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KCBS Cover Story: A Look Inside San Francisco’s Micro-Apartments

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A view of the layout of a micro-apartment at 38 Harriet St. in San Francisco. (Panoramic Interests)

A view of the layout of a micro-apartment at 38 Harriet St. in San Francisco. (Panoramic Interests)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Crews are putting the finishing touches on some San Francisco micro-apartments, spaces under 300 square feet, meant to be a more affordable option for those looking to live in the city.

Just off Mission Street at 38 Harriet sits a sleek new building with 23 units, “smart spaces” that are small, but comfortable.

“There are high ceilings, big windows, lots of natural light and furniture that does double duty,” said Cara Houser, Director of Development for Panoramic Interests, the firm developing the apartments.

The double-duty furniture includes a table for four that folds under a queen size Murphy bed and a bench top that is transformed into a breakfast nook. “If you want to have it be a table for two, you just lift this little part in the middle and have a seat,” Houser explained.

But she said despite the space being small, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is lacking – the studio units include a full sink, combined washer/dryer, full refrigerator, full bath, flat screen TV and a two burner stovetop.

Although there is no space to park a car, residents will have access to City CarShare and bike parking.

“We think it’s one option. It’s not for everybody,” Houser said. “It’s for people who want to live downtown, for whom location is very important.”

Houser said she envisions both younger and older singles, students and even some couples living in the units.

The micro-apartments will rent for $1,500 a month, about a quarter less than the average apartment in San Francisco. The units are expected to be made available this summer.

Panoramic Interests is also in the development process for a Mid-Market building that will offer studio units that are even smaller than those on Harriet Street.

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(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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