The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

Dishotsky, the co-founder/CEO of the start-up Starcity, is now working to fill America’s housing-strapped cities with a scaled-up version of his childhood idyll. Since launching in 2016, the company has broken ground on seven developments in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In most Starcity buildings, renters get a furnished 130- to 220-square-foot bedroom and share a communal kitchen and living space. In a addition to a “generous bathroom to room ratio,” the company touts a range of Millennial-friendly amenities, including an honor library, “locally sourced foliage,” and Bob Ross painting nights. Rents range from $1,400 to $2,400 a month. “We’ll make the living arrangements delightful and sustainable so that people can stay in cities long-term,” Starcity’s website promises. “We will do this by redefining the meaning of home.”

That definition is about to get a whole lot larger.1  Last week, the company got the green light to start work on its biggest project—an 18-story building with 803 units in the heart of downtown San Jose, a city in the crosshairs of California’s housing crisis. This Titanic of co-living is set to be the biggest shared-living-space-cum-mega-dorm-for-emerging-adults ever conceived.


  • 1. But this reinvention of an old housing model comes with new logistical hurdles. High-density co-living buildings aren’t hotels, and they’re not quite traditional multi-family apartments. To break ground on the San Jose mega-project, Starcity had to work with the city to change local zoning codes.