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Shilling for Hipsters : Cubix Targets The Youngs

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Cubix, the new SRO-turned-microcondo development at 766 Harrison Street, has generated quite the buzz recently for its units' virtually unheard of price tag— $279,000 (starting) for units ranging from 250 to 350 square feet. While we've fired our share of "dorm room" jokes at the project, the fact of the matter remains: Cubix studio units really are the size of college dorm rooms. (Or rather, the SRO units they were initially planned to be.) So really then, Cubix's success or failure will rely, at least in part, on its ability to successfully re-brand itself to fall in line with certain housing trends. The line between "SRO" and "condominium" isn't exactly a fine one, after all.

Cubix's new-and-improved target audience? The "almost" crowd, obviously— young professionals for whom a $600,000 one-bedroom at the Hayes is too great a stretch, but can wrap their heads (and their downpayments) around $279,000 or so. Add a couple of buzz words— "density," "green"— in a social climate where housing advocates are fretting (and rightly so!) over affordable housing for "the rest of us," and in comes the hoard of young buyers hoping to spend a couple of single years building equity before movin' on up to bigger and better spaces.

Well and good, all of it. Surely a step in the right direction. The spaces are generally too small for a bed and sofa— enter every studio dweller's nightmare, the sofa bed— and come outfitted with a mini sink in the kitchen, and wardrobe in lieu of closet space. Tempting, yes. Buy and rent out? Sure. Will units this small fly in the long run, however, as owners face the prospect of reselling their pads in a building that, as one reader put it "will feel like and overused dorm" once occupied? Future of conscious living in San Francisco, or marketing ploy guaranteed to bring misery to those who barely eek out enough of a living to even consider buying? Hey, we're just asking here, people.
· Home, small home: 250 square feet in SoMa [SF Gate]
· Construction Watch: SRO "Luxe" at 766 Harrison Street [Curbed SF]
· Rentals En Route To SoMa. No, Really. [Curbed SF]

766 Harrison "Cubix"

, San Francisco, CA 94107