Breather Offers Quiet, Private Space for Rent in NYC

Breather in SoHo

In New York City, rentals dominate. Approximately two-thirds of the City’s residents don’t own the apartment they live in. But there’s more than just apartments for rent. One can rent a bicycle from Citi Bike, a Kayak at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, a car from ZipCar, temporary lodging from Airbnb, etc. And now there’s a new commodity up for rent—space.

Enter Breather, a startup from Montreal, that offers private, quiet space for an hourly rate in Manhattan. The space is meant to be used for people who want to either relax or work in private. Consider it the high-end alternative to a Starbucks or library. Need to make a private phone call? Try Breather. Need to pitch a new concept to a client? Try Breather. Want to take a power nap between meetings? You get the point.

Currently, each Breather location is able to accommodate five to eight people at a time. Each space is curated to include amenities including couches, desks, chairs, high-speed Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, and even yoga mats. And after every reservation, a cleaning staff comes by, keeping the spaces clean, safe, and peaceful.

Bookings for Breather work one of two ways—either through the app store on an iPhone, or on the Breather web app for other devices. There, the interested user can browse the selection of spaces available and reserve the room at a rate of $25 per hour.

Currently, Breather is only located in its launch city, Montreal, and Manhattan, where it offers four spaces in NoMad, The Flatiron District, SoHo and in Midtown steps from Penn Station. In time, Breather plans to expand to other cities, with San Francisco being next.

Over the last year, Airbnb, the company that allows users to sublet their apartments for short-term stays, has been under fire by the City. A majority Airbnb listings might actually be breaking City laws on short-term stays. Breather differs from Airbnb in that it doesn’t provide overnight lodging, rather something more akin to co-working space, which is already popular across New York.