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Can San Francisco Apartments Get Even Smaller?

Small Apartments

Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

Developer Patrick Kennedy is about to complete SmartSpace 2.0, a building comprised of 300-square-foot studio apartments built with prefab technology developed by his Berkeley-based company, Panoramic Interests. And, if the Board of Supervisors passes legislation allowing it, he's set to build SmartSpace 3.0, a micro apartment development that would have 287-square-foot units, the smallest ever in San Francisco and among the smallest in America. Can this be a good idea?

Kennedy says yes. He got the inspiration for the tiny apartments after camping with his family in an Airstream trailer. "It was a 78-square-foot space, and we had great times camping in it," he says. "I thought it would be cool to bring the same experience to apartment buildings." He also found, as head of Panoramic Interests, that building and running studio apartments was a lot easier and more efficient than operating buildings with larger units. He started experimenting with a 160-square-foot prototype he had built in an East Bay warehouse (an MIT student occupied it as a test case). From that, the firm developed the prefabricated units that will make up SmartSpace 2.0 at 38 Harriet Street.

Click here to see how they're going to make SF apartments even smaller!