Purveyors of a growing trend in the multifamily market, Starcity, is expanding its co-living operations to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is the second city Starcity is operating in. San Francisco, a city desperate for affordable housing, was the first.
"Like the Bay Area, Los Angeles is experiencing a major housing crunch. We're leveraging both our existing development strategy, as well as new opportunities to explore new ways of bringing co-living to Los Angeles. Our ultimate goal is to create communities near major transit hubs to help Angelenos live near where they work and play and maintain the diversity of West Los Angeles' neighborhoods," Starcity Co-Founder and CEO Jon Dishotsky said in a statement.
The startup is one of the handful of companies experimenting with co-living, where tenants rent rooms with shared amenities like kitchens and laundry rooms rather than full units.
"At Starcity, our goal is to make great cities accessible to everyone. By creating co-living communities out of underutilized properties, we're able to add housing units to the market without displacing current residents," Dishotsky said.
Starcity’s strategy is similar to a value-add approach. The twist is that its value-add package involves repurposing even old multifamily spaces to facilitate co-living. According to Starcity, its model delivers three times as many housing units as standard apartment rentals can.
Its first project in Los Angeles will be in Venice Beach. The property was formerly used as corporate housing and was comprised of 24 studio units. After Starcity’s remodel, the property had an additional seven bedrooms, bringing the total amount of available rooms up to 31.
Up to this point, all of Starcity’s properties have been acquisitions and the company has yet to do any ground-up development, but according to its release a ground-up project is in the works in Los Angeles.
As the U.S. continues to work through its affordable housing issues, it will be interesting to see if the co-living trend has staying power and is adopted as a mainstream solution to the national dearth of affordable housing.