We converted Hive Arena to a coliving house in 2017.
Making friends in our coworking space and working with them has been a great experience. However, we wondered about the potential for a fulfilling living experience with friends and how much fun it would be.
And we asked them, "Why don't you live with us in a single house? They answered, "It is an excellent idea. I need help finding suitable accommodation to stay.
Before seriously planning a co-living house, we tested a small experiment with Airbnb. We invited some friends to our home. It was more fun than we expected.
We aimed to provide remote workers feel at home away from home. We wanted them to experience the daily life of locals because they chose Korea out of many options.
So we consciously avoided neighborhoods familiar to foreigners, such as Itaewon, Hongdae, and Gangnam. Those areas are the downtown and always busy neighborhoods with many people.
We had some criteria—residential neighborhoods with easy access to transportation, a quiet atmosphere, and not a busy street. We found a single-family house in Singil-dong. It is near the Yeongdeungpo area.
Many Koreans asked us: Why did you choose Yeongdeungpo? It's hard for foreigners to find a neighborhood they've never heard of. Those Koreans were probably worried about us.
Anyway, we contracted. We were so confident and wanted to crush those Koreans' predictions. It was good timing because our leases ended, such as coworking space and our apartment.
So did our strategy work? Yes, we did. It was very successful. Our customers (friends is a better word) felt that HiveArena was one big family, and their home. They were my kid's uncles and aunts. Incidentally, my kid's name, "Seojin," was chosen by their vote among several candidates.
Why we had to close.
After two years, the Seoul government announced they would develop our area, unfortunately. In the past, the area was home to several Air Force and Navy generals. It has been a long time since its development. Their sons and daughters own the house. Many people wanted to buy it then, and landlords sold homes.
A lot of people were crazy about real estate. We couldn't avoid it. There was nothing a tenant like us could do. When we moved out, the house disappeared. Old cozy houses are gone, and ugly small apartment buildings are in.
After that, we made another attempt but temporarily suspended operations due to the coronavirus. During the pandemic, housing prices in Seoul have risen significantly. It's the second most expensive city in the world after Hong Kong. To operate reliably for us, we need to own a house, which is not accessible at the moment. In our experience, leasing is so risky.
We had a break time during the pandemic. We'd love to meet you, the person reading this right now who is interested in Hive Arena, but we're disappointed that we can't. We are sorry to miss a chance to meet you.
Recently, we created a new homepage for Hive Arena. And we are preparing to launch a new service now.
Here's what our friends are saying about our coliving
For the first 1.5 years of my stay in Korea, as a foreigner, I has a hard time because being in a different country, it felt like I didn't really have anyone in Korea that cared about me. That changed when I started living and working at Hive Arena. Hyekyung and Jongjin not only welcomed me to the co-living space, but the way they looked after everyone there - introducing the co-workers and co-living people that were around Hive to each other as well as Seojin and Aji; for dinners, BBQs and road trips that they organised - really felt like family.
Not only did my happiness improve by staying at Hive Arena, my productivity and motivations increased dramatically as well. Hive provides a community for those people new in Korea and up for making a difference to the world. I can honestly say that I believe that a stay at Hive Arena is an essential starting point for anyone is new to Korea.
When I traveled to Korea, I had assumptions that the living-in-a-foreign-country-experience was simply experiencing a new culture, language, and society. HiveArena however, gave me something that I was not expecting at all, valuable friendships and a home away from home. I first assumed that it was just a coincidence that I got along with everyone, that assumption was in fact wrong. The community that Hyekyung and Jin have fostered enable people to connect and develop relationships that go beyond the usual "Hi, how are you?", relationships that I want to carry deep into the future.
The living experience was relaxing and accommodating, I never once felt awkward or uncomfortable during my stay there. Funny enough, when I returned to the USA, I felt unfamiliar in my own home because of how at-home I felt at HiveArena. Thank you Hyekyung, Jin, Aji, and Seojin for exceeding my expectations and gifting me an experience of a lifetime.
Coming to Korea for half a year to do an internship I was worried that making friends would be really hard. When I found Hive Arena, I thought that it seemed so much for fun than living myself and hoped for it to be a good opportunity to make friends there. Even though I was gone every day for work and not using the coworking space, everyone welcomed me really warmly into the community, instead of just making friends it felt more like being a part of a big family living together.
I am really thankful to Hyekyung and Jongjin for creating Hive Arena and with that a warm home you feel welcomed in and just like you belong. The road trips and dinner parties were super fun as well. I'll definitely make sure to visit again when coming back to Korea.
Are you seeking a community?
Let us know what you're looking for, and we build together.Make it Happen
Also, please take the time to read this story. It is about us and will help you get to know us better.