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In Search of Sanity
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SoMa development would put new twist on commune living
J.K. Dineen
Reporter-San Francisco Business Times

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 . . . .

Open Door, which is collaborating with Build Inc. on the project, runs a collection of co-living buildings throughout the city. On its website, which doesn’t list specific locations, the group said “Where we come from, home is a hive of activity, a dynamic place where collaboration and intention are the norm. We are modern nomads, professionals and creatives. Most co-living houses in the Embassy Network have a combination of short-term and long-term residents, events, and ongoing projects. These locations are the embassies of our culture, and we are all ambassadors.” Embassy SF is a project of Open Door, and the founding location in the Embassy Network.

Yarne said the Harrison Street complex will be considered group housing under the code, and could be leased to an educational institution or to tech workers . . . .

Macy Architecture is working on the design. The parcel fronts 12th, Harrison and Norfolk streets. The zoning allows for a 65-foot building — five stories of housing above 15-foot-tall retail spaces . . . .

The houses could take on different personalities. There could be a music house, for residents who want to live in a musical environment . There could be a LGBT houses, or a writers house . . . .

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
79,462 Posts
Coliving Gains Momentum in SoMa with 1532 Harrison Proposal

Living small in San Francisco often means closing oneself off in a studio or micro-unit. But, as Build Inc. principal Michael Yarne points out, "a lot of people are tired of living alone in a studio." Yarne was speaking at the recent (and provocatively titled) SPUR forum "Tenements for the 21st Century?" at which he and and architect Mark Macy of Macy Architecture presented their proposed coliving project, 1532 Harrison, in western SoMa. The three-building, six-story development, which will be classified as group housing under San Francisco Planning Code, is currently under environmental review. As proposed, it will include 235 private suites between 231 and 253 square feet, clustered around 28 shared living spaces (860-1,003 square feet each). The development seeks to answer an important question, says Yarne: "How to create a building that helps people build community?"

Living a small space?

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