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Dorm-Style Apartments Aim To Reduce High Bay Area Rent

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A Bay Area housing developer has a new plan to ease the housing crunch.

Starcity promises to cut your daily rent by up to 50 percent by promoting dorm-style shared living apartments. The question is: will people embrace the concept of shared living if it makes rent more affordable?

Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky says that the company's apartments also feature shared kitchens and living rooms and can shave a large chunk off of the price a conventional rental.

"What people will find is that this is actually a new form of multi-family apartment housing that allows people to live comfortably without wasting a lot of space and money on kitchens and hallways and living spaces that go virtually unused throughout the day," said Dishotsky.

His company began converting existing buildings into their "shared-living-space" model two years ago, but now Starcity wants to build two brand new buildings, with hundreds of units each, in San Francisco and San Jose.

With people being priced out of the market constantly in the Bay Area, the company doesn't think that the concept of shared living will be a tough sell.

"We all grew up in houses full of family. We've been through the college situation. We've had roommates just to make it. Why not make it scalable and make sense? I think there's a lot of logic to it. And I applaud it," said Patrick Palace, a visitor to San Francisco.

Starcity also has an answer for the things people may not have liked about the college dorm experience, such as messy roommates.

"We have a cleaning staff for us who clean the common living spaces everyday," explained Dishotsky.

Rent averages about $1600 to $2400 a month. The company hopes to bring those prices down even further on a big-scale project.

Starcity hopes to have San Francisco and San Jose apartment buildings up and running by 2021.

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