Former lawyer Christine Conter has opened her first co-living and coworking space in Belvaux for international people on short-term contracts.
“My clothes are always full of dust,” Luxembourg entrepreneur Christine Conter laughs when we speak in July. She is using one of the 90 private studios at Luxmill as an office. “The office is the last thing we planned,” she smiles. Judging by the huge demand, she’ll be working in the corridors soon. Because Luxmill has tapped into a desperate need for accommodation and workspaces for postgraduates and entrepreneurs alike.
The idea formed while Conter was working as a legal consultant for a Luxembourg union which, at the time, was examining youth support projects. Inspired by her own experiences living in Paris and London, Conter pitched her vision for a low-cost, community-based housing solution where residents can connect with friends or make new friends. The union embraced the project and offered financial guarantees. The developers were cynical about her idea for communal spaces, suggesting the rooms would be easily filled without such spaces. “I said that’s not the point. I want people to feel at home,” Conter says.
“People call me and say ‘we’ve heard about it, do you have others in Luxembourg City?’Christine Conter, founder of Luxmill
Residents will certainly feel well cared for in the first Luxmill building in Belvaux. The sun dappled courtyard is scattered with parasols that are lit up at night. There is a café, a sports centre and coworking and conference space. “Covid has taught us that staying too long in your own four walls is not what everyone wants full-time,” Conter explains.
The accommodation features studio apartments of 30 m2 or 20m2, for which the minimum rental duration is set at two months. To qualify, renters must submit one-month’s rent and proof of work or studies. Applications are reviewed within 72 hours.
Among the target groups are tenants on limited employment contracts (CDD) such as PhD students and researchers but also international consultants, on rolling short-term contracts and entrepreneurs on accelerator programmes. The studios are furnished and include kitchenware, cleaning services, laundry facilities and even access to streaming site Disney+.
Starting in the autumn, the public can book a coworking space online for as little as half a day. They can also book spots at the sports centre online. “I would really like to build others,” says Conter of the first Luxmill project. “People call me and say ‘we’ve heard about it, do you have others in Luxembourg City?’. For me, the next step would be to do the same thing in Luxembourg City.”
This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Get your copy.