Did you ever think that would live in a dorm in your 30’s and 40’s?
Maybe even your 50’s?
Probably not but if you are still dreaming, it might be a nightmare complete with someone chasing you down the hall way with a rent receipt book.
Don’t worry, a new world is here and you can even stay awake to enjoy it.
Well in real life, someone is chasing you down the hall way to let you know that its wine or yoga night and they’ll be starting soon.
It gets even better.
In this real life version of the dream, inside of the dorm styled communal living atmosphere, women feel safe and generally don’t lock their doors.
Leave it to innovative San Francisco to come up with another creative idea that offers dorm living to middle income professional people.
The continued booming tech industry has caused an ongoing major housing crisis in San Francisco, and longtime middle-income residents, the back bone of any city, are being forced out by sky-high housing costs.
As reported at Business Insider, “A startup called Starcity is on a mission to alleviate the situation. Founded in 2016, the 18-person team is creating communal housing for middle-income people who don't qualify for government subsidies but still can't afford San Francisco's sky-high prices.
Starcity buys up defunct hotels, retail buildings, and parking garages and turns them into dorm-like living spaces for the city's restaurant workers, teachers, and artists. According to the founder Jon Dishotsky, fewer than 20% of residents work in tech.”
At their linkedin.com Starcity explains, “Starcity is a lifestyle brand which provides beautifully designed co-living communities in major cities, and we’re on track to welcome thousands (and one day millions) of customers to our communities over the coming years. We have awesome backers including Y Combinator, NEA, Social Capital, Index Ventures and have been featured in notable publications like Business Insider, San Francisco Chronicle, Silicon Valley Magazine, TechCrunch and many more.”
Currently Starcity manages two San Francisco locations; one in the Mission District and the other in Soma.
How much is it catching on?
As you might guess, there is a substantial waiting list for occupancy.
Starcity prices their spaces at approximately 30% of the average middle income.
On March 14, 2018, the New York Times adds, “Shared bathrooms at the end of the hall and having no individual kitchen or living room is becoming less weird for some of the city’s workers thanks to Starcity, a new development company that is expressly creating dorms for many of the non-tech population.
Starcity has already opened three properties with 36 units. It has nine more in development and a wait list of 8,000 people. The company is buying a dozen more buildings (including one-star hotels, parking garages, office buildings and old retail stores), has raised $18.9 million in venture capital and hired a team of 26 people. Starcity said it was on track to have hundreds of units open around the San Francisco Bay Area this year, and thousands by 2019.”
To have a clear vision of what is being offered, these are not small apartments where occupants have their own tiny kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms but instead share common event space.
They are, well, like the dorms you used to house in when you were in college.
Starcity residents get a bedroom of 130 square feet to 220 square feet.
Is the picture becoming a little clearer?
Many feel it is worth the sacrifices when you think of the alternatives.
“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”…Dean Kamen
As shared by smartasset.com, “According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, the total cost of living in San Francisco is 62.6% higher than the U.S. average—and housing is nearly three times more expensive than in other U.S. cities.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales prices increased nearly 36% in just two years, from $543,780 in 2012 to $737,600 in 2014.
That $737,600 represents the second highest average sales price in the U.S., behind nearby San Jose.”
By those standards, dorm living isn’t looking so bad after all especially if you are a single professional.
Yes, well speak about the rental market too.
According to local Bay Area sites the average rent on a two bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $4,650, about $1,000 more per month than New York city and about $2,000 more than the rest of the largest cities in America.
Scribbling on our hands and doing the math, by those numbers, the median San Francisco two bedroom apartment would cost $55,800 a year which is higher than the U.S. median income for a full-time worker.
To afford that type of rent a person would have to make about $155,000 a year.
Please also think about parking.
We know you don’t want to but you should.
If you work near or in the downtown district, regular access to parking downtown can cost you about $200-$400 a month.
The alternative might be to purchase a monthly bus pass for bus and cable car which can run you about $68 a month.
Having stated all of that about the costs, if you have lived in San Francisco or even near it, yu realize what a privilege it is.
The fresh air, surrounding mountains that frame your experience even when you are just sitting and having a cup of coffee along with the majestic Pacific Ocean to the West is incredible.
Just like there are characters in a movie, San Francisco itself is the major star of the story if you live there.
Then there are the myriads of attractions from Golden Gate Park to fantastic restaurants and shops, just walking around the city can be the therapy for a relaxing day.
Just people watching and listening to the sounds of the region, even in the suburbs is better than virtually any other place that comes to mind.
So dorm living probably wasn’t what most professionals had in mind when they were going to college but the future is virtually never like we predict anyway, true?
The key is to adapt, survive and hopefully thrive.
Maybe a nice cost effective dorm in the middle of a vibrant city that substantially lowers your living costs may be the start up to a new life.
One more relaxing, community oriented along with a feeling of being free.
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