Dorms for the middle class are taking over San Fran. Could New York be next?

Tenants are increasingly turning to dorms as a more affordable option

TRD New York /
Mar.March 06, 2018 11:15 AM

Starcity’s rooms (Credit: Starcity)

The sharing economy is giving housing the old college try — by imitating campus life.

Middle class tenants are increasingly turning to dormitories in the San Francisco Bay Area as a more affordable housing option, the New York Times reported. Developer Starcity has opened three properties with 36 units and has another nine projects in development. The company expects to have thousands of units open by 2019, and claims 8,000 people are on waiting lists for apartments. Starcity has raised about $19 million in venture capital funding.

The dorms differ from co-living ventures like WeWork’s “WeLive,” in that they aren’t single family homes that share event spaces and other amenities. They also aren’t micro-units, which has been one of New York City’s suggestions for addressing its affordable housing crisis. Instead, the dorm rooms are single bedrooms that share a bathroom and kitchen.

Starcity’s rooms are offered for $1,400 to $2,400 a month, considerably lower than the average of $3,300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. The room’s are fully furnished and include Wi-Fi and all utilities. The target demographic for Starcity’s rooms makes between $40,000 and $90,000 a year.


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