Kenect’s live-work-play-learn hybrid creates a niche in Downtown Phoenix.
Going to the office is so 2019. But working from home could mean the kitchen counter, cluttered with last night’s weak attempt at beef bourguignon, has become the de facto desk. A fresh business model offers the best of both worlds in the COVID-19 landscape, with fitness and fun tossed in, too. “Kenect is a disruptor,” Carroll VanHook, director of leasing and marketing, says. “We are the next generation of apartment living.”
Kenect, which will open in mid-November at 355 N. Central Ave., near Arizona State University in Downtown Phoenix, defies easy description. The concept combines a social club with stylish apartments outfitted with customized furniture, coworking spaces, a gym and rooftop pool all in one high-rise, along with onsite retail and restaurants. For those just interested in the social scene, memberships can be obtained separately, without leasing one of the 320 flats in the 23-story building. Kenect’s monthly rates are similar to other new Downtown luxury high-rises ($1,375 for a studio and $1,875 for a one-bedroom), but are furnished and include social club membership.
Members will rub shoulders at curated networking events such as pet-friendly happy hours, demonstrations by celebrity chefs, art classes or personalized workouts. “It comes down to who you’re living with and socializing with,” VanHook says. “We create a safe space with which to meet others with similar interests who live in the building.” Social distancing is inherent. “Our events are curated with limited capacity to ensure the best experience for those in attendance,” Jenna Gottlieb, director of brand experience, says. “We now get to extend these offerings with virtual engagement with event kits that include the supplies or ingredients needed to follow along in real time.”
The Kenect community offers commonality and diversity. “We attract so many types of busy professionals: freelance techies, traveling nurses, entrepreneurs, international workers on temporary assignments and ASU students,” VanHook says. “It’s a great mix of people.”
The Chicago-based Akara Partners flagship in Nashville launched in 2019, and plans are underway to open additional Kenects in Denver, Miami and Cleveland. Each will cater to locavores. “We like to showcase local vendors,” Gottlieb says. “Our leasing office features Cartel Coffee.” And the coffee and cold brew are complimentary.
“At Kenect, you can commute to work in flip-flops,” VanHook says. “How fun and convenient is that?”