"Reinventing construction through a productivity revolution"

McKinsey&Company | February 28, 2017

To transform the sector, action is needed in seven areas or through broader adoption of mass-production approaches.

The construction industry employs about 7 percent of the world’s working-age population and is one of the world economy’s largest sectors, with $10 trillion spent on construction-related goods and services every year.

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"The Housing Crisis Is a Building Crisis"

The Atlantic CITYLAB | February 28, 2017

Construction industry productivity in the U.S. is lower today than it was in 1968—and it won’t pick up unless it can embrace modernization.

…the global housing and infrastructure crises are largely a product of a backwards construction industry—and things won’t get better until we bring it into the 21st century.

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"Eliminating Chronic Homelessness"

mySidewalk | February 19, 2017

From Dec 15, 2016

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that the number of homeless individuals has fallen by 13 percent since 2007. However, homelessness remains a huge problem for many cities across the country. Cities ranging from New York to Seattle to Dallas find themselves confronting homelessness crises.

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"Berkeley approves plan for fast-tracked 100 units for the homeless"

SF Curbed | February 17, 2017

Prime opportunity for local micro developer’s prefab module homes

In January, newly seated Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett showed interest in commissioning 100 of San Francisco developer Patrick Kennedy’s experimental MicroPAD homes to accommodate Berkeley’s homeless.

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"Reinventing the Residential Hotel: One Way to Help Solve the Housing Crisis Affecting San Francisco and other American Cities"

Medium-Panoramic Interests | February 17, 2017

The housing crisis facing San Francisco and many other American cities — driven by changing demographics, a booming economy, and high development costs — may be addressed by creating an alternative to the disappearing residential hotels.

For much of American history, the residential hotel served a vital need, providing basic, market-rate, affordable urban housing. Located in central locations, residential hotels served tens of thousands of people of varied means and backgrounds.

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"Berkeley Exploring Prefab Micro-Units to House the Homeless"

NBC Bay Area | February 17, 2017

Berkeley City Council votes to explore housing homeless in prefab mini-apartments.

The Berkeley City Council voted to explore housing low-income and homeless people in prefab “micro-unit” assisted-living buildings run by non-profits and built by private developers.

Panoramic Interests displayed one of these units, which the developer has branded “MicroPADs,” near Civic Park last month, inspiring curiosity in passing Berkeley residents.

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"To House the Homeless, Berkeley Considers Stackable ‘Microunits’"

The Atlantic CITYLAB | February 17, 2017

The city wants to erect a tower made of stacked, prefab 160-square-foot apartments.

If Berkeley gets its way, its homeless population could someday be living in 160-square-foot “microunits”—sort of like comfy shoe boxes that can be stacked into larger structures.

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"Berkeley Looks To Micro-Apartments For Homeless Housing"

KPIX 5 | February 16, 2017

Tiny apartments may be a solution to a big problem in the Bay Area.

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"Berkeley moves forward on building micro-units for the homeless"

Berkeleyside | February 16, 2017

Where others cities will not venture, Berkeley dares to go. That’s how city councilman Ben Bartlett views City Council’s unanimous vote Tuesday night to move ahead and explore the possibility of building tiny housing units aimed at the homeless and those on very low incomes.

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"Wave of the Future? Finding Happiness in 350 Square Feet"

Houzz | February 10, 2017

Welcome to the 21st-century world of microhousing

In San Francisco, Small Spaces With Places to Escape

Mission and Ninth streets in San Francisco’s South of Market district is one of those corners that testify to a rapidly changing city.

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"Popping the Housing Bubbles in the American Mind"

The New York Times | February 10, 2017

Suppose there were a way to pump up the economy, reduce inequality and put an end to destructive housing bubbles like the one that contributed to the Great Recession. The idea would be simple, but not easy, requiring a wholesale reframing of the United States economy and housing market.

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"The unexpected solution to America’s affordable housing crunch"

Quartz Media | February 8, 2017

If you suggest there’s a housing crisis in the Bay Area or other major US cities, you’ll probably get a chorus of agreement. But suggest that the solution requires building more housing, and you’re kicking a hornet’s nest.

The ones currently doing the kicking are the YIMBYs, a loosely allied collection of pro-development housing advocates whose name plays on the acronym NIMBY (“Not In My Backyard”),

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"Sacramento is turning to a stackable solution to address their lack of affordable housing"

WCBV | February 1, 2017

The Micropad is looking to solve the homeless crisis with stackable living units.

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"Sacramento council member proposes homeless housing plan"

KCRA | January 30, 2017

160-square foot units could help thousands in Sacramento area

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —Thousands of people in Sacramento need a place to sleep every night. Elected officials said homelessness is a crisis in the capital city.

Council member Jeff Harris is now proposing a tiny solution to solve a big problem. The “micropad” concept rolled in front of Sacramento City Hall Monday afternoon.

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"City Considers MicroPAD Housing for Sacramento’s Homeless"

Fox 40 | January 30, 2017

SACRAMENTO — The city of Sacramento is exploring a way to reduce the number of homeless living on the streets, giving them small dorm-style bedrooms to live in. They’re called MicroPADs, which stands for Prefab Affordable Dwelling. From now till Wednesday, one will be on display at City Hall.

...More

"MICRO-HOUSING BOOM: AN ANSWER TO THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS?"

Bisnow | January 27, 2017

Though national apartment rents are growing less quickly, they still exceed the average American’s budget in some cities. One way developers are working to address this imbalance is by building micro-lofts.

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"THIS MICRO-APARTMENT MOVEMENT COULD BE THE ANSWER TO THE HOMELESSNESS CRISIS"

Collective Hub | January 26, 2017

When something small does very big things.

There are more than 7,000 people currently living on the streets of San Francisco, but the solution to the city’s homelessness crisis could come in the form of a 160-sqaure-foot apartment dubbed the MicroPAD.

“Citizens here in San Francisco identify homelessness as the number one problem in the city, yet the government seems to have great difficulty in making apparent progress,” says Patrick Kennedy,

...More

"Tiny homes hold big housing aspirations"

The Daily Californian | January 19, 2017

On the corner of Milvia Street and Allston Way, a demo of a 160-square-foot modular unit shows a potential living environment for Berkeley’s long-term homeless and low-income population.

The outside of the unit — designed by San Francisco-based Panoramic Interests — reads “CITYSPACE MicroPAD,” which stands for Prefab Affordable Dwelling.

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"Developer hopes to build tiny prefab homes for the homeless, in Berkeley and beyond"

Berkeleyside | January 18, 2017

Patrick Kennedy, the owner of the development company Panoramic Interests, thinks he has a partial solution to the Bay Area’s chronic homelessness problem and invites Berkeley to take a look at that solution in the form of a prototype currently installed next to City Hall.

...More

"New York Hotel Arrives in Pieces From Poland, Some Assembly Required"

The Wall Street Journal | January 8, 2017

A Dutch company has built a splashy high-rise hotel in Poland—and shipped it in 210 pieces to New York.

The 20-story, 300-room project at 185 Bowery by hotel developer and operator citizenM is the biggest modular-construction hotel project ever in New York.

...More

"Oakland tenants live with uncertainty in tight market"

SF Chronicle | January 7, 2017

Blocks away from the fire-gutted Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland sits a tiny, two-bedroom in-law unit with mildewed walls and no heat, perched atop a rickety garage. Water pools beneath chipped bathroom tiles, and mold forms spiderweb patterns amid the dog posters and Baby-Sitters Club books in an otherwise tidy girl’s bedroom.

...More

"Innovative Solution to Fight Homelessness in San Francisco"

Jetson Green | January 5, 2017

The problem of homelessness is a real issue across the globe, and providing adequate housing solutions for these poor people is a very demanding task. San Francisco might soon get an innovative solution to the problem though, in the form of modular housing units designed and built by the local company Panoramic Interests.

...More

"Stackable apartments offer a tiny solution to homelessness"

New Atlas | December 28, 2016

Homelessness is as big an issue in San Francisco as any other major city, but local firm Panoramic Interests has designed a self-contained stackable tiny apartment that it promotes as a viable solution. MicroPAD modular dwellings comprise a total floorspace of just 160 sq ft (14 sq m), but include a kitchenette, sleeping area, and bathroom.

...More

"The MicroPAD: Innovative Housing for the Homeless"

Panoramic Interests | December 28, 2016

To address the growing problem of homelessness in our cities, Panoramic Interests has developed the MicroPAD (Prefab Affordable Dwelling). The MicroPAD is designed to be installed quickly and economically on large and small sites, in a wide variety of building configurations.

The MicroPAD modules are built in a factory and then stacked like blocks to create multi-story, multi-unit buildings that are indistinguishable from conventional construction. Buildings constructed from MicroPAD modules meet all seismic and safety codes.

...More

"San Francisco Man Wants To End Homelessness With Functional MicroPAD Units"

True Activist | December 21, 2016

These 160-foot apartments could be the solution to housing San Francisco’s homeless population of 7,000.

San Francisco might be a city of class, culture, and progression but its homeless population is through the roof. At any given moment, there are approximately 7,000 individuals living on the city’s streets, according to statistics gathered by volunteers in 2015.

...More

"San Francisco man wants to end homelessness with tiny MicroPAD mini homes"

Inhabitat | December 21, 2016

In San Francisco, approximately 7,000 people live on the street without a permanent home, and one man believes he has a solution. Patrick Kennedy and his team at Panoramic Interests developed MicroPAD, a tiny, prefabricated housing unit that can be used alone or stacked into 200-unit complexes to provide efficient shelter for those who currently have none.

...More

"Can These Micro-Apartments Help End San Francisco’s Homelessness Crisis?"

Fast CoExist | December 19, 2016

Micro Pad is a high-design, prefab 160-square-foot apartment. The company behind it hopes to put a building of them together so the city can help give shelter to some of its more than 7,000 homeless.

If you lie on a bed inside one of these new micro-apartments, your head is next to the kitchen counter, and if you sit up, you can reach out and touch the desk on the other side of the room. The entire apartment, at 8 feet by 20 feet, could squeeze into a long parking space.

...More

"Sacramento City Councilman Proposes Portable Solution For Homeless Crisis"

CBS | December 19, 2016

The steel-framed units are 160 square feet and include a bathroom, closet, kitchen, and bed.
...More

"The Tent Cities of San Francisco"

New York Times | December 17, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — California may be the new capital of American liberalism, but everybody who likes the sound of that ought to consider the fate of three recent San Francisco ballot initiatives.

The first, Proposition Q, aimed to eliminate homeless people’s unsightly tent camps by banning sidewalk tents and empowering the police to confiscate them with 24 hours notice so long as occupants were offered beds in shelters.

...More

"SoMa developer dodges local laws, upzones new building automatically"

SF Curbed | December 13, 2016

San Francisco jealously guards its right to upzone new projects. But the catch is, in the majority of cases it’s not technically up to us.

Under a ruling in a 2013 court case with Napa County, developers in any California city automatically qualify for a 35 percent bonus in their number of units, provided that at least 11 percent of homes in the building are priced as affordable housing.

...More

"The State Density Bonus Has Arrived in San Francisco"

SF HAC | December 12, 2016

On Thursday December 8th, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved the first market-rate housing project to apply the state density bonus law. The vote was 5-1. Commissioner Melgar was the dissenting vote and Commissioner Moore was absent. This marks a tremendous win for housing advocates who have pushed for this law’s implementation over many years.

...More

"First S.F. housing project gets bigger using state law, prompting backlash"

SF Business Times | December 12, 2016

A project with 200 micro-units has been approved, the first time a San Francisco housing project has used the state’s density bonus program, which allows developments with affordable housing to rise 35 percent higher.

...More

"A Rooming House for Career-Minded New York Women"

The New York Times | December 9, 2016

Sarah Berkes was delighted, if also very surprised, to find that a place like the Webster Apartments on West 34th Street still existed in New York City. The stately rooming house for “career minded professional women” where she has lived for a little over a year is one of the few of its kind left in the city.

...More

"Roommates Divide and Conquer With Temporary Walls"

The New York Times | December 9, 2016

When four young professionals share a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment, a strategy for the morning routine is a necessity.

Katherine Neal, who works in sales, and Annie Jackson, who works in public relations, take the first shifts in the bathroom. Ms. Neal gets in there at 6:45 a.m. and has 15 minutes before it’s Ms. Jackson’s turn.

...More

"Proposed state law tells cities: Build more, or we’ll do it for you"

SF Curbed | December 9, 2016

San Francisco’s new state senator pitches housing bill mere hours into his term

Every California city is required to build a certain amount of housing to meet the state’s overall housing goals.

And a lot of places just plain seem to ignore the mandate. Earlier this year, former Palo Alto Planning Commission Kate Downing opined that the Regional Housing Needs Assessments lack so much as a built-in slap on the wrist.

...More

"Designing Better Microapartments—By Living In Them"

Fast Company | December 7, 2016

A proponent of small living shows off his latest tiny apartment, and what his next space will be.

With 26,000 people per square mile, Manhattan is one of the most densely populated areas in the United States. Doing more with less space is a necessity of life and that often comes with compromises—no spare rooms, for instance, and a constant dearth of storage.

...More

"Calthorpe Associates Letter to SF Planning Commission in support of CITYSPACES 333"

Calthorpe Associates | December 6, 2016

It is no mystery that the Bay Area and San Francisco has a housing crisis. But the real challenges are more specific than just affordability needs and workforce housing demands. The real challenges are to find urban environments that can absorb and benefit from infill and redevelopment. In short, we need to place housing in walkable, mixed-use and transit rich places like SF if we are to structurally address our most significant social and environmental challenges.

...More

"S.F. homelessness: Still a long way to go"

SF Chronicle | December 6, 2016

Holiday visitors to San Francisco who encounter people sleeping on the streets may be left to wonder: “Why aren’t city leaders doing something about this?” Actually, they are — and they have been laying the groundwork for some sustainable solutions. But the intensified effort in recent months has not been without its frustration and setbacks.

...More

"MicroPADs and Microliving: The Big Impact of Living Small"

Center for Creative Land Recycling | December 6, 2016

...More

"California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences"

Legislatice Analyst's Office-CA | December 6, 2016

From March 2015

California’s Home Prices and Rents Higher Than Just About Anywhere Else. Housing in California has long been more expensive than most of the rest of the country. Beginning in about 1970, however, the gap between California’s home prices and those in the rest country started to widen. Between 1970 and 1980, California home prices went from 30 percent above U.S. levels to more than 80 percent higher.

...More

"Cost of housing is a drag for jobs"

SF Curbed | December 6, 2016

Dearth of affordable homes pinches job market says consulting firm

The consulting firm Beacon Economics assessed the state of the Bay Area’s financial bearings on Monday. They conclude that the boom times are quieting to an echo, thanks in part to housing costs.

...More

"The housing crisis has cost us lives now in Oakland"

SF Chronicle | December 6, 2016

So far, at least 36 people are known dead after a fire swept through the artist community in East Oakland known as the Ghost Ship. The grief and sense of shock in Oakland is palpable. For me, a Bay Area attorney and artist with friends at or near the Ghost Ship blaze this weekend, this terrible event hits close to home.

...More

"Stackable pods could help house the homeless"

CNN Tech | December 5, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) – Small, stackable pods might be one solution to San Francisco’s homeless crisis.

At just 160 square feet, the micro-apartments are tiny, but for those who are homeless in the Bay Area, they could be life changing.

Almost 7,000 people are homeless in San Francisco.

...More

"Oakland warehouse fire is product of housing crisis, say artists and advocates"

The Guardian | December 5, 2016

At least 36 died at a ‘Ghost Ship’ party but survivors are among those who say communal spaces should be cherished in a city where rents have gone sky-high

A devastating warehouse fire that killed at least 36 people has shone a harsh light on a housing crisis in Oakland and its consequences for artists and low-income residents.

...More

"Stackable micro-apartments for the homeless"

CNN | December 5, 2016

Developers in San Francisco have created a line of stackable pods as a potential solution to the city’s overwhelming homelessness crisis.

...More

"Aging hotels, chronic problems"

SF Chronicle | December 5, 2016

Most S.F. housing for the homeless is a century old; even refurbished, severe health and safety issues can abound.

For many homeless people who land a spot within San Francisco’s network of 6,000 supportive housing rooms and apartments, being indoors means life gets better. No more nights shivering under blankets, getting beaten up in the street. On-site access to food, health care and counseling. Stability.

...More

"Use new tools to tackle homelessness"

The Sacramento Bee | December 2, 2016

Across California, local initiatives are generating funding to deal with homelessness, including a sales tax increase in San Francisco and a bond measure in Los Angeles.

The persistence of homelessness in California is a disgrace.

Thankfully, our state’s leaders are taking bold steps to address the problem. Gov. Jerry Brown recently approved a $2 billion bond that will pay for housing and services for those with mental illnesses on our streets.

...More

"Density + Connection = Creativity & Progress"

Brandon Donnelly | December 1, 2016

This morning I came across the below graph in a Medium article by Eric Jaffe of Sidewalk Labs. It is taken from a research paper by Elisabeth Ruth Perlman called, Dense Enough To Be Brilliant: Patents, Urbanization, and Transportation in Nineteenth Century America.

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"Living Small"

Oakland Magazine | December 1, 2016

From Nov 10, 2016

Oakland’s first micro apartments are coming to the Nook on Valdez.

The first tenants should be moving into the Nook on Valdez—Oakland’s first micro dwelling—soon. Given the city’s housing crunch, it’s no surprise that micro-unit housing of buildings filled with tiny apartments of less then 300 square feet—about the size of a one-car garage—has arrived.

...More

"‘Stackable’ modular apartments to be built for homeless families"

The Irish Times | November 30, 2016

Dublin City Council to place prefabricated units on Fishamble Street and in Coolock.

A vacant site in Dublin city centre, which was to be an owner-designed apartment block, is to be used for the city’s first modular apartment development for homeless families.

...More

"Tiny Houses, Huge Hurdles: Panoramic and the Future of Supportive Housing"

SF BMAO | November 29, 2016

Imagine having no place to live in one of the planet’s most expensive metropolitan areas. For many residents of San Francisco, this is a daily reality. Yet while labor and investment capital pours in, the region’s culture of technological “innovation” has failed to improve the livelihoods of our most vulnerable neighbors. Patrick Kennedy wants to change that.

...More

"Build More Housing"

Reason.com | November 28, 2016

From June 22, 2016:  San Francisco’s YIMBY movement is pushing the city to build its way out of the housing crisis.

San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the country and has become the symbol of the nation’s housing crisis.

A booming jobs market and years of underdevelopment have led to skyrocketing real estate prices and rents in the region. In 2015, the Bay area added 64,000 jobs but built less than 5,000 housing units. The median home price is nowover the million dollar mark and an average one-bedroom apartment rents for more than $3,500 a month.

...More

"The World’s Tallest Modular Building May Teach Cities to Build Cheaper Housing"

Wired | November 23, 2016

AST WEEK, 461 Dean became the world’s tallest modular building. Designed by New York architecture firm SHoP, the Brooklyn residential tower consists of 363 pre-fab apartments that stack like Tetris blocks into a 32-story building.

...More

"Sleep Tight in a Smartly Designed Microhotel"

Wired | November 21, 2016

It’s sort of like staying inside a Swiss Army knife: In stylish new microhotels, architects deploy tech and minimalist design to fold a lot of amenities into small spaces. Consider the 150-square-foot rooms at the two Arlo hotels, which opened this fall in Manhattan.

...More

"It’s time for action when San Francisco’s homeless numbers aren’t budging"

SF Chronicle | November 18, 2016

“…Small and inexpensive modular housing is one option… These ideas are all worth support.  But they need to show results more quickly.

The civil disgrace of homelessness can’t be tolerated.”

San Francisco’s latest homeless head count shouldn’t surprise anyone who travels the streets, parks and sidewalks of the city. The number hasn’t budged over the past year, a dismal steady state of human misery.

...More

"US homelessness declines: What’s working?"

The Christian Science Monitor | November 17, 2016

SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

More communities are focusing on providing their chronic homeless populations permanent, supportive residences. Experts say that’s the path to take to in order to put a roof over every citizen’s head.

...More

"Could ‘MicroPADs’ help solve San Francisco’s homeless problem?"

KTVU 2 | November 17, 2016

Some are calling it the wave of the future when it comes to housing the homeless. Micropads are tiny pre-fab modules that can be stacked together into apartment buildings.

– Some are calling it the wave of the future when it comes to housing the homeless. Micropads are tiny pre-fab modules that can be stacked together into apartment buildings.

...More

"SF Planning Commissioners “Impressed” with MicroPAD"

SF HAC | November 17, 2016

Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Planning Commissioners Kathryn Moore and Dennis Richards visited the MicroPAD on 9th and Mission Streets and came away “impressed.” At a recent public hearing, both commented on the design and quality of the unit and believe this is a viable approach to house San Francisco’s homeless population.

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"With Workers Scarce, More Home Builders Turn to Prefab Construction"

The Wall Street Journal | November 14, 2016

A persistent shortage of construction workers across the U.S. is prompting some of the nation’s largest home builders to experiment with a model they once derided: factory production.

...More

"These 160-square-foot micro-apartments could help end San Francisco’s homelessness crisis"

http://www.businessinsider.com/housing-the-homeless-in-san-francisco-2016-11 | November 7, 2016

A real estate developer wants to help end the street-living epidemic in San Francisco by converting shipping container-like modules into sleek new micro-apartments where the homeless can live.

...More

"MicroPAD Supportive Housing for the Homeless Prototype Unveiled for Viewing in San Francisco"

The Registry | November 3, 2016

Local prefab developer, Panoramic Interests, revealed its CitySpaces MicroPAD on October 31 at 9th and Mission Streets in San Francisco. The furnished 160 square foot unit will be on display until November 15, marking the beginning of a tour to mobilize interest around the new product, which is designed for stacking into buildings geared for flexible living spaces that support homeless populations. With the Bay Area’s high building costs, Panoramic asserts that the off-site prefabrication assembly cuts construction costs by 40 percent, potentially expediting the creation of housing for those in need.

...More

"SF NEEDS MICRO-PAD HOUSING"

BeyondChron.org | November 3, 2016

Small Units Essential for Solving Homelessness

If you want to see how San Francisco can best reduce homelessness, go to 9th and Mission and tour the SF Micro-PAD. The brainchild of developer Patrick Kennedy, the Micro-Pad’s 160 square foot units could soon bring 1000 housing units to the city, with a third for the very poor.

...More

"Go Inside the MicroPAD, a New Solution for San Francisco’s Homeless"

SF Housing Action Coalition | November 1, 2016

Several months ago, local developer Panoramic Interests introduced a creative solution to address San Francisco’s homelessness crisis. Their proposed MicroPAD is a very small housing unit that can be built quickly, affordably and at a scale that could make a real impact. For two weeks starting October 31, the public will have the opportunity to walk inside one of these homes and experience it themselves.

...More

"Inside a tiny prefab home for the homeless"

SF Curbed | October 31, 2016

A possible solution for San Francisco citizens without a place to call home

It’s a tiny moment of truth for developer Patrick Kennedy’s MicroPADs.

He touts his petite prefab apartments as an affordable solution to San Francisco’s homeless problem. But that only flies if the pads can impress both the city and public as a place where anyone might theoretically want to live.

...More

"A Clash of Interests"

SF Business Times-digital | October 28, 2016

From Page 24

Construction unions used to be reliable supporters of development.  Not anymore

Construction unions have traditionally been adbocates for new development, for an obvious reason:  It keeps their members employed.  That delicate alliance is now coming under threat.

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"Think Small"

ModernLuxury | October 26, 2016

Nov 2016–Digital Version, pg. 94  http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/digital-edition

Patrick Kennedy offers to give me a house.  And I accept.  He leads me to a far corner of his office suite on the ground floor of the shiny tower on Ninth and Mission that he completed in 2015 and that now serves largely as a high-rise student housing.  And there sitting on a shelf is my house.

...More

"Come tour the tiny modular apartments that may house the homeless"

SF Curbed | October 25, 2016

Back in August we told you about developer Patrick Kennedy’s plan to build 200 tiny new homes in a DPW-owned parking lot in a matter of months.

Kennedy’s invention, the MicroPAD, is a modular studio apartment roughly the standard shipping container (with a bit more ceiling) that “snaps” together Lego-style with others to create a building supposedly in no time at all.

...More

"Vancouver looks at modular housing industry to boost slim rental stock"

Vancouver Sun | October 25, 2016

City of Vancouver staff are considering fast-tracking permits for standardized, modular laneway homes as a way to help boost the city’s rental stock.

Such a move could speed up the development of backyard homes on the estimated 60,000 lots that can accommodate them in neighbourhoods across the city. While the entire city is zoned for laneway housing, just over 2,400 permits to build them have been issued.

...More

"No Vacancies in California? Housing Report Begs to Differ"

The New York Times | October 25, 2016

California will have to build about 3.5 million homes over the next eight years, more than triple its current pace of construction, simply to keep up with expected population growth and hold down housing costs to affordable levels. But how could the state actually do it?

...More

"View Vancouver’s modular housing prototype at Robson Square this week"

Daily Hive | October 25, 2016

A temporary pavilion built on the roadway at Robson Square, where Robson Redux installations were previously located, showcases a prototype of the City of Vancouver’s first temporary modular housing project.

...More

"Go Inside the MicroPAD, a New Solution for San Francisco’s Homeless"

SF HAC | October 24, 2016

Several months ago, local developer Panoramic Interests introduced a creative solution to address San Francisco’s homelessness crisis. Their proposed MicroPAD is a very small housing unit that can be built quickly, affordably and at a scale that could make a real impact. For two weeks starting October 31, the public will have the opportunity to walk inside one of these homes and experience it themselves.

What is the MicroPAD?
It stands for Prefabricated Affordable Dwelling.

...More

"Housing development’s latest enemy: Bay Area construction unions"

SF Business Times | October 24, 2016

Construction unions have traditionally been advocates for new development, for an obvious reason: It keeps their members employed.

That delicate alliance is now coming under threat. Angered by some developers’ attempts to use cheaper non-union labor, Bay Area construction unions have filed appeals challenging projects’ approvals and allied themselves with community groups who oppose the projects for different reasons.

...More

"A new approach: Build steel modular housing units for the homeless"

The Seattle Times | October 24, 2016

From Oct 3, 2016

Tents, wooden sheds and RVs do not provide the kind of stable and supportive housing in which an individual or family in homelessness can begin to deal with the issues in their lives.

LIKE most Seattleites, I am alternately frustrated, incredulous and dismayed by the number of homeless individuals I encounter every day while walking, driving or just living my life in Seattle.

...More

"Prefabs sprout"

Economist | October 22, 2016

Off-the-peg homes could solve a shortage of houses and builder

A CAVERNOUS factory just outside Leeds may point to a shake-up of Britain’s construction industry. The building, which covers an area equivalent to seven football pitches, has just been kitted out by Legal and General Homes, a wing of the insurance and pensions giant. In the new year it will start producing pre-manufactured, or “modular”, houses.

...More

"U.S. As Land-Use Rule Rise, Economic Mobility Slows, Research Says"

Wall Street Journal | October 18, 2016

Developer Patrick Kennedy wants to build apartments for middle-class families near San Francisco’s Financial District, but he is struggling to win the city’s approval. The problem: in one spot the building’s courtyard is 5 feet too narrow.

Mr. Kennedy said his efforts constantly run up against such obstacles, which he said drive up the cost of construction and make it nearly impossible to build anything but luxury housing in one of the nation’s most expensive markets.

...More

"6 things about cities from Richard Florida"

Brandon Donnelly | October 18, 2016

Last week Richard Florida headlined an “Urban Lab” panel at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. It was moderated by Sam Chandan, who is dean of the Shack Institute.

Here are 6 takeaways from the discussion, with a few of my own thoughts attached:

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"Tent dwellers for a day seek solutions for homeless"

SF Chronicle | October 17, 2016

It was a very different group of tent dwellers who set up camp Monday morning in front of City Hall.

Jennine Jacob pitched her tent and then rolled out a portable solar panel for recharging cell phones. Robert Weiss’ tent was next to a sign that read: “Proud SF parent and homeowner disgusted by how SF city treats homeless.”

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"At His 350-Square-Foot Apartment, Small Space Champion Graham Hill Practices What He Preaches"

Dwell | October 17, 2016

The seasoned micro-dweller challenges himself to downsize yet again.

In 2012, entrepreneur Graham Hill moved into a 420-square-foot SoHo studio that would act as his personal residence and a showcase for a movement. “I wanted to start a conversation about how doing more with less could improve our lives from an environmental, financial, and even emotional perspective,” he explains.

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"San Jose: New law would make city first to allow “tiny homes” for homeless"

The Mercury News | October 8, 2016

SAN JOSE — A newly signed law will allow San Jose to become the first California city to create tiny homes for the homeless by bypassing the state’s confining building codes.

City housing officials and advocates for the homeless call the new legislation a “game-changer” in the fight to solve one of the Silicon Valley’s most intractable problems.

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"Developer of $50 Million Zaha Hadid N.Y. Penthouse Now Explores Tiny Homes"

Bloomberg | October 7, 2016

London’s latest micro flats meet the country’s minimum space requirements. Technically.

They’re built for one person. There’s only a shower, no bathtub allowed or they violate minimum size regulations. And if the concept works, its deep-pocketed New York backer may try to export the model.

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"Innovate to find solutions for homelessness"

SF Chronicle | September 28, 2016

Creating supportive housing with a stackable, prefabricated building system is the most expedient and economical remedy to San Francisco’s homeless crisis. Yet the likelihood of getting these type of buildings built is in doubt. The reason: The city’s desire to house the homeless is often weaker than its willingness to deviate from standard building practices.

 Panoramic Interests, a local developer, wants to build one such building.
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"White House Bucks Gentry Liberals on Zoning"

The American Interest | September 26, 2016

The Obama administration is leaning on local governments to resist NIMBY rent-seeking and make it easier for the market to developers to come closer to meeting market demand for new housing. Politico reports:

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"Reform land use, promote shared growth of new housing"

SF Chronicle | September 25, 2016

It is no secret that cities like San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., face challenges in the availability and cost of housing. But policymakers and economists have increasingly recognized both the role that certain inappropriate land use restrictions play in raising housing costs — not just in major cities but across the country — and the opportunity for modernizing these regulations to promote shared growth.

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"San Francisco’s Bureaucracy, Unions Stifle Modular Housing For Homeless"

Forbes | September 23, 2016

Kositsky’s line may be the quintessential one in defining San Francisco’s radical and counter-productive politics. It isn’t enough that a project will provide hundreds of units for the homeless at half the cost; it also must solve various other societal issues unrelated to homelessness.

Anyone who has visited San Francisco, and stepped even a block off the beaten path, knows of its homeless problem. The city has an estimated 6,700 street people—the 2nd-highest per capita in the nation—and 1,500 of these are chronically homeless, often dwelling amid the drugs and violence of the Tenderloin district.

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"A bold homelessness solution worth exploring"

JaneKim.org | September 23, 2016

What do you think about hundreds of new units of housing for the homeless built in just six months at no upfront cost to the city?
I think it is an idea worth exploring – but I need your help to break through the politics at City Hall.
Perhaps you saw the story in the Chronicle on Sunday. It outlined several plans to take a city property and use it to create modular micro homes dedicated to getting homeless people off the street. These units can be built in less time and at a lower cost than traditional housing.

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"The Impact of Supportive Housing on Surrounding Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City"

Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, NYU | September 21, 2016

From November 2008

Supportive housing is a type of affordable housing that provides on-site services to people  who may need support to live independently. Residents may include formerly homeless individuals and families, people with HIV/AIDS or physical disabilities, young people aging out of foster care, ex-offenders, people with mental illness or individuals with a history of substance abuse.

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"Even homeless housing is hard to build in SF"

SF Chronicle | September 19, 2016

It’s not just difficult to get housing built in San Francisco. It’s even difficult to get homeless housing built in the city.

Everyone in San Francisco agrees that we need to move the city’s substantial number of hard-core homeless individuals off of our streets and into housing. So the news that a local developer, Patrick Kennedy, is willing and able to build as many as 200 tiny, modular micro-unit apartments above a city-owned parking lot quickly should have been greeted with cheers.

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"Tiny apartments for homeless hit snags over labor, land"

SF Chronicle | September 18, 2016

San Francisco’s homelessness director wants them. A local developer is hot to build them, academics love them, and unions are open to the idea.

All that stands in the way of the construction of hundreds of tiny, modular apartments for hard-core homeless people in San Francisco — something that could sharply reduce the number of indigents on the city’s streets — is getting everyone involved to agree to some compromises. But that’s proving to be a tough task.

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"What San Francisco Says About America"

The New York Times | September 16, 2016

“…Yet somehow I was unprepared for the scale and severity of homelessness in San Francisco.”

…Well-dressed tourists sharing the pavement with vaguely human forms inside cardboard boxes.

I’m confounded how to explain to my two children why wealthy society allows its most vulnerable citizens to languish on the streets.”

San Francisco — AFTER more than 27 years abroad, mostly as a foreign correspondent in Asia covering civil unrest and poverty, I wander the streets of this city, my new home, like an enchanted tourist.

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"Can U.S. Cities Compensate for Curbing Sprawl by Growing Denser?"

BuildZoom | September 14, 2016

The U.S. population is projected to continue growing for decades to come, reaching 400 million circa 2050. Accommodating more people at current living standards will require many new homes, but how will cities deliver such housing? Must they continue expanding outward to provide enough housing, as they have done historically, or will densification within the existing footprint do the trick?

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"Can micro apartments play a big part in bridging California’s housing gap?"

California Economy, California Economic Summit | September 13, 2016

If you watch cable television, you undoubtedly have seen a myriad of shows about tiny houses and small spaces. The tiny house movement is geared toward those who want to live a simple life without all the “stuff” accumulated in our consumer-driven society. But, can tiny houses and small spaces also be the solution to affordable living?

One San Francisco developer thinks it can by building “micro-unit” apartments.

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"SoMa micro-apartment project has an ambitious goal: Cheaper rents"

SF Business Times | September 7, 2016

A proposed residential project in San Francisco’s South of Market wants to cut construction costs and pass along savings to tenants.

By building 200 “micro-units,” developer Panoramic Interests hopes to charge rents that are 30 percent below the city’s average, which was $3,590 per month for a one-bedroom in June, according to Zumper. The units would average 550 square feet.

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"New California affordable housing law sparks backlash in San Francisco"

SF Business Times | September 6, 2016

San Francisco housing activists and some city officials say a new state housing bill passed last week is a “developer giveaway.” But supporters say it will boost all of California’s affordable housing production, reflecting more tension between the city and Sacramento over housing policy.

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"Tight squeeze: The secrets behind Japan’s coolest micro homes"

CNN | August 23, 2016

A tiny scrap of land might not catch your eye.

But to Japanese architect Yasuhiro Yamashita of Atelier Tekuto, there’s nothing more beautiful.

A veteran designer of kyosho jutaku — or micro homes — Yamashita has built more than 300 houses, each uniquely shaped and packed full of personality.

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"10,000 Homes In a Year on Underutilized Land – Part 2"

Winchester NAC | August 16, 2016

Solving the housing part of homelessness through the construction of modular, micro-housing is described in the above video by Patrick Kennedy, founder of Panoramic Interests. Filmed at Kennedy’s office, which itself is part of a micro-housing, multi-story complex that was profiled here, Kennedy talks about how to reduce costs through process improvement, modular construction and developing on under-utilized land. He points out that these lower costs do not have to sacrific quality and can actually enhance the overall end-product.

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"Design Is About Intent"

Rampant Innovation | August 16, 2016

From May 2014

The most admired companies of each age are often associated with a certain core competency. Ford popularized assembly line manufacturing in the 1910s. Toyota kicked off the lean revolution with its Toyota Production System in the postwar years. GE’s enthusiastic adoption of Six Sigma in the ’90s spread the mantra of quality. These capabilities are credited with helping transform the respective industry of each company.

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"Former planning commissioner says Palo Alto has worst housing policy in U.S."

SF Curbed | August 16, 2016

Last week, Palo Alto planning commissioner Kate Vershov Downing stepped down, penning a now-famous letter to colleagues (posted on Medium) explaining that she was moving to Santa Cruz because she simply couldn’t afford Palo Alto anymore.

Downing, a 31-year-old lawyer who moved to Palo Alto from Sunnyvale five years ago (she’s originally from the East Coast by way of immigration from Russia), said she and her husband were tired of splitting a house with roommates to the tune of $6,500/month for their share. She also alleged that the city ignores the public’s demand for more housing.

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"Safe SROs are vital to SF’s low-income housing option"

SF Examiner | August 12, 2016

San Francisco’s single-room occupancy hotels house thousands of residents and provide a vital link in The City’s low-cost housing continuum — offering some stability to individuals and families that often have no other housing options.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health last week released its report, “Improving the Health of Residents in SRO Hotels,” which included distressing statistics about the health risks associated with such buildings.

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"Letter to Palo Alto City Council"

Brandondonnelly.com | August 10, 2016

Kate Downing was formerly a planning commissioner in the City of Palo Alto. She recently resigned from her position and, about about a day ago, she posted her resignation letter on Medium. It has since gone viral.

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"Palo Alto planning commissioner quits over high housing cost"

The Mercury News | August 10, 2016

PALO ALTO — You’re a well-paid professional. You work in tech. You’ve got it made.

 Not if you want to buy a house in Silicon Valley.

On Wednesday, a planning commissioner here became the very public voice of the region’s frustrations over spiraling housing costs when she published her resignation letter to the city of Palo Alto.

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"New Report: CA Housing Crisis Threatens to Derail State’s Aggressive Climate Change Goals"

Bay Area Council Economic Institute | August 9, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO—California’s epic housing crisis is hurting more than lower- and middle-income working families struggling to find housing they can afford. It’s also threatening to derail landmark greenhouse gas reduction laws that for a decade have made California a global leader in the battle against climate change, according to a white paper released today by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

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"10 Lessons Learned by Rereading Jane Jacobs"

Common Edge | August 8, 2016

Last week I was in the middle of packing and came across a well thumbed copy of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. I don’t remember when I read the book, but it was way more than twenty years ago (and predates my professional involvement with cities). As a very belated tribute to the anniversary of her 100th birthday, I decided to dip back into that remarkable book. Here’s ten takeaways from the godmother of the American city.

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"Developer proposes 200 tiny prefab homes that fit together like LEGO"

Curbed SF | August 5, 2016

Imagine the smallest space in which you could possibly live. Now imagine something smaller.

Can you get by in just 160 square feet? The answer, as Berkeley based modular building developer Panoramic Interests will tell you, probably depends on what other options you have. And in the Bay Area, there aren’t too many.

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"Ordinary people can’t afford a home in San Francisco. How did it come to this?"

The Guardian | August 5, 2016

The city by the bay has the nation’s priciest real estate, and a battle is raging over whether tech wealth, population growth, or political will is to blame

All you need to know about San Francisco in 2016 was on display one recent Sunday at 83 McAllister Street, an office building turned into condominiums at the edge of the Tenderloin.

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"A Big Life in a Tiny Home"

The New York Times | July 22, 2016

The actress Linda Emond moved to New York in the mid-90s with few possessions and no idea where she wanted to drop anchor.

“My guess was that I would be doing theater, or that I’d want to be doing theater, so I wanted to be in Manhattan in a safe location where there was public transportation,” said Ms. Emond, 57,

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"Car-Free, Micro-DNA and Modular – Part 1"

WNAC (WinchesterNAC.com) | July 22, 2016

Encouraging developments that are car-free with micro-size dwelling units and use modular construction are three things that cities can do to make housing more affordable, according to Patrick Kennedy, founder of Panoramic Interests. With over 25 years developing projects Kennedy has experience in understanding the roadblocks to affordability.

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"What Is Supportive Housing?"

Supportive Housing Network of New York | July 20, 2016

Supportive housing is just that: Housing plus support. Tenants have affordable apartments and easy access to whatever help they need to stay housed and healthy.

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"Local Developers offer vision for SoMa’s Harrison Street"

SF Chronicle | July 15, 2016

Harrison Street in SoMa is the latest frontier for housing development in San Francisco. And it’s an unlikely location.

Home to five lanes of traffic zooming on and off the freeway, that part of Harrison Street has never offered a hospitable habitat for the investors and builders who have reshaped so much of South of Market.

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"Conventional thinking is biggest roadblock to housing the homeless"

Medium.com | July 6, 2016

June 29th marked the beginning of the San Francisco Homeless Project, an effort where 70+ Bay Area media organizations are putting their attention on our city’s ongoing and tragic homeless situation. One of the biggest questions the project is posing is how do we as a city provide the housing necessary to effect real and lasting change for our chronically homeless citizens?

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"Unequal City"

Curbed.com | July 6, 2016

How wealthy tourists have gentrified Jackson Hole, Wyoming, into a housing crisis

In March 2016, the family of 11-year-old Ventura Garcia Perez, otherwise known as “Vennie,” received an eviction letter. Born in Jackson, Wyoming, Vennie lives in the 56-unit Virginian Village Apartment complex with his parents, his four-year-old brother Dominic, and his dog Charlie. Throughout this summer, the owners of the Virginian are evictingseveral hundred tenants on a rolling timeline so the apartments can be remodeled and sold or rented at higher rates.

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"Letter from Dorothy Walker, noted planner, to City Council"

Dorothy Walker | July 1, 2016

The presentations to the City Council at the workshop on housing on February 16 included a great deal of helpful data and many recommendations about how to achieve more housing to serve all income levels.  In the Council discussion that followed, it was clear that all members agree there is a housing crisis that requires sustained effort and new approaches.

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"Solution to SF’s homeless problem starts with supportive housing"

SF Chronicle | June 29, 2016

Could San Francisco increase its stock of supportive housing by enough units to get all of the neediest homeless people off its streets in just two years?

Fixing San Francisco’s homelessness problem is possible.

It will require the addition of thousands of housing units for the hardest-core homeless people — the ones who wander the streets, screaming at the invisible, the ones who live in tents on sidewalks and shoot up in plain sight.

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"SF homeless problem looks the same as it did 20 years ago"

SF Chronicle | June 26, 2016

Fifty years ago, the destitute figures who dotted America’s streets were called winos and hobos, and in San Francisco they mainly stuck to Third Street’s Skid Row.

Then, with the end of the Vietnam War, battle-shocked veterans began filling urban alleyways. The 1980s brought Reaganomics’ decimation of federal social and housing programs, and a cascade of the poor and mentally ill landed on the streets.

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"Tiny living: What it’s like after the honeymoon period"

SF Chronicle | June 25, 2016

One of my strange obsessions is watching TV shows about people building or buying tiny houses — generally 400 square feet or less.

These shows check back with the tiny-home owners shortly after they’ve moved in, when they are still infatuated with their adorable doll houses.

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"This is why San Francisco’s insane housing market has hit the crisis point"

Business Insider | June 15, 2016

Five years ago, I moved to San Francisco — right as the current startup boom kicked off.

Those five years saw a lot of change in the city, as tensions between longtime San Francisco residents and the tech industry hit a fever pitch.

It all traces its roots back to the San Francisco Bay Area’s housing crisis, where people are going to ridiculous lengths, including living in boats, vans, and cardboard boxes, just to make ends meet.

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"Tiny Home Test Drive"

New York Times | June 10, 2016

Last week, the first tenants moved into the city’s first micro apartment development on East 27th Street. I did, too, for one night.

Tucked into a New York City Housing Authority site, on a spot between First and Second Avenues that was once a parking lot, and flanked by linden and honeylocust trees and a small plaza lined with park benches, the nine-story building, with 55 apartments between 260 and 360 square feet, is an elegant design by nArchitects, and built by Monadnock Development and the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association.

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"Construction begins of Arup-designed micro apartments"

TheConstructionIndex | June 7, 2016

Construction began last week of modular micro apartments designed to help solve student housing issues in Berlin, Germany.

The concept, developed by Arup, Berlinovo Immobilien and others, was created because of the high demand for affordable student housing in Berlin.

The first construction project on Storkower Straße in the district of Lichtenberg is part of a plan that aims to build a total of 2,500 apartments by 2020.

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"A guy just transcribed 30 years of for-rent ads. Here’s what it taught us about housing prices"

NewCoShift | May 15, 2016

I don’t know anything about Eric Fischer except that he’s a freaking hero.
Much like everyone else who has recently attempted to live in San Francisco, Fischer is very interested in housing costs. However, unlike every other such person, Fischer decided to contribute to this conversation by doubling the depth of modern historical data about them.

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"What Makes A Thriving And Interesting City? Something Called Collision Density"

Co.Exist | May 11, 2016

How often are you going to run into someone with whom you can do something creative or interesting?

Who was right, Jane Jacobs or Alfred Marshall and Michael Porter? The renowened urbanist, Jacobs argued for decades of the importance of density and diversity of economic actors in cities as a primary driver of innovation. Economists Marshall and Porter, on the other hand, have argued that clustering of similar industries in industrial parks and regions is the best way to stimulate innovation, job growth, and economic development.

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"The Problem(s) with Tiny Houses"

LifeEdited | May 4, 2016

At LifeEdited, we love tiny houses! They are like architectural and existential reduction sauce. Every space and object that isn’t utterly essential, that isn’t something you absolutely need, is boiled away. They are great examples of how humans can live simpler, lower impact lives. Yet tiny houses have some big problems, ones that are often overlooked amidst the hype, and it’s not just their lack of legality.

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"Tiny Houses Have A Not-So-Tiny Problem"

CoDesign.com | May 4, 2016

FROM 7-1-2014

Many tiny house designs fetishize smallness while missing what makes micro-housing so useful: density.

As much as we love gorgeous small-scale architecture, not all micro-housing is created equal. Over at City Lab, Kriston Capps argues that tiny houses plopped onto huge lots in the middle of nowhere miss the entire point of micro-housing: to provide more options for affordable housing, especially in crowded, expensive cities.

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"Priced Out: Big Cities Are Becoming Too Costly For Lower-Income Residents"

Trulia | April 28, 2016

Can’t afford housing in your expensive city? The solution for many is to move out.

America’s 10 most expensive metros have a lot going for them. They’re big. They have plenty of jobs. And for many residents, they’re desirable places to live.
But there’s a catch: the cost of housing has become so expensive that lower-income households are getting squeezed out.

Rents and home prices have soared in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Orange County, Calif., San Francisco, San Jose and Washington, D.C.

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"San Francisco is requiring solar panels on all new buildings. But here’s a much greener idea."

Vox | April 20, 2016

One of the greenest, most environmentally friendly moves that big cities like New York or San Francisco or Chicago can make is to increase housing density and allow more people to live in them. And yet, bizarrely, few people seem to think of this as an “environmental” policy.

But it is! And it’s hugely significant. In fact, we can illustrate just how significant by taking a closer look at San Francisco’s new solar law.

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"These architects designed and built a concept for building affordable homes over existing parking lots"

Contemporist | April 20, 2016

British firm, Bill Dunster Architects, have always been committed to low carbon building and development. Now, their latest design named ZEDpod, is an idea to build affordable homes over existing parking lots.

In places where there are existing parking lots, the ZEDpod can easily be installed, and because it’s a pre-fabricated design, a pop-up village could be installed in a weekend.

The ZEDpod is zero-carbon, zero-waste, and would have no annual energy bills. They’ve integrated solar photo-voltaic panels (ZED Roof), which in enough numbers can create a solar farm without the loss of agricultural land, allowing enough power to be generated to operate the homes and charge electric cars, bikes, etc.

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"What Makes Housing Too Expensive"

BloombergView | April 18, 2016

The U.S. has two big housing affordability problems. They’re related — and solving the first would go some way toward solving the second. But they’re not the same, and it’s important to understand that.

The first problem is that some coastal metropolitan areas in the U.S. are generating lots of good jobs but aren’t building enough housing to keep up with employment growth.

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"A Closet-Sized Life: Shocking Findings Of SRO Families Report"

Hoodline | April 14, 2016

FROM NOV 25, 2015

Imagine living with all of your belongings and family members in a room in which you can nearly touch both walls with your arms outstretched.

That’s how many families get by in the city, and the vast majority—88 percent— are headed by the working poor who have jobs in industries such as hotels, sales, construction and restaurants. That’s just one of the findings in the 2015 SRO Families Report, published by the SRO Families Collaborative.

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"Broken Promises: The Housing Market in San Francisco (And Ten Ideas to Fix It)"

Zachary Townsend Blog | March 30, 2016

San Francisco’s housing system is broken. The only way to fix it is through a radical change in our housing policy: a change that encourages (a lot of) building.

Failed public policy and political leadership has resulted in a massive imbalance between how much the city’s population has grown this century versus how much housing has been built. The last thirteen years worth of new housing units built is approximately equal to the population growth of the last two years.[0]

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"Artist Designs Sleeping “Pod” to Afford Renting in San Francisco"

SF Curbed | March 28, 2016

40-square-foot “room” goes for $400 a month

Bay Area artist Peter Berkowitz couldn’t afford a place in San Francisco. His solution was “the pod,” a sleeper box that’s roughly eight feet long, five feet wide, and four feet tall. It’s made out of plywood and neatly installed in the corner of his roommate’s living room, a space he’s now paying $400 a month to rent. (Bertkowitz lists his total housing expenses as $508 a month, factoring in the $1,300 he spent building it.)

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"Santa Monica Lawmaker Takes Aim at California’s Housing Shortage"

STREETSBLOG California | March 16, 2016

California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has set his sights on tackling the dire shortage of homes—and the resulting affordability crisis—currently facing the state.

Bloom, whose district includes Malibu, Santa Monica, West L.A., Brentwood, and Beverly Hills, currently has three bills pending—A.B. 2501, A.B. 2299, and A.B. 2522—that seek to lower barriers to new housing production in cities throughout California.

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"High-Tech Millennial Lifestyle Inspires Micro Apartment Boom"

Curbed | March 15, 2016

A new generation of tech millennials values location over square footage, and housing unit sizes are shrinking across the country.

Since the 1980s, cities around the country have been contracting serious cases of Silicon Valley envy. Everyone, it seemed, was looking for the magic formula to create their own high-tech incubators with educated, upwardly mobile work forces that would drive their cities to modernize and grow.

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"Munich Is Building Affordable Housing Atop Parking Lots"

The Atlantic CITYLAB | March 7, 2016

A new plan for low-rent apartments takes advantage of all that unused space devoted to cars.

In Munich, the days when parking space was allowed to gobble up large chunks of city land may be ending. Like most thriving Western metros, Germany’s third-largest city is desperate for new housing but doesn’t have a whole lot of undeveloped space left. The answer, say Munich’s governing Social Democrats, is to build above parking lots, burying the city’s land-hogging car spaces under buildings filled with affordable housing.

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"This Lego House You Can Live In"

Wall Street Journal | February 24, 2016

A modular building in the Bronx houses 62 people, some formerly homeless

When Bronx residents watched a 300-foot crane lower 90,000-pound blue- and red-accented modules onto a former used-car lot, the construction process reminded them of a familiar childhood toy.

So the locals dubbed it the Lego Building.

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"Why Market-Rate Housing Construction Matters for Low-Income Households"

SPUR | February 18, 2016

For decades, San Francisco and other high-cost California cities have added fewer homes than needed to accommodate all the people who want to live in them. Adding fuel to the fire, San Francisco has added over 50,000 jobs in the last four years and is growing by approximately 10,000 new residents per year. With statistics like those, even the city’s current housing “boom” of approximately 3,500 units per year in 2014 and 2015 (compared to an average of 1,750 per year over the prior twenty) can’t go far in solving the crisis.

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"S.F. spends record $241 million on homeless, can’t track results"

SF Chronicle | February 6, 2016

People around the world who watch the Super Bowl on television Sunday will surely see plenty of beauty shots of San Francisco, but football fans who visit and venture beyond the city’s spruced-up core will find some views that aren’t so beautiful.

Scores of tents line Division Street under the freeway, just one of many camps across the city. Human feces and needles litter sidewalks. Deranged people scream and threaten pedestrians in broad daylight. One man believed to be homeless allegedly slashed a California Highway Patrol officer in the throat near an encampment last week.

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"Pocket Development’s 2 Bed Apartment Competition: Lessons from London"

Michael Mortensen Blog | February 4, 2016

I thought Pocket’s Two Bedroom Competition would make a nice book-end to my earlier post “Making Apartments Work Harder: the 3rd Bedroom Challenge“.

We can learn a lot from London, and the innovative companies tackling the city’s housing affordability and supply challenges. For almost 3 years, I’ve been leading the design and development of mixed-use housing projects in the UK, and I’ve come to appreciate how deep and systemic the housing supply issue is here.

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"More units, less zoning? SF microapartments avoid “NIMByism”"

FairCompanies | February 1, 2016

San Francisco’s housing crisis is now legendary: the average rent for a 2 bedroom studio is $5000. To add housing stock fast, one developer has created the city’s first micro-apartment high rise (with units as small as 254 square feet).

Patrick Kennedy has been crusading for increased urban density for yeras, when I first met him in 2011, he was surprised there weren’t more people focused on the same goal. “San Francisco’s an interesting city: 42% of the population lives alone, much higher than any other American city, and yet there’s very little stuff that addresses the needs of a single person, especially something that can be affordable to a single person.”

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"Thriving U.S. Cities Grapple With Homelessness Surge"

Wall Street Journal | January 30, 2016

Gentrification fuels growth in once-depressed districts, adding to pressure on shelters

SAN FRANCISCO—The technology boom has rapidly gentrified some neighborhoods here, pushing wealthy buyers and renters into once-gritty areas and generating friction over the city’s entrenched homeless population. Now, tension is mounting as the Bay Area prepares to host Super Bowl 50 next month, bringing an estimated one million football fans to parts of the city where the unsheltered often congregate and sleep.

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"CHAPTER 6: CURRICULUM: ART/ARCHITECTURE – Jane Jacobs"

The Book of Life | January 29, 2016

There is something compelling and exciting about cities that makes many of us love (and some of us dread) them. They are full of bright attractions, intriguing strangers and endless, unimaginable possibilities. Yet despite a great migration towards city living in the modern era, we haven’t quite got cities figured out. Some parts of them are full of delightful surprises, and others are dreadfully boring; or worse, dangerous. One of the most instrumental people in understanding how urban areas work was a woman who spent her life explaining just how complex and vital cities really are.

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"Top 20 cities for venture capital investment"

Architect This City | January 28, 2016

The Martin Prosperity Institute here in Toronto recently published a new report that looks at worldwide venture capital investment by city. The report is called Rise of the Global Startup City.

The data is from 2012, because that’s what was available from Thomson Reuters, so keep in mind that there might be some variation in the rankings if we were to look at more recent data. Some of the cities sit fairly close.

Nonetheless, here are a few of the broader takeaways (from the report page):

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"San Francisco’s Self-Defeating Housing Activists"

The Atlantic | December 29, 2015

Tech companies and workers are vilified while longtime homeowners who fight high-density growth continue to profit from rising rents and property values.

A recent This American Life episode, “Poetry of Propaganda,” describes a San Francisco after-school program’s production of an original musical starring young children. “I don’t know what I expected,” said the writer Jon Mooallem, whose daughter played a tiny part, “but it wasn’t this. Act One opened on a sinister tech-executive meeting with a corrupt mayor and San Francisco’s board of supervisors.”

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"NYC MAY FIT MORE ‘MICRO’ APARTMENTS INTO HOUSING PICTURE"

Associated Press | December 28, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — The apartments in a new Manhattan building boast little balconies, tall ceilings, dishwashers and storage space. All in 360 square feet or less.
It’s micro-living in the nation’s biggest city, and New Yorkers could be seeing more of it. Planning officials are proposing to end a limit on how small apartments can be, opening the door for more “micro-apartments” that advocates see as affordable adaptations to a growing population of single people. Critics fear a turn back toward the city’s tenement past and question whether less space will really mean less expensive.

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"Don’t let fear get in the way of solutions"

SF Chronicle | December 19, 2015

Here in San Francisco, passions run high. But sometimes it’s hard to match the mood of anger and fear to the scale of the real effects on residents or to match the proposed solutions to the real issues, which makes me think that there are subtexts and currents below the surface.

When I served on the San Francisco Planning Commission, I was often puzzled by the angry, passionate objection to minor changes. Often, I realized, it had little to do with the item before us, which was sometimes just the trigger for people’s fears or other emotions.

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"In Defense of Micro-Apartments"

Atlantic CityLab | December 16, 2015

It’s like Yoda once said: “Size matters not.”

Put aside for the moment the size of the units in Carmel Place, a new multifamily housing development that just went up in New York City. Here are a few numbers that matter more than the square footage: Carmel Place is a nine-story development that includes 55 units. Of those, 33 units are designated market-rate; eight of the 22 units slotted for affordable housing are reserved for very-low-income renters.

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"The Micro Housing Development Boom Across the U.S., Mapped"

Curbed | December 15, 2015

The pronounced swing back towards urban living, and the renewed fervor for downtown development, has only made our cities more dense, making the search for cheap housing that much more challenging. While mayors across the U.S. have called for more affordable housing (in New York, both Bloomberg and De Blasio have said it was imperative the city offer more low-rent options), many developers have decided the solution to density and affordability is downsizing and designing smaller units.

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"Zoning board approves new units on Telegraph, Shattuck"

Berkeleyside | December 14, 2015

Berkeley’s zoning board approved two largely car-free buildings Thursday set to add 92 new residential units to the city’s housing stock.

Both of the projects — 70 units on Telegraph Avenue and 22 units on Shattuck Avenue — were proposed by Patrick Kennedy’s Berkeley-based Panoramic Interests.

The Telegraph project, dubbed The Nexus, is set to take the place of a 1-story office building where the nationally recognized Center for Independent Living got its start.

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"There’s Shelter, And Then There’s Housing. Utah Claims Muted Victory"

NPR | December 14, 2015

Utah has housed nearly all of its chronically homeless people — those who have a disabling condition, and who have been homeless for more than a year, or four times in the past three years. These days, there are fewer than 200.

But chronic homelessness is just a small part of a major problem.

An additional 14,000 people in Utah experienced homelessness this year. As in many places around the country, housing prices are rising, forcing people onto the street and into shelters.

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"This Ad Campaign Hits Nail on Head About NYC’s Cramped Apartments"

LifeEdited | December 11, 2015

There’s been a lot of recent hype about New York City’s Carmel Place (aka “My Micro”). Rightfully so. It is the city’s first purpose built micro-apartment building after all. But if you have ever lived in or visited a typical NYC apartment, you know New Yorkers are no strangers to micro living.

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"Micro Goes Even More Mainstream"

LifeEdited | December 10, 2015

When LifeEdited began several years ago, the micro housing conversation was happening but primarily in small pockets–the odd tiny house in northern California, Gary Chang’s transforming Hong Kong apartment and so. But in the last few years, spurred by things like the adAPT NYC competition and, we like to think, our own efforts, the micro-housing movement has grown considerably and become far more mainstream.

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"New York City’s first micro-apartment is 302 square feet… and costs $2,750 a month"

Business Insider | December 4, 2015

Nearly three years after winning a competition to design a residential building with units smaller than 400 square feet, Carmel Place is on the verge of completion.

Located in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood, the building is the first micro-apartment development in New York City. Its 55 units range between 265 and 360 square feet, and market-rate units cost between $2,650 and $3,150 a month.

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"9 THINGS PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY AT ZONING HEARINGS, ILLUSTRATED BY CATS"

Austin On Your Feet | November 23, 2015

If you watch enough zoning hearings, the testimony begins to sound pretty repetitive. That novel argument you’re making? The Council members have heard it a million times before. Here are 9 of the things we hear most often at zoning hearings, illustrated by cats.

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"BAY AREA MULTIFAMILY’S HOTTEST TREND: NO PARKING"

BISNOW | October 30, 2015

A growing number of Bay Area multifamily developments are cutting back on parking spaces. It’s already being done in some Bay Area cities and elsewhere, such as Washington DC, as transit-oriented development, car-sharing and more walkable communities gain in popularity. We caught up with Panoramic Interests’ Patrick Kennedy to talk about the hot trend.

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"Developer, S.F. see new possibilities in assembly-line housing"

SF Chronicle | October 9, 2015

The 30,000-pound boxes being delivered by a fleet of flatbed trucks to the Bayview don’t look like much. But if you ask Mayor Ed Lee, they just might be a solution to the city’s housing crisis.

On Thursday morning, Lee stood next to a construction trailer at 5830 Third St., talking to developer Rick Holliday and contractor Larry Pace about the 136-unit apartment complex going up there, the biggest modular housing development ever erected in San Francisco.

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"EXCLUSIVE: MORE MICRO-UNITS HEADED TO S.F."

BISNOW | October 7, 2015

We just got our hands on some exclusive renderings of a brand-new micro-unit project landing in SoMa—which is why we are also super excited to host our Bay Area Multifamily Heatin’ Up event Oct. 15 at Hotel Kabuki, starting at 7:30am.

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"8 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MICRO UNIT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE US"

BISNOW | September 30, 2015

Tiny living: It’s the future in more and more cities where space is at a premium and residents are willing to pay for a prime location. These eight micro unit developments are great examples of where the market’s heading.

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"How to Make Micro-Units Work with Good Design"

SF Housing Action Coalition | August 3, 2015

Last week, twenty-five SF Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC) members walked through the City’s newest micro-units at The Panoramic during a tour led by the project’s developer, Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests. The building at the corner of 9th and Mission Streets includes 160 micro-homes, with studios as compact as 274 square feet and three-bedroom suits around 630 square feet. With all of the units fully leased to the California College of the Arts (CCA) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, we’ll soon see these efficient homes put to the test.

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"A SoMa corner where there’s more than meets the eye"

SF Chronicle | July 24, 2015

Change hits cities in all sorts of ways, from blunt skyline changes to brash coats of paint. This stylized upgrade of a nondescript post-1906 corner building appeared in late May, commissioned by the bar inside that features such cocktails as Birds of Babylon. Exuberant yet dense, it’s a head-turning contrast both to the tawdrier aspects of this stretch of Mission Street and such transition signals as the 11-story box opening next door that will house several hundred college students.

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"A Tiny House Fit for the Hamptons"

The New York Times | July 24, 2015

With his venture Cocoon9, Christopher Burch — the man behind the now-shuttered clothing brand C. Wonder and the former husband of the fashion designer Tory Burch — hopes to prove that small, prefabricated spaces can be luxurious and perfect for the Hamptons.

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"What’s the Matter With San Francisco?"

The Atlantic CITYLAB | July 23, 2015

The city’s devastating affordability crisis has an unlikely villain—its famed progressive politics.

I moved to San Francisco for its radical politics. Lots of people did, for generations. Maybe it was like moving to Los Angeles if you wanted to be a movie star: If you wanted to be part of the grand project of reconstructing the American Left in the petri dish of a single city, San Francisco beckoned.

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"Telegraph Avenue housing project plans to offer amenities to tenants with disabilities"

The Daily Californian | June 15, 2015

After hours of public comment and discussion Thursday, Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board unanimously approved an environmental impact report for a proposed six-story building on Telegraph Avenue.

The mixed-used project is planned to be built at 2539 Telegraph Ave. at a location that formerly housed the Center for Independent Living, or CIL, an organization that provides disability services to residents of the city and surrounding areas.

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"NYC’s first prefab micro-unit apartment building starts to rise in Manhattan Read more: NYC’s adAPT Carmel Place prefab micro apartments begin to rise in Kips Bay (PHOTOS) | Inhabitat New York City"

inhabitat NEW YORK CITY | May 25, 2015

It’s been more than two years since nARCHITECTS’ My Micro NY apartment design won the adAPT NYC competition and now the micro-dwellings have begun to rise. The project, a collaboration between the DUMBO-based architecture firm and Monadnock Development, was selected as the winner of the 2013 call to develop innovative housing models for the city’s growing population of smaller households, and consists of 65 prefabricated modules

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"The Place Report: Top ten global trends redefining how we shop, live, work and play"

The Place Report | April 23, 2015

Micro-Living: Supplying an affordable yet distinctive micro-living product, which trades private space for public amenities and infrastructure

According to the United Nations 2014 report ‘World Urbanization Prospects’, by 2050, the global population expected to live in cities will rise to 6.33 billion, or 66 per cent of the
world’s total forecast population of 9.6 billion.

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"5 reasons why micro-units will be huge in the future"

Inman | April 21, 2015

Half the world today lives in cities — and, according to the United Nations, nearly 70 percent of the world will live in cities by 2050. At a recent National Association of City Transportation Officials conference in San Francisco, former Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey even went as far as to label this the “Century of the City.” Data shows that younger generations are leading this urban migration.

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"Why people are choosing to live in smaller spaces and are happier for it"

Mobile.News.com.au | April 18, 2015

WHEN most people picture their dream home it’s hard to go past the six bedroom McMansion with seven bathrooms, home cinema and an acre of benchspace in the kitchen.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of wanting that bigger place, with the spare bedroom, bigger yard, study or airy dining area, an increasing number of people are waking up to the fact that instead of enjoying the extra space, having more room often means you just buy more stuff to fill it up.

And this clutter is not making people happier.

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"“5 to 1″ Micro Apartment a Perfect 10"

LifeEdited | April 16, 2015

Architect Michael Chen has one of the most impressive portfolios of small apartment projects in the United States, if not the world. “Although we [MCKA, Chen’s firm] work at a broad range of scales, we are fascinated by the design of small spaces because they demand inventiveness,” Chen wrote to us in an email. “We love taking on a complicated and difficult problem with the intent of creating solutions that are thoughtful, beautiful and deceptively simple.” His latest project, dubbed the “5 to 1 Apartment,” is a beautiful representation of his love of transforming the complex to simple. It is also, to my mind, his finest work to date.

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"Micro Maven Patrick Kennedy Plans 395-Square-Foot Affordable Rentals for SoMa"

SF Curbed | April 9, 2015

Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests is best known for developing teensy but livable micro-units. However, his newest proposal in San Francisco isn’t technically for his signature micro-studios, but instead for very small one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms whose diminutive size is meant to make them affordable by design—and thus cheaper than the average SoMa apartment. Panoramic just submitted a Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) to SF Planning for a new building at SoMa’s 333 12th Street.

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"Slack, Stripe and other billion-dollar ‘unicorns’ on the prowl for office space"

SF Business Times | March 25, 2015

When new billion-dollar companies known as “unicorns” lap up equity funding, they’re usually on the hunt for big chunks of office space.

So it’s no surprise that San Francisco’s email-slaying startup Slack – which reportedly got a fresh $2 billion valuation Monday – is in the market for a sizeable 50,000 to 75,000 square feet of space, market watchers say.

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"California’s housing crunch costs us big time; how to fix it"

SF Chronicle | March 21, 2015

Californians already know how expensive housing is in our state. But a new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office makes it clear that as a state, this ever-growing bill is one we simply can’t afford to keep paying.

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"Ain’t Nothing New About Micro Housing"

LifeEdited | March 2, 2015

While tiny houses, micro-apartments and even transforming furniture may seem like recent phenomenon, the truth is quite the contrary: it’s big homes, excess space and stuff that are the new thing. People have been living in dense areas, in tight quarters with little stuff for eons. Nowhere is this more evident than in Manhattan. As strange as it sounds, there were over 600,000 more Manhattanites in 1910 than there were in 2013, 2.3M and 1.6M respectively. A recent piece in Curbed gives an account of the island’s various schemes to pack more people onto its 34 square miles.

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"Inside the Partially Finished Micro-Units at SoMa’s Panoramic"

SF Curbed | February 27, 2015

The last time that we checked in on the under-construction micro-units at the Panoramic, the 11-story building taking shape in SoMa, they were just starting to come together. In December, as you may recall, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music leased the building’s top five floors. The California College of Arts had already taken out the bottom six, meaning that all of the building’s 160 units will go to students. Panoramic developer Patrick Kennedy, who doesn’t usually like to hear micro-apartments compared to dorm rooms, has ended up seeing both of his micro-unit projects in San Francisco—38 Harriet as well as the Panoramic—become student housing.

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"Living Small, With Money Left Over"

The Wall Street Journal | February 27, 2015

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—A push to live in smaller spaces is reaching the nation’s smaller cities.

When Kelly Lunt moved here from the San Francisco area in November, she rented a 550-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in the heart of this city’s downtown. She pays $900 a month with all utilities and Wi-Fi included.

The 29-year-old, who is a project manager for a nonprofit that helps tech businesses, is even considering downsizing—to a $685-a-month, 375-square-foot studio in the same building.

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"Why and Where Micro-Apartments Are Going Up Might Surprise You"

LifeEdited | February 27, 2015

New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and, to a lesser extent, Seattle, DC, Boston and LA are logical places for micro-housing. These cities are very or fairly dense, they have high property values in many spots and have infrastructures that support micro-housing–i.e. decent public transportation systems, strong economies, walkable neighborhoods, etc (yes, LA might be a stretch).

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"The Ultimate Guide to Living In A New York Microdwelling"

NY CURBED | February 25, 2015

What does it take to be able to live in a minuscule apartment? A penchant for throwing things away helps, as do friends with carpentry skills and a healthy dose of patience. Friendless and lacking diligence? Never fear. There are plenty of small space hacks that money can buy to make your adorable 100-square-foot house box in Cobble Hill a home. Come, learn the secrets to living in a microdwelling.

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"From Shanties to Micro Units, NYC’s History of Living Small"

NY Curbed | February 25, 2015

New Yorkers have always scrambled for space. They’ve crammed into cellars, rookeries, and wooden shacks; hung rows of hammocks in seven-cent lodging houses; and huddled under low attic roofs. Now, with micro-apartments rising on East 27th Street, it seems like people are as desperate as ever for a foothold.

Like many apartments in the city, the new units may be derided as closet-sized. Starting at 250 square feet, the studios are indeed smaller than the zoning code usually allows.

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"Co-Living is Coming to San Francisco"

SF HAC | February 23, 2015

As we are all well aware, housing is the Bay Area’s burning topic of the day. The housing shortage is reported by local and national news, and you can’t walk down the street or ride on BART without overhearing multiple people discussing how the housing crisis is affecting them. How the Bay Area will house everyone is a serious question. SFHAC, in conjunction with SPUR and AIA San Francisco, assembled this panel to consider if and how group housing can play a part.

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"Test-Driving a 178-Square-Foot Micro-Unit, for Science"

SF Curbed | February 23, 2015

Every morning, the first thing Katherine Qiu had to do was turn her bed back into a couch. It was May of 2009, and Qiu, then a 25-year-old graduate student in MIT’s real estate development program, was living in a prototype micro-unit designed by the Berkeley-based developer Patrick Kennedy.

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"Home Shrunken Home"

THe New York Times | February 20, 2015

Micro-Apartments, Tiny Homes Prefabricated in Brooklyn

For most single New Yorkers, the tyranny of living in a small space, or worse, a shared space, is all too familiar.

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"The Billion Dollar Startup Club"

Wall Street Journal | February 18, 2015

The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VentureSource are tracking venture-backed private companies valued at $1 billion or more. See how the club has expanded since the project began in January 2014 and select companies to learn more about each.

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"Ditching my car for Uber saves me over 6 days of time and $11,000 a year"

Business Insider | February 9, 2015

In 2010 I moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco and thought I had to bring my car with me.

LA, as anyone who’s ever heard anyone say anything about LA knows, is a car city. If you’re going anywhere, you’re going in your car.

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"How to Fix Prefab Architecture? Make It More Like Product Design"

Core77 | January 31, 2015

Connect Homes’ cofounder argues for a new approach to modular home building.

I’m an architect, and for many reasons—quality, availability, efficiency, sustainability and aesthetics—I think residential architecture should be produced more like the industrial design typically found on Core77. Most important, if houses were designed, manufactured and distributed more like products, good design would be far more affordable and many more people could build their dream home.

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"4 Minute walk from the Panoramic– ‘Feast Your Eyes on the Market, A Totally Bonkers Food Complex in the Twitter Building’"

San Francisco Eater | January 21, 2015

Groceries, sushi, pizza, wine, tacos, Blue Bottle, and anything else you could want.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Twitter building has arrived on the culinary scene. Right on schedule, The Market, the first of the many dining projects scheduled for the massive former SF Furniture Mart at 10th and Market, has made its debut, offering a dizzying array of groceries, takeout food, and other deliciousness in a project that its owners, Bruce Slesinger & Tom Collom (Small Foods), Chris Foley, and Richard Hoff (Oakville Grocery, Napa Farms Market) are dubbing Northern California’s answer to Eataly.

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"Housing affordability crisis drives Bay Area middle-class exodus"

San Francisco Business Times | January 2, 2015

Seana O’Shaughnessy has lived in the Bay Area for 19 years — nearly half her life. Yet in the next few months,O’Shaughnessy, 41, and her husband will pack up and leave Redwood City for Chico in time for her daughter to start kindergarten in the fall. It breaks her heart, but O’Shaughnessy believes she has no choice.

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"The Macro View on Micro Units"

Urban Land Institute | December 31, 2014

The Urban Land Institute Multifamily Housing Councils were awarded a ULI
Foundation research grant in fall 2013 to evaluate from multiple perspectives
the market performance and market acceptance of micro and small units.

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"Web Extra: Small Spaces"

Form | December 3, 2014

As real estate values skyrocket, young professionals who want to live in the heart of big cities on a budget are increasingly drawn to micro apartments that provide them with a minimum of private space as an alternative to sharing. Living small is nothing new. The poor have always endured cramped quarters—from primitive huts to tenements or trailers—and the homeless are grateful for a modest room in an SRO. Le Corbusier and his wife spent many summers in their 12-foot-square cabin in Roquebrune.

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"The Public Art To Adorn San Francisco’s First Micro-Unit Building"

SocketSite | December 1, 2014

With the construction of Panoramic Interest’s 11-story building rising on the southwest corner of Mission and 9th Streets nearing completion, a building which includes a total of 160 market-rate units, of which 120 are “micro-units” as small as 274 square feet in size, it’s time to unveil the public art which will adorn the south façade of  the building as rendered above.

From Ken Kalman, the San Francisco-based sculptor who holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has been commissioned for the installation:

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"Living Small"

Form | October 15, 2014

Thirty-three architectural firms entered a competition initiated by Mayor Bloomberg for 300-square-foot apartments in New York, and it’s likely that his successor will push even harder to foster innovative housing solutions.  In San Francisco, the city authorities are part of the problem. In 2012, they revised their minimum space requirements to permit apartments as small as 220 square feet, but cautiously capped their number at 375. Panoramic Interests, a Berkeley-based developer, has already demonstrated their viability.

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"S.F.’s dilemma: boom is pushing out those who make it desirable"

San Francisco Chronicle | September 30, 2014

Why do people pay so much to live in San Francisco?” a writer for San Francisco Magazine recently asked me. My answer: Because it’s worth it. San Francisco is one of the most innovative and creative places on the planet.

But the very forces that are making San Francisco boom are also dividing it. While techies and knowledge workers make enough extra in salary and income to afford it, the city’s working and middle classes fall further behind, accelerating a dual migration in which the affluent are pouring into the city while longtime residents and lower-paid workers are being pushed out.

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"This Micro-Housing Developer is Smokin’"

Real Estate Bisnow | September 29, 2014

To celebrate the topping off of its 12th floor, the gang behind the Panoramic project threw a party Friday afternoon. We zipped up to the roof with Panoramic Interests’ Patrick Kennedy, the developer behind the micro-housing project delivering at the corner of 9th and Mission next June. The project will contain 120 microstudios and 40 microsuites, or two and three-bedroom apartments. 

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"Strategies for dealing with S.F.’s housing crunch"

SF Chronicle | September 15, 2014

For those who can afford to live in San Francisco, it can be a gloriously dense network of professional opportunities, friends and artisanal edibles and goods. For those who are on the outside, it seems ridiculously unattainable – an image not helped by extreme rental listings (case in point: For the privilege of crashing in a Nob Hill living room, the renter was expected to pay a monthly rent of $900 as well as contribute hours of Web programming).

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"Tour a Totally Livable 242-Square-Foot West Village Apartment"

Curbed New York | September 3, 2014

Jourdan Lawlor bought her tiny apartment on West 12th Street, in a quaintformer dormitory for Hudson River dockworkers, in 2011—three weeks before she met Tobin Ludwig. The director of sales development at The Daily Meal, she was tired of renting and decided to buy, scouring the city for a downtown apartment under $300,000 before settling on this prewar option, a high-ceilinged ground-floor studio that clocks in at a diminutive 242 square feet. That includes closets, cabinets, and a 29-square-foot storage nook above the bathroom door.

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"Vexed in the city: Silicon Valley’s invasion of San Francisco"

CNET | August 22, 2014

A major migration is under way, with technology companies large and small setting up shop in San Francisco and bypassing the historic heart of the tech industry.

SAN FRANCISCO — From the sixth-floor boardroom where Zendesk holds its most important meetings, CEO Mikkel Svane has a unique view of San Francisco. It’s not the iconic snapshot of the city — no Golden Gate Bridge or Transamerica Pyramid.

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"What It’s Like to Live in a Micro-Apartment"

Life Edited | August 21, 2014

As a New Yorker, burdened as I am with our stereotypical New York-centricity, it kinda pains me to admit that Seattle is America’s micro-apartment capital. Seattle’s micro-apartment’s might lack the flash of NYC’s adAPT pilot program or the innovation behind Panoramic Interests‘ San Francisco develops. 

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"Vexed in the city: If you’re moving to San Francisco, bring cash. Lots of cash"

CNET | August 20, 2014

Most cities would die for the problems San Francisco is having. But with so many techies flooding the city, the cost of renting or buying a place to live is soaring.

SAN FRANCISCO — Two years and 18 bids after they first tried to find a place to live in San Francisco, Julia Knittel and her fiance Rasheq Zarif finally nabbed an apartment.

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"Good Housing Comes in Small Packages"

California Real Estate | August 7, 2014

Real estate developer Patrick Kennedy prefers minimalism and efficiency. When he ends a phone conversation, he says, “Thanks, goodbye,” then hangs up. HIs email subject lines contain actual message-no need to waste time opening the email. And his hobby? Ultra-lightweight backpacking, where you strip down to the absolute minimum of what you carry.

As a developer and proponent of urban microapartments with his Berkeley-based company, Panoramic Interests, Kennedy is well aware that his hobby is a bit of a busman’s holiday version of his job.

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"One9: Nine-Story Prefab Apartment Tower was Installed in Just Five Days"

Inhabitat | July 25, 2014

Prefab technology is revolutionizing the way we build our homes, one stackable Lego-like module at a time. Australian construction company Hickory Group recently completed one such example with the One9, a nine-story apartment tower that was installed in just five days. Built from 36 prefab modules, the One9 project also includes numerous environmentally sustainable features such as a gray water recycling system and solar hot water panels.

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"How S.F.’s Mid-Mission district is transforming"

SF Gate | July 17, 2014

Over the past five years, 1,400 new housing units have opened on Mission Street between Fifth Street and South Van Ness Avenue, including 800 studio apartments that landlord Angelo Sangiacomo built between Seventh and Eighth streets.

And there are a lot more coming.

On Mission between Eighth Street and around 10th Street, contractors are pouring floors on three mid-rise residential towers, construction that will bring an additional 500 units to the corridor by the end of 2015.

At 1400 Mission St., Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. is building 190 affordable family units. Across the street, at 1415 Mission St., Martin Building Co. is working on 126 apartments, while a block to the east at 1321 Mission St., Berkeley developer Patrick Kennedy is well under way on 160 micro-studios and “micro-suites,” half of which will provide housing for students from the California College of the Arts.

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"The Second Smartest Space in San Francisco"

Life Edited | June 25, 2014

A while ago we checked out San Francisco’s SMARTSPACE Harriet (i.e. the first smartest space in San Francisco), a four story, 23-unit building made up of prefab micro-apartments. SMARTSPACE Harriet was and is significant as it, along with Vancouver’s Micro Lofts, was one of the first true micro-apartment buildings in the modern sense of the term. The vigorously designed 295 sq ft apartments employed numerous transforming elements that made them perform like much larger spaces. The inclusion of things like a building car-share, communal spaces and solar hot water made them all the sweeter. Now (well, for a while actually) SMARTSPACE developer Panoramic Interests is building on its initial project. “The Panoramic” is a 160 unit, 11-story building going up in San Francisco’s SoMa District and it represents a lot of big ideas in small building and living.

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"MICROUNIT REVOLUTION!"

BISNOW | May 30, 2014

Micro housing developer Patrick Kennedy is on a roll (and not just because of his treadmill desk, below). His latest project in Berkeley, Calif. proves thetiny living arrangement is here to stay in the US.

San Francisco is the trendsetter, with Patrick’s firm (Berkeley-based Panoramic Interests) delivering the country’s first prefab micro housing project in SoMa last year: 23 units less than 300 SF each, gobbled up in a flash.

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"Millennials Prefer Cities to Suburbs, Subways to Driveways"

Nielson | May 4, 2014

Millennials are the social generation, both online and in-person. As the founders of the social media movement, they’re never more than a few clicks away from friends and family. And offline, they prefer to live in dense, diverse urban villages where social interaction is just outside their front doors.

Breaking from previous generations’ ideals, this group’s “American Dream” is transitioning from the white picket fence in the suburbs to the historic brownstone stoop in the heart of the city. And their dreams have the power to affect cities and towns across the U.S. According to Nielsen’s recent Millennials – Breaking the Myths report, those aged 18-36 are 77 million strong, or 24 percent of the population—the same as Baby Boomers (between 49-67 years old). As Millennials continue to come of age and control an increasing share of the economy, understanding how their diversity and values play into their lifestyle and purchasing preferences will be essential to appeal to this generation of consumers.

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"Prefabricated Micro Apartments–Pretty Fabulous"

AXIOMETRICS Inc. | April 23, 2014

In a previous blog, we introduced the micro-apartment trend and discussed whether it was the “real thing” or the latest fad in city living. The micro-apartments, or micro-units, as they’re sometimes called, average around 500 square feet or less and are geared toward young, single folks in urban locales.

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"How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)"

Tech Crunch | April 14, 2014

The Santa Clara Valley was some of the most valuable agricultural land in the entire world, but it was paved over to create today’s Silicon Valley. This was simply the result of bad planning and layers of leadership failure — nobody thinks farms literally needed to be destroyed to create the technology industry’s success.

 

Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately.

It doesn’t have to be this way. But everyone who lives in the Bay Area today needs to accept responsibility for making changes where they live so that everyone who wants to be here, can.

The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia that many fear. I’ve spent time looking into the city’s historical housing and development policies. With the protests escalating again, I am pretty tired of seeing the city’s young and disenfranchised fight each other amid an extreme housing shortage created by 30 to 40 years of NIMBYism (or “Not-In-My-Backyard-ism”) from the old wealth of the city and down from the peninsula suburbs.

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"The 40 Most Notable New Developments Under Construction"

Curbed SF | March 20, 2014

It’s boom time in San Francisco, and it seems as though there’s more construction happening now than ever before. All over town, construction crews are busy building homes, hospitals and office towers to accommodate an impressive influx of new residents and businesses. Last Summer, Curbed mapped forty of San Francisco’s most prominent development projects. Since then, ground has been broken on a slew of hotly-anticipated towers, while construction has wrapped up on some staples from the old list. As such, it’s high time for a map update. See a project that deserves to be on the list, but hasn’t been featured? Drop us a line, or let us know in the comments. Here now, without further ado, an updated map of SF’s forty most notable active development sites.

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"Housing in Berkeley"

The Daily Californian | March 14, 2014

Hard hats and construction trucks may become a familiar sight to Berkeley residents within the next few years as Downtown Berkeley experiences a surge in housing developments.

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"Panoramic Interests’ buildings featured in Rizzoli Publications’ new book: Traditional Architecture…Timeless Building for the Twenty-First Century (2014)"

Rizzoli Publishers | February 18, 2014

N.B.: The August 15, 2001 edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet included a letter to the editor describing the Gaia Building as “…a monstrous, Stalinist-style monument to civic corruption.”

PCK

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"EXPANDING HOUSING OPTIONS IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEST BY REDUCING LAND USE REGULATIONS"

Community Builders | February 12, 2014

Even a cursory review of today’s real estate market reveals that there’s a lack of choice for certain households in the American West. If you’re on the market for an apartment without parking, or would like to build a “granny flat” for an aging parent, or desire to live in a tiny apartment in a hip neighborhood, you’re probably out of luck. Unfortunately, today’s building codes and land use regulations frequently prevent these types of moderately-priced housing options from being developed. In the “new normal” American economy, with limited resources at every level of government, the affordability crisis will only deepen if we don’t change regulations that prohibit sensible development.

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"Developer’s macro loan for micro units shows small is big"

San Francisco Business Times | January 29, 2014

Builder Patrick Kennedy had landed a big construction loan for small pads in Central SoMa.

With half of the 11-story, 160-unit rental building at 1321 Mission St pre-leased to the California College of the Arts,Jones Lang LaSalle capital markets team has lined up a $50 million construction loan on the deal.

Washington Capital provided the first mortgage with TDA Capital Management providing the mezzanine financing. Managing Director John Manning and Senior Vice President Alex Witt led the JLL team on the transaction.

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"S.F. apartment rents cool in winter but still red hot"

SF Chronicle | January 21, 2014

The incredible, escalating prices for apartments in San Francisco, the South Bay and East Bay edged down or flattened in the final three months of 2013 – but don’t get too excited.

The slight slump is a typical seasonal slowdown. After a year of rocket-like gains, asking rents remain sky-high compared with just a year ago.

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"It’s Not Too Late to Make San Francisco Affordable Again. Here’s How"

The Atlantic Cities | January 20, 2014

My city, San Francisco, is in the midst of an affordability crisis. People here are angry and afraid. The skyrocketing cost of housing comes up in seemingly every conversation and dominates local news and local politics.

The recent piece on San Francisco’s housing crisis I wrote for The Atlantic Cities seemed to hit a nerve. But it was mostly devoted to describing how the city got to be a place with the highest housing costs in the country. Now, I want to turn to what we can actually do about it.

We face a complex problem. It has roots in income inequality, a national issue, as well as regional anti-growth attitudes that extend well beyond the city boundaries. But at the city level, there are a surprising number of things we can definitely do.

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"SRO 2.0 Hits Harlem"

Life Edited | January 10, 2014

We’ve talked a lot about the merits of the SRO (single room occupancy). Throughout the 20th Century, the once-common, small and spartan apartments provided affordable urban dwellings for people looking for basic living accommodations. Unfortunately, in the latter part of the century, they became synonymous with drugs and graft. As neighborhoods gentrified, the unseemly SROs were excised from most cityscapes. Their demise left a gap in urban dwelling typology: i.e. the affordable crash pad. A nearly complete project in New York City is bringing back the SRO, albeit from decidedly 21st century perspective.

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"Building Begins on 160 Micro-Units at 9th and Mission"

Curbed SF | January 9, 2014

160 micro-units are officially under construction in Mid-Market now that the single-story furniture store at the corner of 9th and Mission streets has been cleared away. Dubbed Smartspace Mission, the building will strategically maneuver the 160 units into an 11-floor frame that will also include nearly 3,400 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and parking for 240 bicycles. A rooftop garden will satisfy the open space requirements and a snazzy lobby is planned. The building will be constructed to energy-efficient standards using all Energy Star appliances, sustainable building materials, storm-water management systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. The building is expected ready for occupancy late next year.

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"What Tech Hasn’t Learned From Urban Planning"

The New York Times | December 13, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — The tech sector is, increasingly, embracing the language of urban planning — town hall, public square, civic hackathons, community engagement. So why are tech companies such bad urbanists?

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"SoMa development would put new twist on commune living"

San Francisco Business Times | December 9, 2013

Build Inc. is teaming up with EmbassySF to create the next frontier in co-living in the South of Market.

While the city characterizes the proposed 1532 Harrison St. as a “group home,” the project is more of a dense, urban iteration on the communes of the 1960s and 1970s, but with institutional backing and professional management.

The property would be broken up into 28 “houses” with common kitchens, dining areas, living rooms, and outside space. The 235 private spaces — suites — would range from 327 square feet to 409 square feet. These would have bathrooms, sinks, two-burner stoves, and private balconies. The three buildings would be joined by a series of sky bridges and would be separated by two 25-foot mid-block alleys. The project could have up to 470 individual beds.

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"Growing pain"

The Economist | December 7, 2013

GLANCING at his phone a few years ago, Marty Castleberg noticed that he had dialled 911 more than almost any other number. Little wonder; he lived in San Francisco’s crime-ridden mid-Market area. His apartment block, a former office complex, had accepted tenants since the tech boom of the late 1990s. It did not meet the city’s strict residential codes (not enough windows), but Mr Castleberg could live in the city centre for a pittance.

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"San Francisco apartment boom fuels corporate housing groups"

SF Business Times | December 3, 2013

The proliferation of new apartment complexes in San Francisco is proving to be a bonanza for corporate housing groups that help fast-growing tech firms find temporary digs for a wide variety of new hires, consultants and interns.

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"A Tiny Revolution"

The Wall Street Journal | November 30, 2013

On a smug November Monday—crisp, sunny, 68 degrees in San Francisco—I went kayaking. The bay shimmered as my paddle split the water, and I felt lucky, light, even a little artistic. Such athletic transcendence had nothing to do with me, though. It was my ride: a prototype origami kayak. Yup, origami. It isn’t just for paper swans any more.

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"Dorms For Developers In San Francisco?"

Socket Site | November 27, 2013

While it was originally reported that Build Inc. was planning to build around 120 rental units on the half-acre SoMa parking lot which fronts 12th, Norfolk and Harrison Streets, plans for the construction of three six-story buildings with 235 group housing suites and up to 470 individual beds, common living areas and shared kitchens have been drafted for the 1532 Harrison Street site.

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"Clearing The Way For San Francisco’s First Micro-Unit Building"

Socket Site | November 22, 2013

Unless an appeal is filed within the next few hours, the permit to demolish the one-story building on the southwest corner of Mission and Ninth will be issued, clearing the way for San Francisco’s first micro-unit building to rise and be ready for occupancy in 2015.

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"THE US 20: Twenty Huge Trends That Will Dominate America’s Future"

Business Insider | November 21, 2013

The year is winding down, so it’s time to take stock of where America is heading.

 

Last year’s inaugural U.S. 20 list featured things like the end of retail, the revival of manufacturing and the shale revolution.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t difficult at all to come up with 20 brand new trends this year that will dominate headlines over the next decade.

It’s not that all of last year’s forces have already dissipated.

But new movements have already sprung up.

The 2013 list includes two new geographic centers of the American economy, evolving patterns of relationships, robots, and the changing energy landscape.

Check it out.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/business-insider-us-20-2013-2013-11?op=1#ixzz2p5lvmgIt

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"The Case Against Cars in 1 Utterly Entrancing GIF"

The Atlantic Cities | November 18, 2013

Here is a brilliant piece of data viz to show how public transit reduces congestion. I sort of can’t stop staring at it.

If you do succeed in dragging your eyes away, read more about America’s evolving car habits at The Atlantic Cities and check out Jordan Weissmann on the decline of driving in the U.S. over the last few years.

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"Micro-apartment developments on rise in S.F."

SF Gate | November 3, 2013

Kayla Smith, 35, has been out of college for years, but she’s returned to dorm-style living in an apartment the size of a one-car garage in a brand-new building in San Francisco’s Tenderloin.

“It’s the price you pay for living in San Francisco,” she said. She winnowed her possessions to the bare minimum when she moved into the 279-square-foot space in September, paying $1,850 a month for the convenience of living blocks from work amid the emerging Mid-Market area.

Urban planners and San Francisco leaders say smaller units help tackle the city’s housing shortage and rising rental costs.

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"How can we build cheaper urban housing?"

Markasauras | October 25, 2013

There were a number of suggestions from readers, via both the blog comments and Twitter, on how we could build cheaper multifamily housing. Here are a few ideas with my thoughts.

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"Rents soaring across region"

San Francisco Chronicle | October 25, 2013

San Francisco rentals were a different world when Chuck Post became a leasing agent – just four years ago.

“In 2009 we were actually discounting rents, offering things like a free month’s rent when you moved in, perhaps throwing in free parking,” he said.

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"Demand Continues to Pressure San Francisco Apartment Market"

The Registry | October 24, 2013

San Francisco has the reputation as the most bulletproof apartment market in the country, but a torrent of new construction promises to test its armor, as does reinvigorated condominium building.

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"What is a Micro Apartment?"

Life Edited | October 16, 2013

Amidst its turmoil, the City of Seattle has drafted a proposal for establishing citywide micro-apartment (aka “micro-unit” and “micro-housing”) regulations. The good news is that “DPD [Dept. of Planning and Development] has found that micro-housing provides an important lower-cost housing option that is appealing to many renters, and we recommend that it continue to be allowed to meet this demand.”

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"GET TO KNOW: DIETER RAMS"

dwell | October 10, 2013

German industrial designer Dieter Rams is a legend, and for good reason, thanks to his rational, less-is-more philosophy on design. Here, take a look at everything Rams from products to interviews to exhibitions.

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"‘End of suburbia’ may nearly be upon us: Sam Zell"

CNBC | October 8, 2013

Young people shunning the suburbs in favor of the hustle and bustle of city life are leading the charge in the “reurbanization of America,” real estate mogul Sam Zell told CNBC on Tuesday.

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"Press Release – September 27, 2013"

Berkeley Chamber of Commerce | September 27, 2013

The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Berkeley Start Up Cluster and the Skydeck accelerator are hosting the first Berkeley Visionary Awards on September 30th from 5-7:30 at the penthouse Skydeck at 2150 Shattuck Ave.

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"Lease Application for Millennials"

The New Yorker | September 24, 2013

GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant Gmail address:

Applicant Twitter Handle:

Number of Twitter Followers:

What is your current residence?

Why are you leaving current residence?
_Parents kicked me out.
_Amicable parting from parents (it was just time).

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"Living Micro: Single Residents Embrace Tiny Apartments"

PBS Newshour | September 22, 2013

As more people across the country are living alone, the costs of rent and real estate are soaring in many urban areas. Cities like New York and Vancouver are trying to get the most out of available apartment space by creating “micro” apartments. Many of these apartments are smaller than what was previously allowed under the law.

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"Micro-Apartments: Modular Building and Affordability in San Francisco"

Epoch Times | August 28, 2013

For developers in San Francisco, “it’s the best of times, and it’s the worst of times,” says Panoramic Interests CEO Patrick Kennedy.

If you’ve just put a building on the currently under-supplied market, it’s a really good time. But if you’re in the earlier stages of a project, everything is getting expensive.

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"Living in a Box"

National Geographic | August 22, 2013

Amsterdam student Rose Mandungu stands in front of a colorful apartment complex constructed of a rather unusual material—discarded shipping containers. The crowded Dutch city has been meeting a pressing need for student and other low-income housing by using ubiquitous steel shipping containers. After years at sea, the containers were rusted and dented but ready for reuse to house people instead of products.

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"Time to Make Room"

Spur | August 22, 2013

Single people are taking over U.S. cities. The numbers are so staggering that it’s hard to understand why housing policy has been so slow to react. In New York City, a third of all households are single people living alone. San Francisco beats New York at 38 percent, and Washington, D.C., Seattle and Denver top the charts for larger cities, with over 40 percent of their homes occupied by a lone resident.  But even in smaller cities like Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, single people make up close to half of their households.

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"Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley"

The Atlantic Cities | August 6, 2013

A decade ago, billionaire entrepreneurs Peter Thiel and Elon Musk decided to take booming start-up PayPal public from a small coffee shop along Palo Alto’s University Avenue. The street, the epicenter of Silicon Valley high tech, also helped incubate such now-established giants as Facebook and Google. But today, Thiel has seemingly left the Valley behind.

The venture capital funds he runs are based 30 miles north, in a San Francisco building with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. A number of highly publicized start-ups like Twitter, Square, and Pinterest are also located in the heart of urban San Francisco. As Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted last February from his new headquarters in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood, “I love the idea of an urban corporate campus with all the energy and variety that provides.”

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"Mini-Apartments Are The Next Big Thing in U.S. Cities"

NBC | August 6, 2013

When Gil Blattner hired a housekeeper for his elegant apartment with 12-foot ceilings, tall windows and marble fireplace mantle, the woman looked at the living room and asked, “Where’s the rest of it?”

There was no more. She’d seen all 250 square feet of his cocoon, located on a tony, tree-lined street in Chelsea near restaurants, art galleries and bookstores. His monthly rent: $2,500.

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"Mini-apartments are the next big thing in U.S. cities"

USA Today | August 1, 2013

U.S. CITIES MAY EMBRACE NEW YORK’S TINY, LESS-PRICEY APARTMENTS

Construction will start soon on an experimental New York housing complex in Manhattan with 55 “micro-sized” apartments, from 250 to 370 square feet each. The prefabricated units, which will rent for $914 to $1,873 per month, aim to help alleviate the city’s shortage of less-pricey studios and one-bedroom apartments. As more urban dwellers live alone, other U.S. cities are considering similar solutions.

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"The Rise of People Living Alone Has Led to More Sustainable Cities"

The Atlantic Cities | July 16, 2013

Whatever you want to call people living alone — some go with solos, others singletons — the fact is there’s a lot more of them than there used to be. In 1950, solos accounted for about 9 percent of all U.S. households; today that figure is roughly 28 percent. As sociologist Eric Klinenberg points out in his 2012 book Going Solo, one in seven American adults now lives alone, and the trend toward solitary living is truly global:

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"The Tiniest Living Spaces in SF"

The Bold Italic | July 15, 2013

Whether it’s a closet-esque studio or the short-straw bedroom in an apartment, San Franciscans have evolved to forgo sofas and square footage for some of the “coziest” living spaces in the country. I talked to the inhabitants of seven spaces registering toward the “speck of dust” end of the size spectrum to learn about the good and the bad of micro living.

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"San Francisco’s SmartSpace SoMa is the First Prefab Micro Housing Project in the US Read more: San Francisco’s SmartSpace SoMa is the First Prefab Micro Housing Project in the US | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building"

inhabitat | July 3, 2013

San Francisco recently saw the opening of the first prefabricated micro housing project in the US! Developed by Panoramic InterestsSmartSpace SoMA is a complex of sub-300 sq ft apartments designed by Lowney Architecture and fabricated by local prefab builder ZETA. The urban infill lot is close to transit and stores and provides 23 studio apartments with full kitchens and fold-out beds. The project is currently aiming for LEED Platinum certification and has secure bike parking along with an on-site City CarShare lot.

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"Best Dorm Room Ever! A Peek Inside San Francisco’s New Tiny Apartments"

Architizer | June 27, 2013

The Berkeley, California-based developer Patrick Kennedy does not like to hear his apartments compared to dorm rooms. “That’s a bad word in our office,” he told Architizer. Kennedy, who owns Panoramic Interests, had just wrapped up a tour of SmartSpace SoMa, a new micro-living development in San Francisco’s trendy tech corridor, South of Market. The urban research nonprofit SPUR had organized the tour, giving a few dozen architects, builders, and micro-enthusiasts the chance to size up the project’s 295-square-foot units—which, in an inconvenient twist of fate, are slated for student housing. Come fall, California College of the Arts will lease the building while Panoramic looks for a buyer.

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"ULI Announces Finalists for the 2013 Global Awards for Excellence Competition"

Urban Land Institute | June 26, 2013

Winning Projects to Be Announced at 2013 Fall Meeting in Chicago

For more information, contact: Robert Krueger at 202/624-7086

WASHINGTON (June 26, 2013) — The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has selected twenty-seven developments as finalists in the 35th annual ULI Global Awards for Excellence competition, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program.  The competition — which honors real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning and management — is the centerpiece of ULI’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development.  From this elite group, the jury will select a smaller group of winners that will be announced in November during the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago.

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"Urban Land Institute Announces Finalists For The 2013 Global Awards For Excellence Competition"

The Wall Street Journal | June 26, 2013

Winning Projects to Be Announced at 2013 Fall Meeting in Chicago

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has selected twenty-seven developments as finalists in the 35(th) annual ULI Global Awards for Excellence competition, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program. The competition — which honors real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, economics, planning and management — is the centerpiece of ULI’s efforts to identify and promote best practices in all types of real estate development. From this elite group, the jury will select a smaller group of winners that will be announced in November during the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago.

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"Is LA the next city to go micro?"

Life Edited | June 25, 2013

In the US, high density cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston are the likely candidates for micro-apartment booms. Their steep property values, limited land and solid public transportation infrastructures make them ideal for small housing. But other large cities are increasingly entertaining compact living as a solution for growing their housing capacity in a cost effective and environmentally responsible manner. Two exhibitions that just opened in Los Angeles, a city that has become synonymous with car-fueled sprawl, are looking at how that city might include micro-apartments in its future.

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"Would you live in a micro-apartment? (And for how much?)"

Boston.comment | June 25, 2013

When it comes to living space, how minimalist would you go? Boston is one of many cities poised to join the micro-apartment bandwagon: the city has authorized 190 “innovation units” in the Seaport District, as small as 350 square feet, with access to common work and living spaces. But some want to see even more, smaller homes. A Globe editorial last weekend urged the city to lift its restrictions on micro-apartments, building up tiny units in neighborhoods like Forest Hills and Longwood — as a way to appeal to young workers, ease market pressures, and open up larger apartments to middle-class families.

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"Micro-apartments: The anti-McMansions"

CNN Money | June 21, 2013

Move over McMansions: These days, pint-sized, micro-apartments are all the rage.

Typically ranging between 180 and 300 square-feet, these tiny apartments are becoming increasingly popular among the young-and-single set and even some retirees, seeking affordable places to live in the nation’s costliest cities.

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"Thinking Beyond the 3BR, 2BA"

Urban Land | June 19, 2013

As they have for decades, Americans are moving toward cities and jobs. And now more than ever, they are willing to settle for less square footage in return for a carless commute, convenient access to shopping and entertainment destinations, and that hard-to-define quality called “place.” Fewer want to own their own home, and many more are looking for affordable options.

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"Under Armour exec snaps up housing site in San Francisco’s Mid-Market"

San Francisco Business Times | June 18, 2013

A Maryland business executive who recently retired from Under Armour clothing company has shelled out approximately $9.5 million for 1028 Market St., a former billiards parlor that could be redeveloped with about 150 housing units, according to market sources.

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"Living Large in Tiny Apartments"

Harvard Magazine | June 18, 2013

THE MICRO-UNIT TREND (see “Living Large in Tiny Apartments,” from the May-June 2013 issue) may have originated in cramped cities like Tokyo and Paris, but it is now starting to develop in the United States.

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"Built Rams Tough. Dieter Rams that is"

Life Edited | June 18, 2013

At LifeEdited, we frequently use the expression “less, but better.” To us, it means that living an edited life is more about refinement than elimination. Have what you need, but love what you have. And as clever as we think we are, we weren’t so clever as to coin “less, but better”–that distinction goes to Dieter Rams. Even if you don’t know Rams by name, you know his work. The German industrial designer has become synonymous with economical and elegant design.

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"Living Large in a 130-Square-Foot Apartment"

Wired | June 18, 2013

With dense urban centers and housing that was built hundreds of years ago, Europeans have long known how to make their tiny spaces feel triumphant. But this apartment in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris is an above-and-beyond exemplar of hyper-efficient, micro-urban living.

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"Take That, Tokyo! San Francisco Approves 220-Square-Foot ‘Micro-Apartments’"

Wired | June 18, 2013

If you live in San Francisco, chances are you already feel like you’re living in a closet. But soon the city’s smallest living spaces will likely be tiny enough to fit in a compact one-car garage.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors tentatively approved Tuesday a trial run of 220-square-foot “micro-apartments” — carefully designed compact living spaces that have become all the rage in urban development. Pending ratification and mayoral approval next month, the plan beats, in smallness,Vancouver’s 226-square-foot “micro-lofts,” and make the 275-square-foot units under trial in New York look like airplane hangars.

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"Small is Beautiful for Patrick Kennedy’s Micro-units"

San Francisco Business Times | June 18, 2013

SoMa Studios, a building of 23 micro-units in San Francisco, is hitting the for sale market.

Now that the building is built and fully-leased by the California College of the Arts to use for dorms, developer Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests is ready to sell with an asking price of $7.4 million or about $321,500 per unit.

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"Micro Living Trend Sweeps The U.S., As Cash-Strapped Renters Look For Affordable Housing In Pricey Cities"

Huffington Post | June 2, 2013

SEATTLE, June 2 (Reuters) – Aaron McConnell doesn’t mind sharing a kitchen with seven neighbors. He’s fine in living quarters with just enough room for a twin bed, a corner desk and little else. Closets? Forget about it – he stores his clothing and other possessions on shelves and hooks.

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"Gulliver Seeks Rental: The New Found Fascination With Tiny Dwellings"

New York Times | May 20, 2013

In Luke Clark Tyler’s last New York City apartment, his shoes had some unusual companions in the closet. The shoes sat, in neat pairs, on a rack, directly below his dishes and right next to the microwave. A few inches away, a hip-high refrigerator lived beneath his desk. And the apartment was so narrow that Mr. Tyler could sit on a sofa pushed against one wall with his feet propped up on the opposite wall.

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"Brave New World Department Mini Dinner"

The New Yorker | May 20, 2013

Depending on how you count, Graham Hill’s micro-apartment, in SoHo, has either six rooms or one. The other night, a dozen people gathered in them/it for a dinner party. “This is the first time I’ve had apartment envy for a place even smaller than my own,” one of them whispered.

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"San Francisco rental construction soars"

San Francisco Business Times | May 17, 2013

A historic $5 billion explosion of rental housing is about to dramatically reshape San Francisco’s skyline, neighborhoods and politics.

Ending last decade’s flirtation with high-end condo towers, the city is rattling and humming with the biggest burst of apartment construction witnessed since Joe Alioto was mayor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nearly 8,000 new apartments, mostly in mid-rise and high-rise buildings, will come on line between now and 2015 — 3,498 in 2015 alone. It’s more new rental housing than was built in the last 15 years combined, according to real estate research firm Polaris Pacific.

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"Don’t like Market Street? Wait a few minutes"

San Francisco Business Times | April 26, 2013

Central Market Street is not changing by the day, it’s changing by the hour.

After a week out of town traveling with my family, I cycled down Market Street Monday morning. Of course I expected some of the progress I saw: AvalonBay had added a couple of floors at 55 Ninth St., Crescent Heights had snapped on more of the glass skin at 1401 Market and poured a few more floors on the tower as well. But other developments were more startling.

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"KCBS Cover Story: A Look Inside San Francisco’s Micro-Apartments"

KCBS | April 10, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Crews are putting the finishing touches on some San Francisco micro-apartments, spaces under 300 square feet, meant to be a more affordable option for those looking to live in the city.

Just off Mission Street at 38 Harriet sits a sleek new building with 23 units, “smart spaces” that are small, but comfortable

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"It’s a Small World"

Metropolismag.com | April 9, 2013

In Seattle, they call them “apodments,” a neologism that could have come straight from Douglas Coupland’s 1995 novel, Microserfs. Certainly that’s the target market. Some of these apodment buildings are even in suburban Redmond, convenient to Microsoft headquarters, with units that measure a mere 140 square feet. Kitchens are communal, like laundry rooms. The rent is about $800 a month, including Wi-Fi. Similarly, in some of Seattle’s most desirable residential neighborhoods, such as Capitol Hill, skinny towers full of tiny dwellings have popped up in recent years, encouraged by a loophole in the zoning law that allows as many as eight unrelated people to share a kitchen. Eight living spaces with one kitchen count as a single unit, allowing developers to add density without applying for a variance.

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"Nine Berkeley buildings win ‘design excellence’ awards"

Berkeleyside | April 3, 2013

Nine buildings have been singled out as representing the best new design work in Berkeley for 2010-2012. Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, selected three UC Berkeley buildings, a restaurant, a senior home, two retail spaces — one newly built, one restored — a wine store, and the renovation of a branch library from a list of 15 submissions, and handed out the award certificates at a ceremony on Thursday, March 28. (See the 2013 Awards Brochure for full details.)

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"Micro-apartments come to the City"

Marina Times | March 30, 2013

Micro-apartments. Twitter-apts. Mini-flats. There are many descriptive names one could come up with for the small apartments that we will soon be seeing more of in San Francisco. But judging from the opposition, you would think they were named like the media names disastrous East Coast storms: Apartmogeddon, Frankenapt, Apocalyptment.

Scary thoughts aside, in November 2012 the Board of Supervisors passed legislation by Supervisor Scott Weiner — the anti-Peskin —that approved the construction of a limited number of micro-apartments. The units, as small as 220-square-feet of total space, are expected to rent for around $1,500 per month, about a quarter less than the average apartment in the City.

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"The Smartest Space in San Francisco"

Life Edited | March 27, 2013

Some time ago we saw a video with Patrick Kennedy from the development company Panoramic Interests show us around their SmartSpace 166 sq ft prototype micro-apartment. We gave reports as their building at 38 Harriet St in San Francisco’s trendy SoMa district went up; it would feature 23-apartments, each measuring 295 sq ft. The building was going to be pretty exciting, incorporating many of the prototype’s interior features like transforming furniture and high quality finishes as well as an in-house car-share, solar-thermal hot water, rain water collection, LEED Platinum certification, common spaces and much more. These guys were doing it right.

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"Housing-starved cities seek relief in micro-apartments"

The Boston Globe | March 26, 2013

To cater to a growing population of young workers, San Francisco is now allowing construction of apartments as small as 220 square feet, putting it at the forefront of a micro housing debate ricocheting across the country. Officials in fast-growing cities from New York, to Boston, to Seattle are exploring development of these smaller units to satisfy rising demand for urban housing and provide relief from skyrocketing prices.

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"Modular Microhousing Shows Its Green Edge In San Francisco"

Earth Techling | March 24, 2013

“How-small-can-you-go?” has dominated the buzz on the new SmartSpace apartments at 38 Harriet Street in San Francisco. They’re each 295 square feet. Hey, that’s downright spacious compared to recent microhousing in Vancouver, to say nothing of Tokyo.

Two key features have tended to get lost in the buzz: the building is LEED Platinum (applied for), and it consists of 16 truck-sized modules that were built elsewhere and assembled here in the space of four days. They were built by Zeta Communities, an industry leader in green modular construction. You can watch the four days zoom by in stop action on Zeta’s website.

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"Eleve to Open with Micro Apartments and Mega Roof"

ENR California | March 23, 2013

The new $34-million Eleve Lofts & Skydeck is big on ideas and luxury, yet compact and efficient. When opened next month, the 170,000-sq-ft mixed-use project will feature one of the country’s largest active roof and six levels of unique “micro-apartments” targeted at the emerging 20 to 34-yr-old Generation Y crowd of young professionals.

The massive roof deck includes all the project’s open space, from barbeques to a full dog park.

The project uses wood framing 65 ft above the podium, which is the maximum allowable height for bearing wood shear wall construction.

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"Micro-Apartments in the Big City: A Trend Builds"

Business Week | March 14, 2013

Imagine waking in a 15-by-15-foot apartment that still manages to have everything you need. The bed collapses into the wall, and a breakfast table extends down from the back of the bed once it’s tucked away. Instead of closets, look overhead to nooks suspended from the ceiling. Company coming? Get out the stools that stack like nesting dolls in an ottoman.

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"You Live Where?"

20/20 ABC | March 11, 2013

Fast forward to 4:14 into video to view SMARTSPACE.

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"Living With Less. A Lot Less."

New York Times | March 9, 2013

I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.

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"Micro apartments: The next big thing?"

CBS | March 8, 2013

Space is at a premium in many big cities, driving up rents, so micro apartments are seen as one possible answer. CBS News’ John Blackstone reports from San Francisco, where a change in the law is allowing construction of the nation’s tiniest new apartments.

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"Small gets big on Mid-Market in San Francisco"

San Francisco Business Times | March 8, 2013

It’s little buildings’ time to shine in the Mid-Market corridor.

Now that technology giants like Twitter, Square, Yammer, and Dolby have pounced on every large block of space on Market Street between Fifth Street and Van Ness, tenants and investors are turning attention to some smaller, long-forgotten gems.

At 1019 Market St. San Francisco-based Cannae Partners and financial partner Westport Capital Partners LLC are repositioning the Eastern Outfitting Co. building, a 75,000-square-foot structure with Corinthian columns and a five-story bay window. The investors bought the building for $9.5 million, about $125 a square foot. Contractor Howard Wright is in the …

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"San Francisco’s ‘Micro-Apartment’: How Much Smaller Can We Go?"

AOL Real Estate | March 7, 2013

We thought a 325-square-foot apartment was tiny, but San Francisco has shrunk the size of a studio even further — to a ridiculously minuscule 160 square feet. Patrick Kennedy of the development firm Panoramic Interests designed a life-size model of the smallest-size studio apartment that’s legally allowed in California — and yes, it really is only 160 square feet. But according to Kennedy, that’s really all you need: Decked out in custom, modular, multipurpose furniture, the “micro-apartment” offers the functionalities of a regular one-bedroom.

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"Geek-driven gentrification threatens San Francisco’s bohemian appeal"

The Guardian | March 5, 2013

The Romans used to celebrate victory by building triumphal arches through which troops would march, blowing trumpets. California‘s new technology lords are not quite so flamboyant but there is no denying the sleekness of the citadels springing up across San Francisco.

Twitter and Yammer have led the way by moving into Market Square, a downtown art deco landmark where employees enjoy gourmet food, yoga studios, arcades and rooftop gardens.

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"One Size (Small) Fits All"

The New York Times | February 20, 2013

The so-called micro-pad is now a buzz phrase and a cultural touchstone, thanks to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. But when single-room living was being sketched out in the floor plans of Manhattan’s first apartment buildings, particularly during the boom years of the 1920s, it was called the studio apartment.

Designed for the eager young women and men on a budget who were flocking to the city, the romantic label was intended to evoke the glamour and Bohemianism of the artist’s preferred mode of living. Studio was a “magic word,” as Anatole Broyard once wrote about his own dive apartment on Prince Street in the 1940s.

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"8 Tips for Making Your Own Micro Apartment"

Life Edited | January 31, 2013

With all the hoopla around the adAPT NYC competition and other micro-apartments around the country, it’s clear there’s a demand for smart, small apartments. In fact, people write us daily asking if we have apartments available to rent or buy.

While LifeEdited is working with development teams to get you your micro-apartments with the greatest haste (be sure to sign up for our list), many of the developments are years away. This leaves the question: What do I do now if I want a micro-apartment?

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"Jones Lang: San Francisco Is a Global ‘Super City’"

The Registry | January 31, 2013

Boston Properties Inc. is so bullish on the future of San Francisco that it is investing more than twice as much capital in the city’s office market as it is in the rest of the country combined.

“It is a thick market with a tremendous labor pool coupled with barriers to entry,” said Raymond A. Ritchey, national director of acquisitions and development for the real estate investment trust. “We are betting long.

“Virtually all of our major new investments are coming to San Francisco,” he said.

The Boston-based company has owned the iconic Embarcadero Center since 1998, is redeveloping 680 Folsom St., which is leased to Macys.com and Riverbed Technology, and is building the 1.4 million square foot Transbay Tower with the Hines company. “We are designing it to appeal not only to technology tenants but also to be equally attractive to law firms at the top. A building that size, you have to expand your base to a large pool of prospective tenants,” he said.

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"Startup dreams meet pop-up rentals"

SF Gate | January 26, 2013

Daniel Marienthal, 23, lives in a Twin Peaks mansion with 11 other men, where privacy is so scarce that for a few months he lived in a canvas tepee he had built.

Josh Furnas, 23, has taken up residence in a converted closet, near the living room, in a Bayview apartment that he shares with an Ecuadoran family of seven.

Dan Stifler, 24, wakes up – under two faucets – in a Mission District laundry room.

This is the reality of pop-up housing in San Francisco, where young entrepreneurs, drawn to the promise of startup riches yet finding few affordable housing options, are inventing homes of their own – often in violation of zoning codes.

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"Next big thing in real estate: 300-square-foot apartments"

Today | January 25, 2013

In response to skyrocketing rents in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a challenge to the city’s best architects: to design a space no bigger than 350 square feet into a comfortable and affordable micro-apartment. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

By Ben Popken, TODAY contributor

New Yorkers are famous for their teeny apartments, but a new trend in dwelling seeks to transform those tiny spaces into big assets. They’re called “micro apartments,” and they make a few hundred square feet feel like over a thousand.

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"Men and the Rise of Micro-Apartments"

Esquire | January 25, 2013

About a decade ago, right out of college, I visited my friend John in Manhattan. We ordered pizza that night, and the following morning I tried to heat up the leftovers. But I couldn’t get the oven to work. How do you turn the oven on, I asked John, who had been living in his one-bedroom apartment for about six months. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I’ve never tried to use it.”

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"1321 Mission Offers Students Tiny Apartments"

SF Curbed | January 23, 2013

There’s loads of housing proposed for SoMa, and 1321 Mission Street is set to throw a bit more into the mix, courtesy of tiny apartment master Patrick Kennedy. The proposed Smartspace Mission project, which demos a one-story furniture store, will construct an 11-story-over-basement, 120-foot building with up to 160 units, 120 of which would be designated as efficiency dwelling-units with reduced square footage. The unit floorplans look pretty familiar, but we guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Currently a minimum of 80 units will be for student housing units, but the project sponsor has the flexibility to change the rest to student housing up until the first Certificate of Occupancy.

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"In Winning Design, City Hopes to Address a Cramped Future"

The New York Times | January 22, 2013

The apartment of New York City’s future, as the city imagines it, has all the amenities of modern life: wheelchair-accessible bathroom, a full kitchen, space for entertaining and access to a gym, communal lounge, front and back porches and a rooftop garden — all in 250 to 370 square feet.

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"Life Edited: Tiny NY Studio Functions like a 1,100-square-foot Space | At Home"

Life Edited | January 19, 2013

This 420-square-foot studio has a moveable wall that hides a guest bedroom. (Photo: By Matthew Williams for Life …People who live in big cities are used to small spaces — and to longing for larger ones . One green-minded entrepreneur may have found the perfect solution: He renovated a 420-square-foot studio in New York City to function like a 1,100-square apartment.

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"Refusnik cities have to get with housing program"

San Francisco Business Times | January 18, 2013

Squeaky wheels tend to get the grease. But sometimes it’s more instructive to look at wheels that are spinning smoothly on their own, and how they got that way without all the dramatics.

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"25 Things I wish I knew before moving to San Francisco"

The Art of Living | January 17, 2013

I moved to San Francisco 9 months ago from the East Coast bastion of Boston. Despite having experience living in a major US city, I found quite a few surprises coming here.  Some have been great, while others not so much.

If you’re planning the move here, I hope this will help you know better what to expect. And if you already live in SF, this should give you a laugh or two and hopefully inspire you to leave a comment with anything I missed. Consider this the guide I wish someone had given me when I moved here.

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"Bay Area economy looking bright for 2013"

SF Gate | December 27, 2012

If the Bay Area economy were considered a stock, analysts would definitely rate it a “strong buy” for 2013.

“You folks will continue to outperform the U.S. economy and all of California,” predicts Wells Fargo’s chief economist, John Silvia.

Of course, prognosticators can be wrong. Many had predicted the state’s unemployment rate, for example, would continue in double digits through 2013. In fact, unemployment dipped below 10 percent last month for the first time in four years and continued to fall even further in the Bay Area. And job growth numbers were led by industries such as transportation, construction and leisure and hospitality, rather than high tech, which has almost single-handedly powered the local economy.

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"Executive Profile: Patrick Kennedy, owner of Panoramic Interests"

San Francisco Business Times | December 21, 2012

Background: Kennedy spent 20 years developing apartments and condominiums in Berkeley, eventually selling a 500-unit rental housing portfolio to Equity Residential for $146 million. Kennedy bought his first San Francisco property in 2009 and developed the 23-unit 38 Harriet St. His company is now entitling 1321 Mission St., 180 units of efficiently designed studios and suites. He expects to break ground in spring 2013.

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"6 rooms into 1: morphing apartment packs 1100 sq ft into 420"

LifeEdited | December 21, 2012

In 2010, we met Graham Hill- the founder of treehugger.com and a serial entrepreneur. He had just bought two tiny apartments in a century-old tenement building in Soho and he had plans to turn them into laboratories, and showcases, for tiny living. He’d spent most of the past year living in tiny spaces- “a tiny trailer, a tent, and then a boat” and he was convinced others would love it as much if small spaces could be designed right.

He wanted a tiny space that didn’t sacrifice function, but instead that would expand to provide a wish list including dinner parties for 12, accommodations for 2 overnight guests, a home office and a home theater with digital projector. Not wanting to limit himself to local architects, he crowdsourced the design as a competition and received 300 entries from all over the world. Two Romanian architecture students won with their design “One Size Fits All”.

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"Cushman forecast: San Francisco is top U.S. city for office net growth"

San Francisco Business Times | December 20, 2012

San Francisco was the only U.S. city to rank in the top 10 of cities forecast to see the highest office rental rates over the next two years, according to a new forecast from Cushman & Wakefield.

According to the forecast, Jakarta, Sao Paolo and San Francisco will be the top cities for growth in 2013 and 2014.

While some markets and regions will experience increased activity later in 2013, noteworthy growth is not expected in the majority of locations until 2014 and beyond.

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"Manhattan Mini Apartment Packs 6 Rooms into 1 Transformable Space"

Life Edited | December 19, 2012

The LifeEdited apartment in Manhattan’s SOHO neighborhood is a tiny 420 square foot apartment with a remarkable multifunction living space that can be configured into six different rooms. A moving wall and hideaway furniture can be arranged to create sleeping quarters for 4, two separate offices, or a dining room that can seat up to 12 people. The apartment is the brainchild of TreeHugger founder Graham Hill, who completely remodeled the flat after buying it in 2010. Hill demonstrates the many features of his apartment in this video tour by *faircompanies.

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"Residential Behavioral Architecture 101"

Life Edited | December 14, 2012

The above image was taken from an article in a Wall Street Journal article about the book “Life at Home in the 21st Century.” The UCLA group responsible for the book followed 32 middle class Los Angeles families around their homes, tracking their every move to see how people actually live nowadays. This image shows ”the location of each parent and child on the first floor of the house of ‘Family 11′ every 10 minutes over two weekday afternoons and evenings.” In other words, primetime for their waking hours at home.

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"Tiny House, Happy Life?"

National Geographic | December 10, 2012

Imagine stepping into a house 25 times smaller than your current abode. For the average American, that would amount to 100 square feet, a space so tiny it feels like it belongs in a tree.

That’s the way Jay Shafer has come home for the past decade. Shafer is considered something of a patriarch of the tiny house movement, a small but growing band of people who drastically shrink their living space in hopes of living a cheaper, less wasteful, and happier life.

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"TVB Chinese National TV Broadcasts about SMARTSPACE"

TVB: National Chinese Television Station | December 6, 2012

Scroll to bottom of page and click link for video dated December 6, 2012.

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"San Francisco is No. 1 real estate market nationwide, but for how long?"

The San Francisco Business Times | December 4, 2012

San Francisco is expected to reign as the nation’s top real estate market for investment, development and homebuilding in 2013, according a recently released annual report from the Urban Land Institute.

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"The Ten Steps To Walkable Cities"

Sustainable Cities Collective | December 3, 2012

In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.

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"San Francisco can become a world capital. First it needs to get over itself"

Pando Daily | December 1, 2012

When San Francisco’s planners recently considered a proposal to build tiny apartments in the city, opponents of the plan began calling the spaces “Twitter apartments.” The name was a reference to their micro size — these apartments will be as small as 220 square feet, about the size of a parking space — but it was also a knock on their presumed techie tenants. The micro apartments will rent for $1,300 to $1,500 a month — crazy in most places, but a steal in San Francisco, where regular person-sized studio apartments now go for an average of more than $2,000 a month. The high price means that they’ll mainly be snapped up by young tech workers.

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"Sneak peek of Panoramic Interests’ micro apartments in San Francisco"

San Francisco Business Times | November 27, 2012

Panoramic Interests is weeks away from finishing up Smartspace SoMa, the firm’s first, 23-unit, micro-apartment building at 38 Harriet St. in San Francisco’s South of Market district.

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"Home, squeezed home: Living in a 200-square-foot space"

The Washington Post | November 27, 2012

Step into an alleyway in the Northeast Washington neighborhood known as Stronghold, and you will see a vegetable patch, a campfire, a view of the Capitol and a cluster of what neighbors call “those tiny people, building their tiny houses.”

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"House Tour: How Carrie And Shane Caverly’s 200-Square-Foot Home Helped Them Bond"

The Huffington Post | November 22, 2012

After being married for about a year, Carrie and Shane Caverly gave themselves the ultimate couple’s test. With her background in sustainable design and his in building green homes, the couple worked together to plan and build their own 200-square-foot tiny home on a flatbed trailer. And although it was challenging at times, the collaborative process was truly a bonding experience.

 

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"Micro-Apartments So Nice You’ll Wish Your Place Was This Small"

The Atlantic Cities | November 19, 2012

This week the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco will consider amending the city’s building code to let micro-apartments become even more micro. At present, dwelling units must be a minimum of 220 square feet of living space plus bathroom, kitchen, and closet — roughly 290 square feet in all. The amendment [PDF] would reduce that minimum to 150 square feet of livable space, for a total area of 220. If you could trade stock in real estate terms, now would be the time to buy cozy.

 

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"In San Francisco, Life Without ‘Starchitects’"

The New York Times | November 15, 2012

WHETHER it’s Frank Gehry at New York by Gehry, Christian de Portzamparc at One57 or Robert A. M. Stern at 15 Central Park West, showcasing a “starchitect” is part of the arms race that is luxury condo development in Manhattan these days.

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"La Eace: San Francisco Housing Rents Climbing Faster Than Most Know"

The Registry | October 26, 2012

As of late, it seems the only things hotter than our home sales market is our rental market—and of course our San Francisco Giants! Who would have thought a year ago that the Giants would be facing the Detroit Tigers in the World Series? Or that rents would be up by as much as 15 percent year-over-year in San Francisco.

But are they?

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"Density makes cities more affordable"

Planetary Thinking | October 22, 2012

In the middle of this piece on the transfer of development rights (a useful approach, in which a developer pays farmers not to develop their farms into subdivisions, and is given a height bonus in return by local government, allowing him or her to build a taller building), there sits this strange quote:

“Of course, TDR is not without its critics. Many green-minded people will celebrate density until it arrives in the form of a high-rise condo next door. But this hesitation is about more than just NIMBYism: Anna Nissen, a design professional in Seattle who takes a critical eye to TDR, points out that upscale development — like Olive 8, for example — drives up property values and hastens gentrification. ‘The poor, the working class, and their employment have been bounced out of central cities that unaccountably are making matters worse by designating dizzying amounts of increased density,’ she writes in an email. ‘TDR rides aimlessly on top of all that.’”

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"Miniature Digs"

Modern Luxury | October 11, 2012

Roll out of bed and you are already in the kitchen.

Here’s a rental notice that might surprise even the most jaded of San Francisco apartment hunters: “Studio, 300 sq. ft., $1,500 a month.” Yes, that’s $18,000 a year for a home the size of two parking spaces. But such pint-sized digs are scheduled to hit the market in SoMa this month, thanks to Patrick Kennedy, developer of SMARTSPACE. (Kennedy won’t confirm any prices, but sources have reported anywhere from $1,300 to $1,600.)

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"My City is My Living Room"

Life Edited | October 10, 2012

The real estate blog Curbed recently published a post entitled “Ten Hilarious Quotes About Living in ‘Micro-Dwellings‘”. The post is a collection of quotes from various publications that cites the way micro-dweller’s rationalize their small digs. There were quotes like “We don’t do closets” or “On Saturdays, if we both get work calls, one of us has to take theirs into the bathroom.”

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"Can San Francisco Apartments Get Even Smaller?"

California Home Design | September 28, 2012

Developer Patrick Kennedy is about to complete SmartSpace 2.0, a building comprised of 300-square-foot studio apartments built with prefab technology developed by his Berkeley-based company, Panoramic Interests. And, if the Board of supervisors passes legislation allowing it, he’s set to build SmartSpace 3.0, a micro apartment development that would have 287-square-foot units, the smallest ever in San Francisco and among the smallest in America. Can this be a good idea? 

Kennedy says yes.

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"SF’s Most Popular Neighborhoods Fetch Dear Rent Indeed"

San Francisco Chronicle | September 27, 2012

Last week, On the Block’s  Jenny Pisillo asked if it isn’t cheaper these days to buy in the Bay Area than rent. Today, we revisit the topic. More proof that the rental market in SF is crazy? Trulia’s Rent Monitor report offers plenty.

 

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"Inventan nuevo apartamento de no más de 150 pies cuadrados"

Univision | September 26, 2012

Noticiero Univision. Las camas están escondidas en sofás y las mesas se convierten en camas. El apartamento cabe dentro de la cuarta parte de una cancha de baloncesto.

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"Living the Teeny Tiny Life in San Francisco"

89.3 KPCC | September 25, 2012

“My apartment is so small…I have to go out in the hall to change my mind!” It’s no joke — a newly built apartment building in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood boasts pre-fab mini-units of 300 square feet.

But why stop there? SF’s Board of Supervisors is voting today on whether to allow apartments of just 220 square feet – that’s including bathroom, kitchen and closet. Why the shrinking spaces? A tech boom has led to a housing crunch and a run on rentals by new hires, desperate for city living on a budget.

Listen to the broadcast here.

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"Micro Apartments Become Large Trend"

NBC Nightly News | September 25, 2012

Cities such as New York and San Francisco are developing living spaces that are 200 to 300 square feet for residents willing to pare down to the bare essentials.

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"San Francisco Could Approve Smallest Apartments in the Country"

ABC News | September 25, 2012

The Board of Supervisors is proposing apartments as small as 220 square feet.

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"SF Considers Changing Building Code to Allow for ‘Micro-Units’"

KTVU | September 24, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO —

San Francsico is tapping into the latest global trend with a proposal for tiny ‘micro-unit’ apartments, and supervisors are considering changing city building code to allow for even smaller dwellings.

23 of the pre-fabricated micro-units could go up on Harriet Street in the South of Market District. Each is a compact 300 square feet in size.

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"San Francisco Proposes Tiniest Apartments"

ABC News | September 24, 2012

If you’ve already been storing your extra shoes in your oven because your studio apartment is too small to live in, just take this into consideration.

In San Francisco, the minimum size for a residence is already a pint-sized 290-square-feet. But on Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will be proposing changes to the city’s building code to allow for “shoe box homes,” literally.

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"San Francisco Considers Allowing Nation’s Tiniest Micro-Apartments"

Los Angeles Times | September 24, 2012

The tiny apartments are touted as “affordable by design.”

New York City has launched a pilot project to test them out. Boston is doing it too. But here in San Francisco, where a growing number of residents are being priced out of the housing market by a revived tech economy, city leaders are considering the smallest micro-units of all.

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"Shrink to Fit: Living Large in Tiny Spaces"

The New York Times | September 21, 2012

IN July, when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his competitionto create a building of residential “micro-units” in Manhattan, each ranging from 275 to 300 square feet, the plan ignited the imagination of countless architects and developers.

It also gave many New Yorkers a joltingly fresh perspective. For those who already consider themselves space-starved, quarters that are even more cramped seemed inconceivable. Yet to others, an apartment of that size sounded crazy-huge.

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"Tiny Homes Hit the Big City"

CNN | September 21, 2012

Hari and Karl Berzins decided to build a tiny home for their family in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to free themselves of the financial burden of owning a large home.

They knew that moving two children, a dog and a cat into a 168-square foot space would be a challenge, though it would also eliminate the need for a mortgage and cut their utility costs.

But they didn’t expect it to completely change their lives, Hari Berzins said.

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"LEED Platinum SoMa Studios On the Cutting Edge of Urban Prefab"

Modular Building Institute | September 20, 2012

The SoMa Studios, a 23-unit apartment building in San Francisco’s trendy South of Market district, is believed to be the first modular-built urban infill apartment complex in the nation. The stylish four-story LEED Platinum building was deposited, module by module, on a 3,700-square-foot lot between a parking garage and an apartment complex, after being trucked over the Bay Bridge from a Sacramento factory.

Watch how “Prefab in SoMa Stacks Up in 4 days!” here.

 

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"New York Micro-Studios: Living Well in 275 Square Feet"

Los Angeles Times | September 18, 2012

Scott Elyanow makes his tiny space work with ‘purges’ and clever storage. A New York pilot program signals growing interest in shrinking housing.

Scott Elyanow had clung to the red, long-sleeved sweatshirt with the words “Marblehead High School” for 20 years. It had softened with age, like the memory of the long-ago love who had given it to him.

But Elyanow was nearing 40, and what he had gained in years and wisdom he hadn’t gained in living space — his apartment measures 275 square feet, including the bathroom, kitchen and an entryway with overhead clearance of 5 feet, 7 inches. So he took a picture of the sweatshirt for a keepsake, then tossed the worn piece of clothing into a “purge” pile, a system Elyanow has adopted during his seven years living in a so-called micro-studio apartment in New York City.

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"Cities Court Creatives with Micro-Units"

Architectural Record | September 13, 2012

As wealth disparities in the United States have reached Dickensian proportions, housing disparities have followed. Condo developers are creating increasingly lavish apartments for the super-rich, while those with modest budgets find themselves priced out of city centers.

That’s an issue not only for housing advocates, who lament the human toll of housing stratification, but also for mayors who believe their cities’ futures depend on attracting “young creatives.” One solution is to encourage the building of micro-units, apartments of about 300 square feet or less.

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"San Francisco’s Urban Tech Boom"

San Francisco Chronicle | September 8, 2012

Pinterest’s recent move from Palo Alto to San Francisco has sparked chatter in the high-tech world: Is the Bay Area’s innovative center of gravity shifting away from suburban Silicon Valley to urban San Francisco?

The answer is a qualified yes. The tech migration is not just a phenomenon of San Francisco – it’s happening in New York’s downtown Silicon Alley and East London’s once rundown and raw Silicon Roundabout. This emerging model of “urban tech” just seems to fit downtown San Francisco especially well.

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"SoMa Studios Go Tiny and Prefab"

Curbed SF | September 7, 2012

Patrick Kennedy of small apartment fameis back at it, with a new 23-unit prefab apartment project. The new Soma Studios at 38 Harriet street is designed by Trachtenberg Architects with Taeko Takagi, with construction only taking a mind-bending 90 days. ZETA and Panoramic Interests are building the four-story, car-free project to reach LEED Platinum, with green features like solar hot water heating and a dedicated City-CarShare pod. The tiny units will all be rentals, and will feature energy efficient fixtures and appliances and built-in furniture.

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"Stacking San Francisco’s Newest Housing Project"

San Francisco Business Times | August 23, 2012

Patrick Kennedy”s prefab micro-apartments units are stacking up beautifully at 38 Harriet St. in San Francisco.

Workers from Pankow Construction are on the third floor of the four-story, 24-apartment building, the units of which were fabricated at Zeta Communities’ factory in Sacramento. Stacking of the units started Tuesday.

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"San Francisco’s “Broom Closet” Apartments"

untapped sf. | August 3, 2012

It’s a small world we live in. Urban dwellers in San Francisco may soon find that adage a reality as one Bay Area-based developer wants to take minimalistic living to a whole new level.

Patrick Kennedy, a veteran Bay Area developer, wants to help alleviate the city’s housing challenge, by building what he calls “smart spaces” – energy- and design-efficient micro-apartments in San Francisco, complete with a bathroom, built-in kitchenette and enough space for a couch that folds out into a bed.

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"San Francisco Considers Plan To Develop Tiny Micro-Apartments"

The 9 Billion | July 31, 2012

First it was New York City with its micro-apartments, and now San Francisco is jumping on board with the idea of smaller apartment sizes. This consideration comes as a response to increased rental prices, a need for more single living spaces, and a serious housing shortage.

The current minimum apartment size is 290 square feet, and the proposal in negotiation will lower that to 150 square feet plus a kitchen, bathroom, and closet – making it 220 square feet in total.

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"Patrick Kennedy Aims for Big Splash with Small Units"

San Francisco Business Times | July 27, 2012

Small is coming to SoMa — apartments, that is. East Bay student housing developer Patrick Kennedy is close to installing his first San Francisco project, which will feature units measuring a compact 300  square feet. The project’s 23 units are currently moving along the assembly line at Zeta Communities’ factory in Sacramento and will be ready for occupancy in October.

“This kind of living is appealing to people who like living in cities and all the stimuli and attractions that are available,” said Kennedy, who heads the development firm Panoramic Investments. “Our residents will make a trade-off of proximity and convenience for space.”

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"Patrick Kennedy to Unveil Micro Apartments in San Francisco"

San Francisco Business Times | July 26, 2012

In a crowded city like San Francisco, size matters. That’s why developer Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests is building bite-size apartments in S.F.’s South of Market district.

Kennedy plans to unveil a 23-unit apartment building at 38 Harriet St. in October.

The units were designed and built in collaboration with Zeta Communities, a San Francisco-based maker of prefabricated buildings. Each 300-square-foot apartment is currently under construction at Zeta’s factory in Sacramento.

The builder will ship the units via trucks to San Francisco, where they will be assembled like building blocks

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"SoMa Apartments to Cater to Tech Crowd"

San Francisco Chronicle | July 17, 2012

Coming soon to San Francisco’s hot South of Market area: A “tech savvy” residential community, containing 463 rental apartments, a shared gourmet kitchen, work space areas, plus restaurants, cafes and perhaps even a hipster barbershop like they have in New York.

“We’re creating a space that mirrors the sensibilities of the community,” said Eric Tao, managing principal of San Francisco’s Avant Housing, developer of the two-building project covering 587,000 square feet at Folsom and Fifth streets.

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"Letters to the editor, June 17: Diversity Housing"

San Francisco Chronicle | July 17, 2012

Your front-page story on “tiny living spaces” was like a ray of hope. The charity-lottery system of providing affordable housing isn’t filling the gap in our housing stock.

We can balance income and housing needs by allowing developers to produce market-rate affordable dwellings. This is a very good way to promote diversity and social stability in the city, and hopefully in our state.

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"Tiny Apartments in S.F. Worth a Try"

San Francisco Chronicle | July 16, 2012

San Francisco’s lopsided housing market – sky-high rents and an invasion of young workers – has experts thinking: Why not drop the minimum size of new apartments to the equivalent of a one-car garage?

It’s an idea worth exploring and encouraging, but the results will hinge on the appeal and convenience of the finished product. Financing, the job market and even housing politics could all play a role in a helping or hurting a promising idea.

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"Tiny Condos Not for the Small-Minded"

San Francisco Chronicle | July 14, 2012

Small is the new big.

When Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed legislation that would allow for new construction of rental units with as little as 150 square feet of living space, there were hoots of derision.

That’s no more than a parking space, critics said.

Well that’s just silly. It is at least two parking spaces.

But the concept isn’t so far-fetched. In 2008, an innovative condo building called Cubix opened on Harrison Street, and although the hoots were just as loud – and it experienced some rocky financial times – it is now fully occupied with tenants who say they are neither dissatisfied nor claustrophobic.

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"Micro-Apartments Next for S.F.?"

San Francisco Chronicle | July 13, 2012

Are itty-bitty apartments the next wave for urban dwellers in San Francisco?

The city is considering shrinking the minimum size of rental units, prompted by a demographic shift toward one-person households along with rising rents and an acute housing shortage.

“This seems like a logical, necessary response to housing in an extremely high-cost market like San Francisco,” said Tim Colen, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, a largely developer-backed nonprofit that is “solidly behind” cutting the size of the smallest allowable apartment by about a third.

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"SF Supes to Vote On Micro-Apartment Proposal"

ABC 7 News San Francisco | July 10, 2012

San Francisco supervisors will consider a plan that would allow developers to create so-called “micro apartments.”

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"Small May Be About To Get Even Smaller"

SF Curbed | July 10, 2012

This afternoon, ever-tinier legal living spaces are up for a vote at the Board of Supervisors meeting. A modification to the building codesponsored by Supervisor Wiener (flying solo) would reduce the legal square footage for new construction rental units to 220 square feet, measured to the inside perimeter of the outer walls, and include a full bath, a closet, and a kitchen with at least 30 inches of counter space. No mention of a dishwasher or in-unit laundry, and presumably you get to live/sleep/eat/work/sex in whatever’s left- which the new code would define as a minimum 150 square feet of the 220– about the size of a parking space.

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"NYC Announces New Competition to Develop Innovative Apartment Model"

MikeBloomberg.com | July 9, 2012

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua today launched the adAPT NYC Competition, a pilot program to develop a new housing model for the City’s growing small-household population. adAPT NYC seeks to create additional choices within New York City’s housing market to accommodate the city’s changing demographics.

Currently New York City has 1.8 million one- and two-person households, but only one million studios and one-bedrooms. The design competition involves a Request for Proposals for a rental building composed primarily, or completely, of micro-units – apartments smaller than what is allowed under current regulations. New York City’s housing codes have not kept up with its changing population, and currently do not allow an entire building of micro-units. Under this pilot program, Mayor Bloomberg will waive certain zoning regulations at a City-owned site at 335 East 27th Street in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan to test the market for this new housing model.

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"San Francisco Rule Would Encourage Building Student Housing"

Los Angeles Times | July 9, 2012

To protect rent-controlled units, San Francisco may ban converting apartments for student-only uses and create incentives for developers of student dwellings.

SAN FRANCISCO — Lower Nob Hill, a once stately neighborhood whose shifting fortunes have proved a draw over the years for prostitutes and petty crooks, is buzzing with new activity.

The Academy of Art University has snatched up nine apartment buildings and former hotels in the enclave, converting them into dorms for students who pack the neighborhood’s cafes and linger on the sidewalks to smoke and skateboard.

Private landlords have gotten in on the action, renting to students who, city officials say, pay as much as 20% more for their lodgings than permanent residents do.

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"NYC Asking Developers to Test Tiny Apartments"

The Associated Press | July 9, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Maybe it’s the urban dwelling of the future: studio apartments measuring no more than 300 square feet.

New York City planners believe the tiny units could be the answer to a growing population of singles and two-person households. And in a nation that’s becoming increasingly populous and increasingly urbanized – and where people more frequently are creating a family of one – such downsizing may not stop here.

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"Making San Francisco Housing More Affordable by Design: Efficiency Units"

The Examiner | July 8, 2012

It’s no secret that housing is expensive in San Francisco. Only 11 percent of San Franciscans can afford to purchase the average-priced home. Rents, always high, are even higher these days. It seems like we are perpetually at risk of pricing out our young people, working people, seniors, families and our middle class generally. To address this crisis, we need to think broadly and creatively and make our housing policies more flexible.

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"The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff"

New York Times | June 27, 2012

From 2001 to 2005, a team of social scientists studied 32 middle-class families in Los Angeles, a project documenting every wiggle of life at home. The study was generated by the U.C.L.A. Center on the Everyday Lives of Families to understand how people handled what anthropologists call material culture — what we call stuff. These were dual-earner households in a range of ethnic groups, neighborhoods, incomes and occupations, with at least two children between the ages of 7 and 12 — in other words, households smack in the weeds of family life.

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"Tech Boom Hits San Francisco Rental Prices"

The Wall Street Journal | June 26, 2012

Prices Soar as Well-Paid Tech Workers Stream Into City After a Long Exodus

SAN FRANCISCO—The latest technology boom is helping to stem a decade long exodus of residents from San Francisco, but the influx of well-paid workers is driving up already-high housing costs and straining public resources.

The promise and perils of the boom are evident in the experience of Genevieve Sheehan and her husband, who are relocating from the Boston area for her new job at social-games maker Zynga Inc. They have endured a grinding hunt for a home.

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"Dolby Laboratories Moving Head Office to Mid-Market"

San Francisco Chronicle | June 26, 2012

Dolby Laboratories says it will move its headquarters to the Mid-Market neighborhood, continuing the transformation of a neighborhood that is becoming a new technology hub.

The audio technology provider said Tuesday that it plans to purchase the building at 1275 Market St. from DivcoWest. The purchase price is $110 million.

The building, which sits a few hundred feet from the new Twitter headquarters near Ninth and Market streets, was formerly occupied by the State Compensation Insurance Fund. DivcoWest and TMG Partnersacquired the 354,000-square-foot building from the fund in October for $44 million, according to the San Francisco BusinessTimes.

Representatives said the new sale price reflects a retrofitting of the building that is under way.

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"Mid-Market Flooded With New Investment"

San Francisco Business Times | June 22, 2012

Twitter moved into its grand new headquarters in Market Square this month, and other tech companies like Yammer and One King’s Lane are right behind it. Their arrivals herald a turnaround for some of the most deteriorated stretches of Market Street — but others still languish.

The catalyst for much of the new investment in the area was Twitter’s decision to move to Market Square and the city’s creation of a payroll tax exemption to lure other tech tenants as well. Since April 2011, when Shorenstein Properties finalized the 215,000-square-foot lease with Twitter, investors have spent more than $500 million in the neighborhood.

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"SF Startup Survival Guide: How to Find an Apartment in San Francisco"

The Art of Living | May 20, 2012

Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge and decided to move to San Francisco for your own startup or to join one of the hundreds (thousands?) here. Making the decision to move may have been difficult, but nothing compared to all the hassles and headaches of moving to this city.

Having just gone through this and spent a significant amount of time asking friends for advice on making the move, I’d like to share the best advice I received and what I learned myself.  For reference, most people take months to find a place to live and move in. With the tips below, I found an apartment and moved in within 2 weeks of landing in SF.

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"Jane Jacobs-Style Density is Best for Cities, Florida Says"

Better! Cities & Towns | May 17, 2012

Like a preacher in an urban-revival tent, Richard Florida roused the gathering at last week’s 20th Congress for the New Urbanism in West Palm Beach, Florida. The event took place on the 10th anniversary of publication of The Rise of the Creative Class, the book that made him a star among city admirers.

“Isn’t it interesting that the world has come to us?” he asked the gathering of 1,100 urbanists. “Something has changed to make this part of the great challenges of our time. … I thought I was out in the wilderness, but it’s happening everywhere.”

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"Selling the Pared-Down Life: The Founder of TreeHugger and His Apartment of the Future"

The New York Times | May 16, 2012

It may be that the house of the future is an apartment — at 420 square feet, a very small apartment — in a century-old tenement building on Sullivan Street. Shiny and white, it has movable walls that allow it to morph from one room into six, as well as expandable furniture and filtered, or “country,” air, as the owner, Graham Hill, put it recently while showing off the apartment’s convertible tricks like a modern-day Bernadette Castro, dressed neatly in a black merino wool polo shirt, black pants and black Vans.

This laboratory, as Mr. Hill calls it, for small-space, sustainable and — it must be stressed — high-end living is the first tangible product from his fledgling company, LifeEdited.

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"Rental Competition Fierce in S.F.’s Market"

San Francisco Chronicle | May 9, 2012

Michael Austin and Emily Morrison aren’t highly paid tech workers. He’s an actor with a day job as an administrative assistant; she’s an arts teacher at CalShakes. Newly engaged, they’ve been seeking an apartment in San Francisco to move into together.

“We started combing Craigslist, and when we filtered by the neighborhoods we want and our maximum price of $2,000 for a two-bedroom, there is almost nothing,” Austin said. “It was just shocking to me.”

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"Renting Prosperity"

The Wall Street Journal | May 4, 2012

Americans are getting used to the idea of renting the good life, from cars to couture to homes. Daniel Gross explores our shift from a nation of owners to an economy permanently on the move—and how it will lead to the next boom.

“The Great Gatsby,” the pre-eminent American novel of financial ambition, overextension and downfall, offers a revealing vignette about the great American obsession: real estate. The narrator, Nick Carraway, can’t afford to buy in the rarefied Long Island world inhabited by Gatsby, and by Tom and Daisy Buchanan. But he can afford to rent. “When a young man at the office suggested that we take a house together in a commuting town, it sounded like a great idea. He found the house, a weather-beaten cardboard bungalow at eighty a month, but at the last minute the firm ordered him to Washington, and I went out to the country alone,” he notes. “I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires—all for eighty dollars a month.”

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"How Creativity Works in Cities"

The Atlantic Cities | May 2, 2012

The human imagination is a bewildering process. How the brain comes up with great ideas is mysteriously complex. 

Jonah Lehrer’s ambitious new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works takes a fascinating dive into the world of creativity and how it all works, not to mention devoting a chapter entirely to cities. 

Lehrer recently took some time to chat with Atlantic Cities and expand on his ideas concerning the nexus of creativity and cities.

You title your chapter on cities “Urban Friction”and you go on to talk about the pioneering work of Geoffrey West, Luis Bettencourt, and their colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute on “urban metabolism.” How is it that cities come to stimulate and enhance our creativity abilities?

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"Allure of City Itself a Factor in S.F.’s Tech Boom"

San Francisco Chronicle | April 15, 2012

Here’s one way San Francisco’s current tech boom differs from the dot-com era: This one is creating many more jobs.

The city will have 28 percent more technology positions by the end of this year than it had at its 2000 peak, according to a new analysis of state employment data by real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle. Technology is San Francisco’s fastest-growing sector, and now occupies more office space in the city than any other industry.

The city will have 44,305 tech jobs by the end of the year, up from 36,921 last year and 34,442 in 2000, according to the analysis. The estimates are based on data from the California Employment Development Department, Moody’s Economy.com and Jones Lang LaSalle.

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"The Disconnect: Why are so many Americans living by themselves?"

The New Yorker | April 6, 2012

As reliably as autumn brings Orion to the night sky, spring each year sends a curious constellation to the multiplex: a minor cluster of romantic comedies and the couples who traipse through them, searching for love. These tend not to be people who have normal problems. She is poised, wildly successful in an ulcer-making job, lonely. He is sensitive, creative, equipped with a mysteriously vast apartment, unattached. For all these resources, nothing can allay their solitude. He tries to cook. She collects old LPs. He seeks love in the arms of chatty narcissists. She pulls all-nighters in her office. Eventually, her best friend, who may also be her divorced mother, tells her that something needs to change: she’s squandering her golden years; she’ll end up forlorn and alone. Across town, his stout buddy, who is married to someone named Debbee, rhapsodizes about the pleasures of cohabitation. None of this is helpful.

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"Autos Losing Allure for Young Adults, Study Shows"

San Francisco Chronicle | April 6, 2012

Car culture and the romance of the open road are losing their allure among young Americans, according to a report released Thursday by a public interest group.

Teens and young adults drive substantially fewer miles per year than their predecessors did, and many don’t even bother to get a driver’s license. They increasingly rely on their feet, their bikes or mass transit, according to the “Transportation and the New Generation” report.

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"The Simple Math That Can Save Cities From Bankruptcy"

The Atlantic Cities | March 30, 2012

In the 1950s, the five-story brick Asheville Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, started to fall into decline, presaging what would happen to most of the city’s downtown over the next couple of decades. A department store moved into the ground floor while everything above it sat empty. Then the building got one of those ugly metal facades that’s designed to distract from the fact that all the windows are boarded up.

Twenty years later, the local real-estate developer Public Interest Projects set its sights on the building for a mixed-use retail and residential property. Local bankers and businessmen said they were foolish.

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"Top and Bottom Markets March 2012 Study"

ReisReports.com | March 15, 2012

Here are the top and bottom markets by rent growth during 4Q2011 across Apartment, Office and Retail sectors based on data for our 82 primary metros (80 for Retail). Reis tracks 200 markets across the nation including 2,100 submarkets.

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"Bay Area Developer Unveils Compact Living Concept"

CBS San Francisco | March 9, 2012

A Bay Area developer brings compact living to a whole new level. His “Smart Spaces” are single furnished apartments that are 160 square feet. Elizabeth Cook reports.

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"Berkeley Developer Sees Future in Small, Smart Homes"

Berkeleyside | March 8, 2012

In a top-secret location in Berkeley, Patrick Kennedy is showing a reporter around a tiny living space — so compact in fact that, at 160 sq ft, it is the smallest apartment one is legally allowed to build.

“It is how small you can go without causing psychological problems,” jokes Kennedy, who, through his company, Panoramic Interests, is responsible for developing swathes of Berkeley. His projects include the Gaia Building on Allston Way, the Berkeleyan Apartments on Oxford Street, and the Touriel Building on University.

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"California’s Smallest Legal Apartment: SMARTSPACE"

apartment therapy | March 5, 2012

Housing developer, Patrick Kennedy, is a small space lover and is aiming to develop the smallest apartment allowed by California code. At around 160-square-feet not a single inch goes unused and everything is multi-purpose. He’s given his residential response to the Smart Car a spin — watch the video below to find out what works great, and what just cramps his style.

Kennedy lived in a 78-square-foot Airstream for a period of time, and was inspired to build small homes. He built the tiny apartment prototype, SMARTSPACE 1.0, in a Berkeley warehouse and had an MIT student live in, and test the home. It’s actually very impressive the amount of research that went into the design, and how efficient they’ve been with the space. After the trial period they’ve honed in on the sucessful details, as well as tweaks that they plan to make for the next version.

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"Twitter a Reason 10th and Market Will Be Hot Spot"

San Francisco Chronicle | February 29, 2012

The intersection of 10th and Market streets isn’t much to look at now: an abundance of asphalt, construction workers in a hole and on a roof, a sandwich board touting the virtues of bacon.

Stop by in a few years. I’ll wager that what you see is San Francisco’s newest hot spot.

Some clues are obvious on the landscape. Others aren’t yet apparent. And if the details are site-specific, the alchemy at work shows what cities everywhere need to thrive – a diversity of economies and scales that are flexible enough to allow for transformations large and small.

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"Airstream-Inspired Apartments Offer Tiny Luxury Homes on a Budget"

treehugger | February 21, 2012

From Graham Hill’s LifeEdited project to transformer apartments with moving walls, TreeHugger has featured many a dwelling from the less-is-more school of design. What stands out in these examples is the use of smart design, creativity and order to deliver the same function and even atmosphere that would previously have been delivered by simply throwing more square footage into a home. Just as fossil fuels are the enemy of creativity, it seems that over-sized homes are the enemy of smart design.

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"Airstream-Inspired Apartments as Affordable Tiny Homes"

YouTube.com | February 20, 2012

Patrick Kennedy is a housing developer who likes to build small. His vision is to build the housing equivalent of the Smart Car. His SMARTSPACEs will be small- just a couple hundred square feet- and prefabricated. Kennedy envisions this type of development as “a larger and hipper version of LEGO blocks”.

Building prefab allows him to construct faster and more efficiently (avoiding a lot of construction waste) and everything down to the lighting and type of furniture has been studied carefully so that space is maximized in the tiny units.

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"The Urban Future of Work"

Spur | January 5, 2012

How denser, more urban workplaces will strengthen the Bay Area’s economic competitiveness.

High unemployment rates and slow employment growth continue to threaten our economy. Once-successful sectors are in decline. Even the workplace is in transition. New technologies and ways of working have disrupted everything from the speed of a typical product cycle to the amount of real estate a company needs.

But as our economy changes, the emerging story is also a positive one.

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"S.F. considers how to boost Muni ridership"

SF Gate | January 4, 2012

Despite San Francisco’s long-entrenched Transit First policy, nearly 2 in 3 trips in the city are made by car. Transportation officials want to get the number to 1 in 2 trips before the decade is over.

That would mean more people would need to get around by riding Muni, biking and walking – options that produce less congestion and air pollution.

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"S.F.’s Fifth Street Center of Development Plans"

San Francisco Chronicle | November 23, 2011

More transformation is coming to San Francisco’s South of Market district, this time in the form of a university campus. University of the Pacific just closed a $47 million deal to buy the former Wells Fargo building at 155 Fifth St. and turn it into a spanking new location for its Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.

The seven-story, 395,000-square-foot building, across the street from The Chronicle, is to be completely renovated, both inside and out, to make way for the dental school’s classrooms, labs, research space, patient care and future university programs.The top two floors of the building will be leased separately as office space.

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"Area Roads Among Most Congested"

San Francisco Chronicle | November 17, 2011

Bay Area roads are some of the most congested in the country, according to a new study from the Texas Transportation Institute.

The study, which ranks specific traffic corridors based on overall congestion, unpredictable congestion and “reliable unreliability,” says a half-dozen highways in the Bay Area are gridlocked, logjammed, bumper-t0-bumper, packed like sardines … well, you get the idea.

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"2011: The year of (almost) no new housing in San Francisco"

San Francisco Business Times | November 11, 2011

Every year around this time the editorial staff at the San Francisco Business Times begins soliciting nominations for our annual Real Estate Deals of the Year (which publishes in March the following year).

But as we look across the cityscape of what was completed in 2011, we are coming to a startling conclusion: Not one market rate housing project of more than 30 units opened this year.

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"San Francisco Renters: SOL until 2014?"

Curbed | November 9, 2011

For new renters, or people looking to move to a new rental, we have not such great news. None of which should come as a surprise. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the rental vacancy rate in town is at 3.2% and rents are up 9%.

Despite reports that California is losing population, the nine Bay Area counties are expected to add 30/35K new residents this year.

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"$200M San Francisco Rental Project to Break Ground"

San Francisco Business Times | November 4, 2011

Swinerton Builders has received the green light to start work on a long-stalled 749-unit apartment complex at 10th and Market streets in San Francisco.

The $200 million project, being developed by Miami-based Crescent Heights , is a central piece of the city’s plan to bring new activity and investment into the Mid-Market neighborhood. The development, originally for-sale condos, was shelved before the recession started in 2008; it was redesigned as apartments last year.

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"San Francisco apartment vacancies sink to 3.2 percent"

San Francisco Business Times | November 4, 2011

In San Francisco proper the vacancy rate is an ever lower 3.2 percent, and demand has pushed rents up 9 percent in the past year to an average of $2,568 per month. San Mateo County also has a 3.2 percent vacancy and rents have climbed 11 percent to an average of $1,934.

Yet just 1,400 new Bay Area rental housing units came online in 2010, about half of the rental housing production the area saw between 2005 and 2009, according to Cassidy Turley.

 

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"It’s the Parking, Stupid: One Transportation Consultant’s Tough Love Approach"

The Atlantic Cities | October 20, 2011

Transportation consultant Jeffrey Tumlin figures that you’ve got to be colorful when you’re talking about the intractable problems of urban parking infrastructure. As such, he describes what he does this way: “Our business operates like a methadone clinic to get cities off their parking addictions,” he says. “And each addict goes through a different route.”

Tumlin, a principle with transportation planning consultancy Nelson/Nygaard in San Francisco, has worked with cities on the East and West Coast to build more transit-oriented development and fewer parking garage behemoths.

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"S.F.’s South of Market a tech magnet"

San Francisco Chronicle | October 14, 2011

Forty technology companies are looking for close to 2 million square feet of office space in San Francisco, most of it South of Market, according to a report by real estate firm Colliers International.

That, as was pointed out in the course of yet another tech office opening attended by Mayor Ed Lee on Thursday, is the “equivalent of nearly four Transamerica Pyramids.” Add that to the 1.6 million square feet of net new office space leased so far this year in the city – the highest number in the past four years, according to Colliers.

The mayor was on hand to welcome one of the more recent newcomers to the area, a social-gaming company called Idle Games, which designs games for Facebook, one of which is called “Idle Worship,” “the world’s first polytheistic god game with exploding bunnies.”

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"L.A. investor buying into Mid-Market renaissance"

San Francisco Business Times | September 16, 2011

Los Angeles-based Laurus Corp. is the latest investor to reach for a piece of the promising Mid-Market renaissance, paying $27 million for the current PUC headquarters building at 1145-1155 Market St.

The $193 million-a-square-foot investment comes at a time when private capital is flocking to the Mid-Market neighborhood. Earlier this year, Shorenstein Properties paid $110 million for 1355 Market St.

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"‘Twitter effect’ takes hold of San Francisco’s mid-Market area"

The Examiner | September 4, 2011

If the four decades of sluggish revitalization progress in The City’s mid-Market Street neighborhood are any indication, it will take more than street murals to fix the heart of San Francisco. 

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"One Path to Better Jobs: More Density in Cities"

The New York Times | September 3, 2011

“HELL is other people,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre. He nonetheless spent much of his life in Paris, the better to interact with other French intellectuals. Cities have long been incubators and transmitters of ideas, and, correspondingly, engines of economic growth.

That has never made the crowds less annoying. Maybe that’s why people try to tame the city by chaining it down and limiting who can build what where along its quieter streets. We lobby leaders to fight development, aiming to protect old buildings and precious views, limit crime and traffic, and maintain high-quality schools. But what makes a city a city and a not-city a not-city is the fact that a city is dense and a not-city isn’t. The idea of it may chill a homeowner’s heart, but the wealth supported by urban density is what gives urban homes their great value in the first place.

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"Brains Over Buildings"

Scientific American | August 19, 2011

To rejuvenate urban centers, look to teachers and entrepreneurs.

Detroit once had 1.85 million inhabitants. Now it has fewer than 740,000. cleveland and St. Louis, too, are half the size they were in 1950.

When so many cities are booming, why are some trapped in decline?

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"Engines of Innovation"

Scientific American | August 19, 2011

Most of humanity now lives in a metropolis. That simple fact helps to fuel our continued success as a species.

 Crime, congestion and pollution mar all cities, from Los Angeles to Mumbai. But another force trumps the drawbacks of urban living: cities bring opportunities for wealth and for creative inspiration that can result only from face-to-face contact with others.

 

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"What’s Mid-Market? Suddenly everything"

San Francisco Business Times | July 22, 2011

Mid-Market’s geographic boundaries seem to be miraculously expanding.

After decades of false starts and unfulfilled promises, the hard-luck neighborhood is finally on the cusp of true revitalization. And becoming fashionable.

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"Student beds planned for Mid-Market site"

San Francisco Business Time | July 15, 2011

Developer Patrick Kennedy has bought the former Guitar Center building at Mission and Ninth streets in San Francisco and plans to build a 200-unit student housing facility that could serve the California College of the Arts and other institutions.

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"Relief ahead for city’s student housing shortage"

San Francisco Business Time | June 24, 2011

Aneglected segment of San Francisco housing is getting some attention.

In November, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved legislation that would allow residential projects for students to be an exemption from affordable housing requirements, thus increasing the financial incentive to consider building or renovating student housing.

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"Boom looms for student housing"

San Franicsco Business Times | November 18, 2010

Builders hungry for new residential projects may soon have a fresh opportunity to chase in San Francisco: student housing. The Planning Commission recently approved legislation that would exempt student residential projects from costly affordable housing requirements, opening up new development possibilities.

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"Student housing builder has S.F. plans"

San Fransisco Business Times | May 6, 2010

More than two decades ago, Patrick Kennedy wanted to develop housing in San Francisco. He’s finally getting there.

Kennedy spent the time in between pioneering private student housing development in Berkeley. But his Panoramic Interests now has two, 22-unit “micro-projects” planned, one in San Francisco and one in Berkeley, using pre-fabricated units from Zeta Communities that he says will change how in-fill development is done in the Bay Area.

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"How condo developments helped spur a renaissance in SoMa"

San Francisco Chronicle, Real Estate | January 24, 2010

Since its first condominium projects emerged in the late 1980s, perhaps no neighborhood in San Francisco has seen such a dramatic transformation as the South of Market (SoMa) district. In a span of roughly two decades, it went from being the part of town where you’d fear being alone after dark to being one of the most in-demand locales in the Bay Area.

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"Builders Zero In on New Goal of Energy-Neutral Housing"

The Wall Street Journal | December 23, 2009

The green building movement is targeting a goal once thought virtually unattainable: zero net energy use.

While the trend is nascent, dozens of “net zero” and “near net zero” developments — projects designed to use only about as much power from the public grid as they can save or produce on their own — have sprung up across the U.S. over the past five years.

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"Green Modular Homebuilder Thinks Outside the Box"

Sacramento Business Journal | November 15, 2009

Berkeley infill developer Patrick Kennedy expects to be looking at a highly energy-efficient, four-story apartment building just three to four months after he gets approval for the project.

If so, it would be the fastest turnaround in the 15 years Kennedy has been in the business.

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"Zeta to Mass-Produce Efficient Homes"

The New York Times | September 18, 2009

The same economic downturn that wreaked havoc on home manufacturers appears to be creating opportunities for Zeta Communities, a hopeful purveyor of ultra-efficient multifamily housing.

To date, the company has built just one 1,540-square-foot demonstration home in Oakland to support its thesis that high-efficiency can also be affordable.

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"A Narrow Victory"

Dwell | May 14, 2009

For a nine-year-old who loves pirates and science fiction, Jonah Finger thinks of his family’s apartment as make-believe come true. His parents, Michael Finger and Joanne Kennedy, completed the renovation of their 640-square-foot walk-up in Manhattan’s East Village in May of 2008, just a week before the birth of Jonah’s baby sister, Esther. And while changing houses and getting a new sibling can be a turbulent transition for a kid, moving into the new place provided a thrilling amount of entertainment for Jonah. He has secret compartments under the floor to fill with toys and his own Murphy bed hiding in the wall behind his dad’s desk. For Finger and Kennedy, these features are critical space-savers that allow them to live peacefully in the postage stamp–size apartment, but the inventive design is also a reminder that livability isn’t just about organization and tidiness; it’s about the joy of interacting with a space.

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"The personal financial benefits of going car-free"

Cooltown studios | December 1, 2008

What are the real, personal financial benefits of going car-free?The friendly folks at the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) have provided a collective body of research, Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (RBC), the goal being to help build more affordable, pedestrian-oriented residences, especially in preparation for what they’ve been instructed will be an innovation-minded administration.

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"Patience, Persisitence, And a Thick Skin"

SA+P MIT School of Architecture + Planning | October 26, 2008

Patrick Kennedy (MSRED’85) is a real estate developer in Berkeley, California, a place whose citizens were once described by the Wall Street Journal as ‘…torn between a desire to overthrow the US government and a quest for the perfect croissant’.
Upon moving to Berkeley in 1988, Kennedy found an ailing downtown with empty storefronts, panhandlers and no new rental housing by a private developer since World War II. He set out to ‘decriminalize housing development’ and began what was initially a single-handed effort to develop mixed-use infill housing in Central Berkeley.

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"Leaky, smelly room in a San Francisco SRO: $1,000 a month"

SFGate | November 4, 2007

In a city with the third-highest median income in the country, about 30,000 San Franciscans – 4 percent of the city’s population – live in abysmal conditions in more than 500 single-room-occupancy hotels.

The hotels that fare worst are privately owned, which most are. There, residents pay $600 to $1,000 a month for an 8-by-10-foot room in buildings where the smell of human waste infuses the hallways from overflowing toilets; floors gather puddles from leaky pipes and ceilings; carpets go unchanged for decades; and rooms are infested with bedbugs, cockroaches and mice. Residents share dormitory-style toilets and showers, typically one or two per floor, and there are no cooking facilities.

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"Promising Developments"

Berkeley Insider Magazine | January 1, 1994

Patrick Kennedy is on a campaign to “decriminalize development in Berkeley.”
He may be succeeding

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