Well, the owners and marketers of the new Serif condos on mid-Market have come up with a novel solution for the smallness of their studio units: optional furniture add-ons that include mechanical beds that rise up and stow themselves away on the ceiling.
Welcome back to Apartment Sadness, SFist's occasional series that took a long pandemic break since, well, there was more to be sad about besides the lack of affordability/livability of SF apartments. And, all of a sudden, at least for a minute there, it was a lot easier to find an apartment!
Things may not be completely back to pre-COVID normal, but market-rate homes in SF remain depressingly expensive for many of us, and rents are inching back to about where they were in early 2020 before the much ballyhoo'd, and possibly very brief, mass exodus from the city.
Today, because it's so fitting, we bring you not a rental property, but a condo — a whole group of condos, in fact. These are the smallest of the units in the new Serif complex at 960 Market, between Mason and Taylor (Fifth and Sixth). The flatiron-shaped building has been under construction for several years now — SFist first reported on the plans in 2014 — and the finished, 12-story, 408,000-square-foot project includes a 236-room hotel, and a 242-unit condo portion. The opening of the building was delayed last year, and it appears that the opening of the hotel, The Line, still has not happened.
According to a marketing video posted to Serif's Facebook in February, the building has contracted with Bumblebee Spaces to provide drop-from-the-ceiling furniture options in the building's design studio. Bumblebee appears to be the modern answer to Murphy beds, which have long been a space-saving solution for small, urban apartments.
Mind you these are studios that start around $540,000 and go up from there.
The SF Standard has since covered the drop-down bed situation, noting that the Serif touts this as a way to turn a studio's living space into a "multi-functional flex space" — as opposed to an apartment where your bed is spitting distance from the kitchen and there's barely room for any other furniture. Also, they note that the Bumblebee beds will run buyers $12,000 extra as an add-on, though back in February it looked like there were "credits" available to buyers, as a perk.
Above, you can see an actress portraying a possible Serif buyer, just rising in the morning in her multi-functional flex space, looking up at the winch technology above her that will take her bed away at the tap of an app.
Below, there she is contemplating her stowable bed on cables as it rises back to its daytime home, remembering that her mortgage is $3,200 a month for this, and she should have just stayed in Arizona like her father said and she'd be living in a three-bedroom house for this price.
And yay! There's room to do pretend yoga now! No need to worry about the condo market in San Francisco tanking again!
In addition to the hideaway ceiling bed, Serif and Bumblebee are offering hideaway desks on cords, in case you're crazy or lazy enough to want to work from home in a 340-square-foot apartment.
And, also, there are hideaway storage boxes to go with the beds — a place to hide your jewelry and condoms and such, which drop down next to the bed.
Below are the three studio layouts available at the Serif. And they're kinda tight! They range in size from from 337 square feet to 360 square feet, according to these listings. And you'll need those drop-down boxes to stow stuff in when all you get is one tiny closet — and zero pantry space.
This is the reality we're living in, I guess, if you want to own property for less than $600K in San Francisco. You will not be getting a functional kitchen or entertaining space to speak of, but maybe if you have a bed that disappears onto the ceiling you can squeeze more than one other person in for cocktails.
At least the bathrooms are kind of nice!