Podshare, the Southern California-based startup that rents out “pods” consisting mostly of a bunk bed for $1,200 per month, continues to make headlines for its San Francisco expansion, many of them decidedly negative.
7x7 called the setup a “depressing new low” for San Francisco housing. But that didn’t quash interest, as the Podshare site now advertises no vacancies at the SF locale, a Tendernob building on Post Street.
Company cofounder Elvina Beck confirms to Curbed SF that “all the pods are booked to capacity till September 1, and people keep extending month to month, so space isn’t really opening up.”
Beck notes that the building is “limited on inventory right now” while the company unravels red tape about zoning uses—there are only 12 spots, but they hope to eventually add five more.
Podshare has future plans for a second San Francisco location in the future, although Beck says negotiations with building owners are ongoing. The company has five SoCal locations.
While the company calls its sleeping units “pods,” spaces in a Podshare building are essentially just enclosed beds with a couple of amenities, including a television, toilet paper, and ramen noodles.
The arrangement is little different from a hostel, although SF hostels sometimes charge more than $100 per night. The company brands itself “co-living” and makes explicit reference to the lack of privacy involved—renters are afforded no guests and no romantic exploits on the premises.
Possibly in response to some of the outraged and weary headlines about the price of pods in SF, the company recently published a “letter from the founder” arguing that “Podshare is a byproduct of high rents.”
Via a Medium blog published this week, company executives argue that “privacy is a relatively new construct [...] a luxury that few but the elite could afford” until recently and that the combination of no privacy and “a less sought after neighborhood” makes living in SF and LA more accessible.
CNN reports that Beck also lives in a Podshare herself. So at least other renters know she’s putting $1,200 where her mouth is.