram. Cover photo via Facebook.
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