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Luxury Developer's 200-Square-Foot Rentals Will Have 'the Feeling of a Vintage Hermes Leather Trunk'

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Developer Artthaus is known for working on fancy, high-end places like the big house at 2939 Vallejo Street in Pacific Heights. The firm's latest projects, however, are two apartment buildings that will be designed as group housing, with units totaling less than 200 square feet, plus shared kitchens. Artthaus filed plans last week to build a 131-unit building in the Mission at 1798 Bryant and a 36-unit building in SoMa at 45 Dore Street, reports the San Francisco Business Times. The sites were originally intended to hold more luxury condos, but are now slated to be micro-units with rents somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500 per month. Despite the much more confining quarters, the proposal for at least one of the projects conveys its commitment to quality by evoking high-end luggage.

The Mission building would rise seven stories on the former Entenmann's Bakery site, which is now used for office space. The 131 "private bedroom suites" would be organized into six group houses, each of which would share a living, dining, and kitchen space with big windows facing Bryant Street. More common space would be available on the roof deck. The design of the building is meant to be a "contemporary interpretation of the classic 1920's corner apartment block" and is "intended to have the feeling of a vintage Hermes leather trunk" (which are, appropriately, also less than 200 square feet apiece).

In SoMa, the micro-units would replace an auto-repair shop and rise above the current structure, whose facade would remain in place. Preliminary Project Assessments for the two sites were filed last week, meaning that the approval process for the buildings has just started. One controversial element of both plans is their status as group housing, which exempts them from having to include below-market-rate housing or pay into the city's affordable housing fund. The Mission building could also be stalled by the proposed moratorium on market-rate housing in the Mission, as the Business Times points out. But if timely approvals are forthcoming, the buildings could be ready for residents by 2018.

Rendering of the proposed Mission group housing development via Artthaus (above).

· Pac Heights Pad Emerges from Makeover, Suavely Asks $11.5M [Curbed SF]
· Artthaus Pitches Tiny, Group Housing Apartments in San Francisco's Mission District and SoMa [SF Business Times]
· 1798 Bryant Street PPA [SF Planning]
· 45 Dore Street PPA [SF Planning]