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Shared living interest increases alongside housing costs

Mark Parker



A rendering of "The Quads," a Docked Living redevelopment in St. Petersburg. Images provided.

A St. Petersburg-based company is Florida’s largest co-living developer and plans to invest an additional $30 million into its naturally occurring affordable housing stock by 2027.

Docked Living offers an all-inclusive housing subscription program for those looking to cut their monthly rent costs in half. Founder Mark Hunter said he receives hundreds of new applications weekly.

He expects Docked Living’s housing stock to increase by 400% in 2024. That exponential growth coincides with the average monthly rent for an 871-square-foot apartment in St. Petersburg topping $2,000.

“There’s an absolutely insatiable demand for housing that is affordable,” Hunter said. “And at the same time, there’s no limit to the amount of investors who want above-average returns. Those are the two populations we cater to.”

Mark Hunter, founder of Docked Living.

Docked Living launched in 2018 because “rent was too damn high.” Costs have soared since the pandemic, with the average Tampa Bay household now spending 57% of their income on housing and transportation.

Hunter blamed higher prices on zoning restrictions. He and Nick Price, president of Docked Living, sought an innovative solution without bureaucratic hurdles.

The two realized co-living could increase density within regulatory confines. “If we can take a very big house and share it among others, then everybody gets to chip in a small amount, and it makes the numbers work,” he explained.

Price said Docked Living oversees property acquisition, redevelopment and new home construction. He noted that Hunter is a licensed general contractor.

The growing company is transforming a vacant lot in South St. Pete that once housed a car wash into four single-family homes. Each will feature accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and provide 26 total bedrooms.

A former medical office converted into a shared-living home will open in the coming weeks. Docked Living owns 10 properties in Pinellas County and recently acquired another in Lakeland.

The business partners redesign or build the homes to accommodate multiple tenants. “If you don’t want to run into anybody, you don’t,” Hunter said. “It looks and feels like your own apartment.”

Price said the company has about 140 Tampa Bay living spaces “in the pipeline.” Members pay $1,000 monthly for a private bedroom and bathroom, monthly cleaning service, utilities and internet.

Hunter said the homes promote energy efficiency, and tenants have independent exterior access to their bedrooms. Tenants share specially designed kitchens, common areas and outdoor spaces. 

“We really focus on building those community common areas,” Price said. “If someone wants to choose to be social, they can go out into those living spaces and be very social with other people who are living in the home.”

An example of a Docked Living bedroom.

Hunter noted Docked Living’s diverse community. He said some people were on the verge of homelessness when they became members, while others are physicians and software engineers.

Hunter explained that members could join friends in a home or live in another property while waiting for a vacancy. Conversely, the company will facilitate a move if there is internal conflict.

Docked Living’s homes currently do not allow couples, although Price said that could change. He noted interpersonal relationships present shared living challenges, but detached ADUs could provide a solution.

Many membership benefits promote small businesses and entrepreneurship. Tenants can now receive discounted co-working spaces at Thrive DTSP.

Hunter is building a commercial kitchen for the 15th Street Farm to accommodate cooking classes and demonstrations. Members can attend those programs and receive fresh produce.

Nick Price, president of Docked Living.

Membership cards also unlock myriad discounts at several small businesses in St. Pete. “I found my calling in entrepreneurship at USF,” Price said. “For me, the best thing we can do is support others on their entrepreneurial journey.”

“What’s so great about co-living is you can build a friend group and a support system with people who have different backgrounds, cultures and occupations, and it’s a wide scale,” he added.

The business partners plan to eventually cater to niche demographics, like single parents, seniors and disabled veterans. Hunter said they receive “dozens of inquiries asking to create that sort of solution” weekly. “In the next year or two, you’re going to see quite a few new channels for growth for this type of concept.”

The two believe their company benefits surrounding neighborhoods, the city and the environment. Price said they are exploring public-private partnerships to offer subsidized spaces and provide financial literacy programming outside the Docked brand.

“That way … we’re giving them a pathway to homeownership,” he said. “Maybe one day they could own one of those properties, live in it and rent it out to others in need.

“That’s a goal of mine.”



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  1. Avatar


    April 4, 2024at6:23 am

    It’s $1000 a month for the membership.

  2. Avatar

    S. Rose Smith-Hayes

    April 3, 2024at7:18 pm

    $2,000 for 871 Sq Ft???? really????I cannot see where that is a bargain, sorry

  3. Avatar

    Leigh Clifton

    April 3, 2024at12:43 pm

    What about animals?
    Are they allowed as well? must they be service animals only?

  4. Avatar

    Greg Cantori

    April 2, 2024at5:22 pm

    Great plan and it’s funny how we are going back to the future of tenement and ADU housing of the late 19th and early 20th century. No one really NEEDS a 3,000 home. Make it three or four apartments instead

  5. Avatar

    Karyn Mueller

    April 2, 2024at3:08 pm

    Thank you to Docked Living for providing a realistic solution. No one wants to spend all their income on housing and this concept provides a reasonably priced solution for very livable and comfortable housing.

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