Starcity Secures Approvals on the Two Largest Purpose-Built Coliving Communities in the World

These two “vertical neighborhoods” will be the company’s largest projects to date and represent the distinct and innovative potential of large-scale urban coliving developments for Starcity’s future growth.

Starcity Bassett - San Jose (rendering) (Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Today Starcity, the pioneering community-based living startup, has announced it has secured approval from the City of San Francisco and the City of San Jose respectively for two large-scale purpose-built coliving projects.

Purpose-built Coliving Communities contain furnished private bedrooms and private bathrooms, directly accessible off a common hallway along with generously-sized communal cooking, dining, lounge, and laundry spaces offered on a floor-by-floor basis. Communities also include best-in-class community-wide amenities integrated throughout the building such as roof terraces, co-working spaces, and bicycle facilities.

The first in San Francisco is “Starcity Minna”, is a 270-unit high-rise planned for Minna & 5th Streets in the centrally-located SoMa area of San Francisco, and “Starcity San Jose”, an 803-unit high-rise planned for downtown San Jose, just three blocks from San Pedro Square and a short walk to Diridon Station.

Both projects are slated to open in 2021 and will feature the following:

  • Starcity Minna: Located at 475 Minna Street, the building will have 270 coliving units, 50% of which will be priced at deed-restricted below market rates starting as low as the approximately $850. The project will break ground in early 2020.
  • Starcity Bassett: Located at 199 Bassett Street, the building will have 803 units, and will be the largest coliving development in the world when completed. Rents will be targeted below 110% area median income. A defining feature of the building's program is the notion of "vertical neighborhoods," where multiple residential floors are internally linked by centrally-located large, double-height communal spaces and terraces with interconnecting stairs. A broad array of residents from multiple floors can interact and engage with one another socially within the building's various communal spaces. The typical communal amenities included on each floor are media rooms, 3-4 chef's style kitchens, and both large group and more intimate dining areas. Building-wide amenities will include a multi-level 5,000 SF fitness center, bike storage, bike share, & repair facilities, skyline-facing roof terrace, co-working spaces, subterranean parking, and food & beverage oriented retail offerings on the ground floor such as a potential small cafe/grocer and/or bar.

Since last Fall, Starcity has also worked closely with the City of San Jose on an amendment to the City's Planning Code to add “Coliving” as a formally recognized use category, distinct from Multi-Family and other conventional residential uses. This is the first dedicated Coliving zoning code to be established in the US. Other cities facing a similar affordability crisis will be able to follow suit and adopt similar zoning legislation in order to encourage new and more sustainable types of housing. The Coliving ordinance amendment went before and unanimously passed City Council on February 26th and became effective on April 12th. This allowed Starcity’s project to move forward with an entitlement change from the previously approved Multi-Family project (by KT Urban) to a truly purpose-built Coliving development. Starcity resubmitted a project application to the city in late April and formally received project approvals on May 29th at the Planning Director’s Hearing. The project is now formally entitled to development.

“We struggle so greatly just to get a shovel in the ground to get housing in the city, because construction costs are so high right now,” says San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The fact that the developer had found an approach that could get housing built was a good enough signal to me that we should get any obstacles out of the way.”

“To truly make an impact on the housing deficit in California, we need to look to developments that serve both low-income and middle-income residents, especially in our core urban centers near public transit,” said Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), author of SB 35, which was used to streamline the San Francisco project. “A solution like Starcity can help provide critically needed housing at scale, and help cities like San Francisco and San Jose retain our middle class families and workforce. I am proud that this development, with a large percentage of affordable housing, will be streamlined by SB 35.”

About Starcity

Starcity creates beautifully designed co-living communities, offering its members a private, fully furnished bedroom, complemented by shared kitchens and living spaces, so residents can opt-in to be a part of a greater community while living in comfort. With community-building at its core, Starcity works with local community stakeholders and nonprofits to understand the neighborhood in which they offer housing, offer volunteer and engagement opportunities to its residents, and become a source of energy and opportunity for the neighborhoods in which they offer housing. Starcity software makes the entire process work with a suite of products that making living as a group efficient and enjoyable. Leases are designed with flexible terms starting at a minimum of 3 months, and one convenient monthly payment includes residential utilities and shared supplies, as well as shared services like home cleaning, with the option to add on other services like laundry or dog walking. Designed to foster community and social interaction amongst its members, Starcity delivers a welcoming living experience while adding as much as three times as many units of housing to the market compared to traditional apartment rentals.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Jon Dishotsky, Chief Investment Officer Mo Sakrani, CTO Josh Lehman and COO Jesse Suarez, Starcity employs 60 people and has offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Jon Dishotsky

Release Summary

Starcity secures approvals on the two largest purpose-built coliving communities in the world.


Jon Dishotsky