Hidden away behind an imposing looking gate off Post Street, between Hyde and Larkin in the Tendernob, the 3,500 square foot home at 3 Meacham Place traded hands for $1.63 million back in 2014, listed as a “one-of-a- kind residence” which has been “a source of inspiration through the years to numerous creative entrepreneurs,” with a glass partition separating the main floor living room from the entryway and a staircase leading up to the home’s bedroom and office.

3 Meacham Place Bedroom

Listed for rent at $11,000 per month earlier this year, the property has recently been spotted on Airbnb for as low as $60 per night.  But the nightly rate isn’t for the entire pad but rather one of the 12 “pods” which have been covertly constructed within the aforementioned bedroom and office.

And having apparently been podernized without the benefit of any building, group housing, hotel or short-term rental permits, San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection and Office of Short Term Rentals are now both investigating.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    For once “one of a kind” is used appropriately…at least we can all hope it is.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      But it isn’t. Even just in S.F., a real estate greed head illegally converted the basement of a laundromat on Mission Street into a warren of 20 substandardly-constructed rental units.

      That’s just one recent example that came to light because The City Attorney filed suit against the building’s owner and the operator of the illegal complex. The key difference there was that the tenants weren’t booking their units on one of the so-called “home sharing” sites. There are others getting away with this kind of thing every day.

  2. Posted by David

    Amazing, $11k/month to live in the tenderloin. I can see why they’d want to convert it to a “luxury” hostel.

    • Posted by Notcom

      For those who thought SRO was a frivolous luxury, such accommodations – similar, at least, in spirit, if not ammenities – were once common until spoilsports shut them down for various fire/safety violations (and thus, in the opinion of some, giving rise to our current homeless situation.)

      And although I believe they were more common in SOMA, than the Tenderloin, we’ve nonetheless come full circle: the destitute can find a room for the night…as long as they have $60.

      • Posted by francis

        this isn’t an SRO (those have individual rooms – Single Room Occupancy), this is a flophouse.
        At $60 a night that’s $1800 a month – or around $1000 if it’s a commuter who is only renting it Monday through Thursday night

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      Youth hostel in LA is about $60 a night. This room has flat panel TV and wood partition to reduce snoring noise. yeah, it is luxurious in comparison.

    • Posted by scurvy

      Tendernob or Nob Hood, but not the TL. 2 more blocks until the loin.

  3. Posted by L'UrbanistaSF

    Wondering how long it will take for the Planning Dept to shut it down.

  4. Posted by roger

    let it stay.. we need more housing….

  5. Posted by Amewsed

    Dibs on the top double sized bunk. In another city.

  6. Posted by Urhen Joe

    ‘ts all fun and games till one of the customers inadvertently brings in bed bugs

  7. Posted by Brisket

    Maybe all the bunkbeds are for their grandkids. I know when my daughter has friends over they all like their own TVs and hangers for their pantsuits.

  8. Posted by Dave (Seattle dude)

    Bet you can get a pod (mobile) for less than 60 bucks/night in one of the 25 plus RV’s parked (bumper to bumper in some cases) along Lake Merced Boulevard.

  9. Posted by anon2.5

    This looks nice to me . . . the city’s attitude towards nontraditional housing like this is the reason we have a homeless problem. It’s common in most other parts of the world, so not sure why it shouldn’t be allowed here. It’s unclear to me that our homeless situation is more humane than shoebox apartments or slums in other parts of the world. When will we accept the things we can’t change and adapt to it? People want to live here. We cannot afford to subsidize complete housing to the tune of 400k plus per unit to everyone who does.

    • Posted by Michael

      People living at the Ghost Ship thought the same thing. Building codes, rules and regulations exist for a reason.

    • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

      Agree with Michael. We have one of the richest countries in the world, just tolerating slums or other kinds of substandard housing is not a solution except for the members of the petty bourgeoisie, like the real estate entrepreneur that illegally converted this place, that will get to make money off further immiserating people in desperate need of housing.

      The majority of homeless people are not going to pay “…as low as $60 per night” to stay in this place. The owner is just engaging in regulatory arbitrage because he couldn’t get $11,000 per month in rent.

  10. Posted by Opinion Factory

    Oh sure, let’s just not inspect electrical wiring and pack 12 people in a room without proper ventilation or even an inspected furnace system or proper fire suppression/escape basics. Let’s not even find out if there’s a fire escape or a C0 detector. Health inspections? What for? Just pack em in, they’re paying customers so who could stand in the way of chipping-away-at-basic-standards?

    Oh and I’m sure the homeless are tripping over themselves to pay $1800 a month for this before their shifts at Google.

    You can almost get an ACTUAL cheapo motel room for this! What the hell people, you’ll fall for anything with a flat screen and some recessed lighting won’t you? Shame. Lazy.

    The idea that this was directed at solving it IS CRAZY. This was designed to make money – Each one of those beds makes $1800 a month!!! Come on people, brains first.

    • Posted by jenofla

      Really? Where can you get an actual cheapo motel room for $60/night in San Francisco? Or even $100/night? I mean, Redding, sure, but SF?

      • Posted by Amewsed

        I stayed for two nights at an upscale pod hotel (Cube) in Singapore @ US $ 45 per night, including breakfast, and prior to that, a friend and her husband stayed in a private suite at another place called Pod for US $60 per night, including breakfast. Both places were packed with 20’s and 30’s travelers primarily from Asia but also many Europeans working in Asia.

        No homeless, no drug addicts, mentally ill guests.

        • Posted by Einsteinway, genius piano come to life

          Gee SINGAPORE didn’t have any homeless or drug addicts…

          You don’t have to watch them being executed, just don’t think about it at all. Enjoy the clean society.

          And don’t spit your gum out, or else.

        • Posted by Anonymous

          Like saying “there are no Muslims in China”… Because the government puts them all in internment camps.

  11. Posted by el duderino

    we need a very steep (annual 30% of assessed value) vacancy tax on retail and residential. shut that speculation thing right down. rent it or lose it. we don’t have a housing stock problem. we have a vacancy problem.

    • Posted by no

      Repeal rent control, repeal prop 13, outlaw foreign investors, and outlaw or heavily tax vacant units.

      But Gavie is buddy buddy with the wealthy developer elite so will never happen.

      • Posted by Chris

        You can’t “outlaw” a vacant unit because then the government is affirmatively forcing someone to use their private property in a certain way, rather than just restricting certain uses. It is the difference between zoning and what is considered a “taking” under the Constitution, and a taking requires the government to compensate the owner of the property for the fair market value of their property. For similar reasons, an excessive vacancy tax would also be considered a taking.

        You can impose a reasonable tax for registering and monitoring vacant properties to ensure they are not a public nuisance, but you cannot make the tax so high to force someone to rent the property if they do not wish to—all landowners already pay property taxes to pay for city services, so you cannot make an excuse that it is a tax for additional services.

    • Posted by Sue Yu

      Just get rid of rent control. Supervisors have destroyed the trust of property owners, small owners can’t afford the liability the Board of Sups thinks is reasonable. Owner should not be penalized by a vacancy tax for not renting out a unit when the rules are all one sided.

      • Posted by repeal prop 13

        How is a long time landowner that pays property taxes based on a $50,000 tax assessed value when the property is actually worth $5,000,000 one sided against landowners?

      • Posted by Anonymous

        The rules and tax structure almost universally benefit property owners, not the other way around

  12. Posted by curmudgeon

    While it actually looks nice (for a hostel), the point made above by many is that no project like this should be allowed to proceed without proper permits to determine whether it meets safety criteria, and the bozo trying to pull a fast one should be shut down immediately. That said, I’d love to see more projects like this allowed, if those concerns can be met. We need housing at all levels, and hostels are certainly part of the solution.

    • Posted by Curious

      Yes! This is the reasonable take. The problem here is the execution, not the idea.

  13. Posted by Neighborhood Activist

    So many comments lamenting the mean city cracking down on housing. “Why shouldn’t this be allowed?” people ask.

    The answer is that it COULD be allowed, subject to requirements for health and safety, emergency egress, etc. This property owner/lessee has ignored all the rules, failed to get legally-mandated inspections or apply for any entitlement. Do you seriously think anybody should be able to turn a single family home into a dormitory hotel without any oversight or permission?

    I foresee a sale on used mattresses in the near future.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      Owner of property is a start-up called Podshare, the background of which was provided by another SF housing blog. Podshare owns several co-living properties in the Los Angeles area since 2016.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        Do you mean the PodShare to which we actually linked above (and tagged as well)? Because we don’t believe they actually own the property (which was acquired in 2014 and hasn’t since changed hands).

        • Posted by Amewsed

          Honestly, I spend more time reading the other real estate blog which covers NYC real estate primarily and their commentary. You can do a property search to ascertain the owners.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            When we say “we believe,” we’re trying to be polite. More directly, and despite what you might have read elsewhere, while the “podernization” was completed by PodShare (as we linked and first reported above), PodShare doesn’t own the building nor are they hidden behind the 3 Meacham Place LLC (which is the official owner of record).

  14. Posted by Marco

    And meanwhile in the mission it’s perfectly allowable to have 18 people living in a 3 br unit.

    • Posted by Notcom

      The issue, of course, is whether the people are related or not: while mechanical systems and safety hazards care not one whit about such things, there’s usually some societal benefit to allowing members of a family – even an extended one – to live together. The benefits of allowing a similar number of ‘pod people’ are less clearly understood.

  15. Posted by Miraloma Man

    Are there curtains in case you want to, ahem, spend a little time by yourself? Or is that not part of the Millennial tech exec lifestyle?

    P.S., who changes the sheets?

    • Posted by Notcom

      Isn’t there an app for that ??

      As for the latter, since this is advertised on Airbnb, I’m not sure why it would be any different than any other listing.

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