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Is This Modular Ceiling Storage System the Solution to San Francisco’s Housing Squeeze?

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Is This Modular Ceiling Storage System the Solution to San Francisco’s Housing Squeeze?


February 26, 2020
Bumbebee space storage system
Courtesy of Bumblebee Spaces

Pop quiz for builders: If you have a standard lot size but need more square footage, what do you do? One possible answer is to build up and add more levels. Bumblebee Spaces, a startup in San Francisco, is taking that concept and applying it to apartment units by building storage systems into the ceilings of the notoriously crunched-for-space pads. The voice-activated system can house beds and storage bins, keeping them tucked away during the day and then lowering them at night. With this technology, renters can turn a two-bedroom apartment into a three-bedroom unit by transforming the living room into a bedroom without taking away communal areas. 

For $5,000 a month, you can rent a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood whose furniture stored in the ceiling transforms it into a coveted three-bedroom unit.

It's all thanks to Bumblebee Spaces, a San Francisco startup that "unlocks" living space by storing furniture, like beds and closets, in automated modular ceiling systems. The company caters its product to high-density markets where "space is a premium."

Its hometown of San Francisco unequivocally falls into that category — demand for housing drastically outweighs the city's existing supply, hiking up living costs as a result.

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