Why tech workers are sleeping in expensive boxes

San Francisco is so expensive that it’s kind of a deal to drop $700/month to sleep in a box.

Much like a vampire must rest in a wooden box filled with their native soil, a tech worker must sometimes pay $900/month to sleep in a wooden box equipped with a twin mattress.

Several sleeping pods from a Brownstone Shared Living location on a pink background.

Both are cursed — one by immortality, the other by skyrocketing housing costs and the mad dash to get in on AI.

Is it a nice box, at least?

Brownstone Shared Housing rents out private sleep pods in San Francisco ($700/month), Palo Alto ($900/month), and Bakersfield ($500/month).

They’re stacked two-high like bunk beds, each 4 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide. Features include a dimmable light, temperature control, a shelf and hanging rail, charging ports, and a privacy curtain.

The “houses” contain a kitchen (sans stove or oven), shared bathrooms, and common spaces. There’s no laundry.

One tech worker described the pods as a “little toastie” but a fine place to sleep while he pursues a career in AI.

And he’s not alone

Brownstone CEO James Stallworth told SFGate that many come to do the same. In San Francisco, all 28 beds are booked through October. (There is a city inspection pending, but Stallworth isn’t worried about it.)

Utilities are included, there’s no security deposit, contracts are month-to-month, and guests can network with each other.

In Bakersfield, where the median studio apartment costs $995, Brownstone’s $500/month offering may be appealing. In San Francisco, where it’s ~$2.2k, Brownstone’s, sadly, not a horrible deal…

… nor a new one: Japan has capsule hotels for the minimalist tourist, and similar “pod” arrangements in the US attract travelers, digital nomads, and people looking to save on rent by “co-living.” PodShare, with locations across California is one such example.

BTW: For those who’d actually like to sleep in a coffin, there’s Berlin’s Propeller Island City Lodge — though temporarily closed for renovations and a “new concept,” the hotel has 25+ bizarre themed rooms, including one where you can do just that.

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