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San Jose approves 800-unit co-living project

Earlier this year, an 800 unit co-living project was approved in downtown San Jose. The developer is Starcity. And it is said to be the largest co-living project in the pipeline in the United States right now.

A few months later (presumably because of this project), San Jose also created a new “co-living” land-use classification. It is similarly thought to be a first for US cities.

I think it still remains to be seen how broad the market can be for co-living. Do older generations also want to go back to dorm-like living? Or is this a housing solution mainly for twenty-somethings?

At the same time, it’s not an entirely new housing idea. I like the parallel that Sarah Holder of CityLab draws between today’s co-living and yesterday’s single room occupancy buildings (SROs).

There are, of course, many differences, including the amount of space dedicated to common areas (the community aspect). But in both cases, part of the value proposition is about affordability.

Where do you see co-living going?


  1. Tarek Essam

    I got excited until I saw the rent rates ($1,400 to $2,400), I then stopped reading 🙂


  2. Douglas Pollard

    I expect it will not go to one specific demographic. Co housing has, for years appealed to younger families and couples because of cost control and social attributes and shared values. Almost every co-housing project I am aware of and/or have visited had a strong focus on environmental responsibility and energy efficiency and so forth and took great pleasure in sharing meals and chores. It is also true that a number of healthy seniors will share a house together also for const control and companionship and security (someone will help you up when you fall sort of thing) and I can certainly see where a large project would happily house both.. perhaps with the younger demographic assisting the older in exchange for baby sitting etc.


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