Cheap, modern, and designed specifically to facilitate your social life and career goals? Just show us where to sign.
It is so expensive to go to sleep.
Whether you're trying to do that in a hotel, an Airbnb, or your own house, chances are you're shelling out an astronomically high portion of your paycheck just to lay your head down on a soft thing and take a lukewarm shower.
And with Denver's explosive housing market causing rents to skyrocket at rates second only to millionaire hive San Francisco, what's a target market 18-34 year-old with modest income like you or me to do?
Well, a new Los Angeles startup called PodShare might have the answer.
PodShare is a futuristic hybrid between a co-working space and a community pod living situation. Basically, you sleep where you co-work. Living spaces double as social spaces and while there's very little privacy, it's cheap as dick and you're never alone.
Currently, PodShare offers three locations in Los Angeles, all of which are equipped with shared living spaces built for social travelers and mobile workers who rent the beds for between $35-50 per night. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to tell that that's way, way, WAY cheaper than what you're paying for rent, or your average hotel/ Airbnb.
But rather than having 100 beds under one roof like a hostel, PodShare has between 10 and 30 beds, which turn into desks by day. Every PodShare space also comes equipped with tons of WiFi, Xbox 360s, musical instruments, TVs with Hulu and Netflix, laundry, showers, toilets, community areas and a kitchen, so it's basically like you're living in one giant, impeccably designed dorm.
“PodShare makes life more affordable because there is no security deposit or cost of furnishings and we provide flexible living,” PodShare founder Elvina Beck told Motherboard. “Pod life is the future for singles which are not looking to settle down, but focus on their startups and experience something new.”
But it's not just for young working professional; it's also a place for people who need some good old fashioned socializing to go. Beck and her team "aim to end world lonelines" with the PodShares, which allow co-living that fosters a sense of community, even if you're only staying for a night or two.
“I started it to cure my own loneliness,” said Beck, “so I never had a night without friends.”
Beck is probably never alone, as she lives in the pod with 23 ever-changing roommates, 84 percent of whom are international. The locations have 92 percent occupancy, a 19 percent return rate and over 4,000 members who have stayed with them over the past four years (a number have even gotten PodShare tattoos … because those totally come off! Not!).
Unlike similar co-working Japanese hostels which are usually only for one gender, there is almost an equal number of men and women who stay in the space (59 percent men to 41 percent women).
At the heart of it all is community. “At check-in, we say, ‘you get your own pod, but we share everything else,’” said Beck.
However, while PodShare isn't exclusive per se, there is a pre-screening process before one sleeps there. There is also a post-profiling process, which includes a personalized review of every visitor.
“People love hearing the horror stories over the good news, but with our pre-screening and post-profiling process, we really get safe, sane and social individuals here,” said Beck.
The only catch? No fucking. PodShare has rules barring "PodSex," which can be a challenge for couples renting their money-saving queen-sized pods … or just for anyone who wants to excersie their human right to bone.
Initially, that rule seemed a little restrictive to us, but given the open layout of the Pods and the way the beds are built, we realized why: it would be extremely hard to fuck without putting on a show, and even if you did find a place to screw that allowed more privacy, like the shower or the toilets, chances are there's like 20 freelance hipster millennials holding succulents and laptops and cappucinos waiting for you to finish outside. And anyway, it's not a brothel. With nightly rates that low, it's practically begging to be L.A.'s best-designed hooker den, but nope.
So, could Pod life be the wave of the future for those of us living in cities with obscenely high rents? We think definitey. It might not be for everyone, but it's sheer existence and increasing popularity has definitely proved one thing: there's a market for affordable, flexible co-living in urban environments.
Check out some of the photos, courtesy of PodShare and Elvina Beck. This shit honestly looks way nice than the absurdly overpriced apartment we're struggling to keep from falling apart in Denver …