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


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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