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San Francisco tech workers rent $700-a-month ‘sleeping pods’

Tech workers in the San Francisco Bay Area who can’t afford soaring rents have instead opted to stay in $700-a-month “sleeping pods” — 4-foot-tall, semi-open boxes that can fit a single twin mattress and which offer shared bathrooms and common spaces.

Employees at Silicon Valley startups are eschewing the $3,000-a-month studio apartments of downtown San Francisco.

Christian Lewis, the founder of Spellcraft AI Founder, told KGO-TV that he moved to the Bay Area from Illinois in hopes of growing his AI company.

So far, he said he’s not complaining about his cozy, new digs.

“The pod is the size of a twin bed,” he told the local TV station. “So it’s not very large but it gets the job done. You just need a place to sleep.”

Lewis took to social media, where he posted images of the pod as well as the common spaces in the Mint Plaza facility.

Tech workers in the San Francisco Bay Area who can’t afford the prohibitively expensive rent have instead opted to stay in $700-a-month “sleeping pods.”
Brownstone Shared Housing
The pods feature a 4-foot tall, semi-open box that can fit a single twin mattress.
Brownstone Shared Housing

“I actually pushed off coming to San Francisco for a really long time but it has been absolutely net positive without a doubt,” Lewis told KGO-TV.

“Just for the first couple of days, I met some of the smartest people I’ve met in my entire life. That’s the reason I came and that’s the reason why I’m staying.”

“That’s the reason why I’m living in a pod.”

A tech startup founder posted images from the inside of his pod.
Twitter / @ctjlewis

The pods that were set up by startup company Brownstone are made of steel and wood with a blackout curtain at one end.

The company rents out pods in Palo Alto for $800 a month, San Jose for $650 a month, and Bakersfield for $500 a month, its CEO, James Stallworth, told SFGATE.

Brownstone is now setting up shop in the SoMa section of San Francisco, where rental for one-bedrooms and studio apartments range from $2,700 a month to $3,400 a month, according to Zillow.

A recent report by Zillow found that rents have been falling in San Francisco, a city that has been beset by rising crime and an exodus of companies.

Pod residents share common spaces with others.
Twitter / @ctjlewis
Christian Lewis, the founder of Spellcraft AI Founder, said the downstairs lounge was “nice.”
Twitter / @ctjlewis

San Jose had the nation’s highest rent prices among the 50 largest metropolitan areas. The typical monthly rent in the city went for $3,411, according to a report by Zillow.

New York City’s rent was second-highest, according to the report. Living in the Big Apple can cost $3,405 for tenants.

San Diego recently supplanted San Francisco as the third most expensive rental market in the country. The typical monthly rent in the city went for $3,175.

San Francisco came in fourth at $3,168.

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