Trion snaps up Redwood City apartments for $15 million, plans rehab to grab tech tenants

 

When Redwood City’s Buckingham Apartments was built in 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson was the president and man was still five years away from walking on the moon.

But there’s plenty of life left in such older properties. At least, that’s what an investor is betting on following the purchase of the 48-unit complex for $15 million, $312,500 per unit.

The buyer is Trion Properties, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that buys such “value-add” deals, according to a news release. The company plans to pump money into renovations in order to attract heftier rent checks. (It’s currently leasing for about 40 percent below market.)

“The Bay Area is one of the strongest markets in the country,” saidMax Sharkansky, managing partner at Trion Properties, in a news release. “The region’s record-breaking job growth, coupled with its reputation as one of the nation’s largest technology hubs, is driving demand for centrally-located, high-quality housing near major employers.”


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One of those growing employers is Stanford University, which is planning a major campus for employees in the city, Sharkansky noted.

The property last sold in early 2015 to a private investor for $13.1 million, according to title records. Despite the run-up, and even with renovation costs, the property remains below “replacement cost” — or the cost to entitle and build from scratch, Trion said.

“By repositioning and renovating this asset, we plan to bring rents up to market value while delivering an institutional-quality product at a huge discount to newer construction,” said Farhan Mahmood, director of acquisitions at Trion Properties.

The news release said interior renovations will include vinyl wood plank flooring, modern cabinetry, quartz countertops, new kitchen appliances, and tonal painting. Trion will also build a new entryway, freshen up the hallways, and build a tenant lounge “to build a sense of community for residents, particularly catering to young working professionals,” the news release said.

Robert Johnston and Adam Levin of Marcus & Millichap represented both the buyer and the seller in this transaction; Continental Funding Group arranged the financing.

Founded in 2005, Trion has acquired more than 1,500 multifamily units and so far has repositioned and resold over 795 units.

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Facebook could soon be your new landlord

Facebook could be your new landlord if you want to live in Silicon Valley’s hottest new real estate development.

The social giant has proposed a plan to build at least 1,500 units of housing near its Menlo Park, California, campus. The apartment would be open to the public, with 15% of units reserved for low- or middle-income families and public servants, like teachers and firefighters.

A Facebook spokesperson tells Tech Insider the company would plan and design the units, but not build them. A third party will develop the buildings, which currently sit in an industrial lot owned by Facebook.

No opening date has been announced.

Facebook’s foray into real estate development comes at a time when the company desperately needs its hometown’s support, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The world’s leading social media company recently announced plans for a massive expansion at its Menlo Park headquarters, which could bring 6,500 new employees to the suburbs south of San Francisco. The influx leaves locals feeling frustrated as housing in Silicon Valley continues to dry up. Meanwhile, rents and home prices are skyrocketing.

The unnamed housing project aims to address this imbalance.

“Facebook is committed to being a good neighbor,” a Facebook spokesperson tells Tech Insider. “We understand that our growth affects the everyday lives of our neighbors, and we want to be respectful and thoughtful about how we approach our expansion.”

Source: techinsider.io

– See more at: http://www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/property-management/latest-news/facebook-soon-new-landlord/#sthash.ibHVSgoX.dpuf

As We’ve Been Saying, California’s Minimum Wage Rises Increase Unemployment

mcdonalds-employee
by Tim Worstall –
I have opinions about economics, finance and public policy.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
This is an interesting little tale which illustrates the other side of the minimum wage story. Around here at least the standard side is that when you raise the price of something people buy less of it. Increase the minimum wage and employers will economise on minimum wage labour. This is a terribly simple point and yet people will twist themselves into ever more improbable positions to try to deny it. However, today’s part is about the other side of the story. Raise the price of something through legislation and more people will be willing to supply it. If we pass a law that apples are $2 each and no kidding then apple trees will spring up in every suburban garden and we’ll be buried under a glut of fruit that no one wants to buy at that price but people are absolutely delighted to sell if only they could find a buyer. The same really does happen with labour too as California is showing us:

Defying critics of new state regulations, California continued to pad its hefty payrolls in June. Employers added a net 40,300 jobs over the month, the state reported Friday.

But unemployment in California increased to 5.4%, from 5.2% in May. The national unemployment rate also ticked up, to 4.9% in June from 4.7% in May.

More Californians entered the job market in June, which probably explains why the jobless rate increased even though the state added a healthy number of new positions.

“The improvement in the labor market is pulling more people in,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo WFC +0.04%. June is generally a volatile month, said Vitner, because schools let out and some younger workers begin looking for summer jobs.

Well, no, not really, the school let out is not the cause here. Because these are the numbers adjusted for seasonal factors. And yes, school letting out is a seasonal factor, it has been happening at about the same time each and every year for some time now. As is laid out here:

In California, the estimated number of people with jobs in June was 18,078,000, down 4,000 from May but up 308,000 from June of last year. The number of unemployed Californians was 1,022,000 in June, up 27,000 from May, but down 160,000 from June of last year. Last June, the state unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.

All these numbers are seasonally adjusted to smooth out hiring binges and busts such as a decline in construction employment during the winter and an increase in holiday hiring.

On a non-adjusted basis, the state unemployment rate jumped a full percentage point — to 5.7 percent in June from 4.7 percent in May.

So, let us add one more thing:

On July 1, 14 U.S. cities, states and counties, plus the District of Columbia, will raise their minimum wage in a mid-year burst that reflects the legislative momentum to boost pay floors across the country while federal legislation stalls.

In total, the minimum wage will rise in 15 places: two states – Maryland and Oregon, plus Washington, D.C., Los Angeles County , Calif., and 11 cities. That includes Chicago, eight cities in California and two in Kentucky, according to a new analysis by the right-leaning Employment Policies Institute.

Both the earlier pieces are stating that the higher wages have called more labour supply into the market. Which is fine, no problems with that at all. Yet unemployment is defined those looking for a job but cannot find one. Thus an increased labour supply at this higher labour rate leads to more unemployment.

Six Positive Trends for California HOA Board Members


How do you know you’ve done your job right as a board member in a high-rise or master-planned community? You could look at the objectives you’ve met. You could look at the stability of your finances. Or you could look at the clear vision you’ve set forth for your community’s future.

All that paints part of the picture, but really what it all comes down to is how your homeowners association (HOA) makes your residents feel. And whether you’re self-managed or you engage the expertise of a community manager or community maintenance corporation, those feelings can be hard to gauge. Unless, of course, you look at the stats.

The Foundation for Community Association Research has just released its sixth national survey on how Americans feel about living in association communities. Let’s look at the highlights from the 2016 report.

1    65% of respondents said that living in a community association was a positive experience. This is up from 64% positive from the year before.

2    69% of residents say they’ve attended a community association board meeting. While we’d all like to see this number increase, it’s held steady at about this level (give or take a few percentage points) since 2005.

3    84% of those surveyed said that their elected governing board is, at least for the most part, striving to serve the best interests of the community as a whole. That’s an overwhelming majority of residents whose feelings are situated firmly in the positives column.

4    81% of respondents said they felt they were on friendly terms with their association board. That means, for the most part, boards are doing an exceptional job of maintaining good resident relations.

5    55% of those surveyed indicated that they felt the amount of their assessments was just right. The number of those who felt their dues were too high dropped by a few percentage points since 2014, too. Interestingly, the number of individuals who felt the dues they paid were too little doubled since then. The short story: boards are doing an amazing job of delivering value in terms of lifestyle offered for the money spent.

6    An overwhelming majority – 66% – of residents surveyed feel that community rules enhance and protect their property values. This number has trended downward a bit since the question was first asked in 2005, but 66% is still a very positive number. Still, it behooves board members to focus on conveying the tangible benefits of association membership to owners.

These numbers are cause for celebration, whether you’re on the board of a community in San Francisco, San Diego, or the Inland Empire – these survey results indicate a job well done by boards across California –– and the nation.

Listen Up: Fix Your Acoustic Problems in 4 Steps

Industry experts offer sound advice to reduce occupant complaints

By Jenna Aker –

Acoustical wall modules can provide a design element while controlling sound in private and collaborative spaces. These units are upholstered in fabric and feature backlighting. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARCO COVI COURTESY OF ARPER

Noise begets noise – the latter in the form of complaints.
Occupant complaints about acoustics are one of the most frequently heard by FMs. The Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the University of California reports that more than 50% of employees are unhappy with speech privacy in their workspaces. CBE also found that 60% of office workers in cubicles say that acoustics directly interferes with their job performance.

Statistics like those are loud and clear: If you have acoustical issues, you want to remedy them.

ASSESSING THE COSTS OF ACOUSTICAL PROBLEMS
If you think addressing complaints about acoustics is a poor use of resources, you are wrong. The productivity cost of problems can be high.

According to Robert Marshall, Manager of Marketing Technical Services at CertainTeed Ceilings, “Poor acoustics in today’s open-plan office environments is a problem that can ultimately cost employers thousands of dollars. A noisy workplace can be distracting and frustrating for employees and it can lead to decreased productivity.”

Pinpoint the Cause of the Complaint

■    Complaints about noise in open offices generally result from not having high-performance, sound-absorbing ceilings, islands, or baffles overhead.

■    Complaints about noise transmitting from one enclosed room to another are mostly caused by leaks called flanking paths in the ceiling system and walls. Noise can travel through open return air grilles in the ceiling, through a common plenum above the ceiling and back down, or through the open air return grille in the adjacent room.
    Similar noise-flanking paths exist due to recessed lights, supply air ducts, penetrations for sprinkler heads, loudspeakers, etc. Flanking paths through demising walls are also possible and problematic, especially given the current trend of using lightweight, demountable partitions and sliding glass doors with no perimeter gaskets.

■    Complaints about unintelligible conversations over open microphones in meeting and conference rooms result from not having enough high-performance, sound-absorbing materials in the rooms. Conference rooms with concrete, metal, and glass surfaces do not work well due to excessive reverberation and loudness.

A recent study found that office productivity can drop as much as 66% when employees who are trying to read or write are disturbed by nearby conversations. “It can take up to 15 minutes for an office worker to regain concentration after being distracted by noise. Studies show that employees are almost twice as likely to attend to complex tasks in quiet office environments than in noisy ones,” adds Marshall.

If employees take a job elsewhere due to unhappiness with their current work environment, even higher costs can be incurred by an organization. The costs of hiring and training a replacement can run from 30% to 50% of the annual salary for an entry-level employee to 150% of the salary for a mid-level, Marshall says.

The noise level in office spaces averages 50 to 60 decibels. Exceeding that level is nothing to yawn at. Statistics link high levels of office noise to increased stress, accidents and illness. “When noise hits 65 decibels,” says Marshall, “the risk of heart attack increases.”

4 STEPS TO FIX ACOUSTICAL PROBLEMS
The following steps will help you discover and remedy common noise complaints.

1) Design for Acoustics. Consulting an acoustical engineer or expert during the design phase is the best way to avoid future noise complaints.

“The number one way to eliminate these problems is proper planning and zoning of office space for compatible uses,” says Michael Spencer, President and Principal Consultant at JMS Acoustics. “For example, don’t stick the conference room next to the copy room.”

“By incorporating specific acoustical products in the design stage, teams can prevent needing to shoehorn components around HVAC and sprinkler equipment after the fact,” adds Dave Ingersoll, Business Development Manager at Sound Seal. He also notes that it saves money to get an acoustical team involved initially – labor rates will generally be cheaper when specified early on, allowing the general contractor to layer in acoustical elements while installing walls and ceilings.

A building’s interior design can still be clean and modern – you just need to consider the materials, finishes, and intended use of the space. “The trend in architecture is open space and open ceiling, which looks great but is acoustically challenging since the reverberation time is typically too long because of the missing sound-absorbing materials,” says Joerg Hutmacher, CEO at pinta acoustics, inc.

And don’t forget noise from mechanical systems. “Design HVAC systems to absorb sound energy and reduce system-generated noise,” says Marshall. “Often the engineering firm charged with designing the HVAC isn’t focused on acoustic concerns, yet HVAC is a major contributor to unwanted noise.”

2) Diagnose the True Problem. Be sure to assess the root causes behind acoustic complaints. “It’s very easy to apply the wrong treatment to an acoustical problem,” says Ioana Pieleanu, Senior Consultant at Acentech. “Many people think, for instance, that adding sound-absorptive treatments will solve a sound isolation issue.” Often, spaces that have been repurposed from their intended use can provoke noise complaints, as can noisy mechanical systems. A professional can help you figure out the exact acoustical issue you are facing. Once the problem is pinpointed, you can take appropriate steps toward remediation. (See “Pinpoint the Cause of the Complaint” on page 24 for examples of root causes.)

3) Treat the Problem. Evaluate your retrofit options to solve acoustic problem areas. “Acoustic ceiling panels are often the first line of defense,” says Marshall. “When seeking to control the transmission of sound from one space to another, a high level of sound containment, or Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC), is required.”

Also check the NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating of existing panels. Older panels could have low NRC ratings of only 0.50 to 0.70. Gary Madaras, Acoustics Specialist at ROCKFON, says buildings in the U.S. require that open office areas have acoustic ceilings with a minimum NRC value of 0.90 over 100% of the area.

If an open plenum is the visual preference or it is necessary to avoid interference with lighting, air distribution or fire suppression, the solution may be clouds, baffles or islands. “Ceiling clouds are a great way to concentrate absorption in areas where it is most needed,” says Hutmacher.

If your problem is less about sound absorption and more about sound blocking, you will face complaints about speech privacy. “All walls and ceilings need to be sealed up tight,” says Ingersoll. “As little as a 1% opening can let in 50% of outside noise. You also need to make sure there is sufficient mass in the walls and ceilings to effectively block noise transfer, as well as look out for flanking paths where sound can escape,” he says.

Mass loaded vinyl products can be added to walls instead of drywall to help increase speech privacy. It would also be wise to reconsider the office layout and limit any sound pathways between workstations with strategically placed partitions.

A quieter space isn’t always the solution because it can lead to conversations being overheard. Marshall suggests using an electronic speech privacy system that introduces an acceptable amount of specifically tuned background noise into the space to increase speech privacy. “Sound masking is a good option,” says Hutmacher, “but it requires a certain reverberation in time and space. I have visited many spaces where sound masking was introduced into a loud and reverberant space, and it actually made things worse.”
Vibrations from external sources like rooftop mechanical equipment may require more extensive measures. “In general, with vibrations down from the roof, you can install a 2-inch static deflection spring isolation system, and you will probably need seismic controls in place to stay within seismic codes,” says Spencer.

4) Survey for Satisfaction. The problem isn’t solved until the complaints stop rolling in. “Facility managers should conduct a post-remediation survey of the occupants in the affected areas. This can bring the project to a successful close,” says Madaras.

KEEP YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND
Stay up to date on trends and emerging options through research and visiting websites for acoustical consultants and organizations.

“The best thing I can recommend is for people to educate themselves on acoustics. Read articles, talk to people who have done it before, reach out to facility managers who have tackled similar projects, and seek out experts for advice,” says Ingersoll.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and don’t settle for a compromise if you have a unique vision for your space.

“There are many interesting products out there beyond acoustical ceiling panels,” says Pieleanu. For example, you can use an acoustical plaster treatment which looks like drywall but is sound absorptive. There are micro-perforated wood systems, and many forms and flavors of clouds – there are options out there.”

Jenna M. Aker is a contributing editor for BUILDINGS.

Beat the heat: How design can keep you cool

by Lloyd Alter

Over on Curbed, Robert Khedarian describes how houses were cooled before air conditioning, a theme we have covered on TreeHugger many times. He leads off with a photo of Greene and Greene’s Gamble House in Pasadena, noting that it has a big sleeping porch. But he misses the big lessons from that house: the massively deep roof overhangs that shade the house in summer. Note also that the windows are surprisingly small for such a large house, to minimize heat gain.

Martin HouseLloyd Alter/ Not my house addition: Martin House has overhangs/CC BY 2.0

It worked in Pasedena and not so well in Buffalo, where Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Darwin Martin House; Mrs. Martin found it cold and dark. But deep overhangs on south-facing facades, calculated to let the sun in during winter and shade it in summer when the sun is high, were a basic design principle. More on the subject:
All about eaves
Every house should have roof overhangs, except when they shouldn’t or can’t
Big Steps In Building: Stop Ignoring Orientation And Sun Control

Cross-ventilate everything

Bremer planAymar Embury II/Public DomainAnother feature in the Gamble House and almost every house designed before air conditioning, in the north or south, is that bedrooms, wherever possible, are in corners so that they have cross-ventilation. This is something that could and should still be done in houses but rarely is.
More Lessons from Grandma on Green Building and House Design

Get a shotgun

Elvis Presley's BirthplaceElvis Presley’s Birthplace, a Shotgun/ Wikipedia/CC BY 2.0Then there is the shotgun house; Curbed doesn’t mention that the one they show is actually Elvis Presley’s birthplace. According to Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design, they got their nickname “from the idea that if you stood at the front door and fired a shotgun the buck would fly out the back door without hitting the house.” The small, affordable houses had rooms behind rooms with no hall, in the french enfilade style. The benefit is that without a hall, every room has cross-ventilation. Not much privacy though. More: Beat The Heat: If You Want A Cool House, Get A Shotgun

Cool Cupolas

Cupola HouseWikipedia/CC BY 3.0Another old trick is to add a cupola, like on Edenton, North Carolina’s famous 1758 Cupola House. Since heat rises, you get a stack effect where air is sucked in through the ground floor windows and continuously flows upward. It also provides natural light to the interior. More: More Architectural Tricks To Keep Cool Without Air Conditioning

A toolbox of tricks: southern version

edison houseEdison house in Fort Myers/Public DomainIn fact, there was a big toolbox of ideas for keeping cool in hot climates. Thomas Edison’s house in Fort Myers had alot of them. The Florida vernacular, now totally lost, was described by Dorinda Blackey:

Florida’s indigenous builders developed several architectural elements to combat the intense summer heat and lack of breezes, The use of extensive porches and large roof overhangs provided extra protection for shelter from the sun. Porches were also important living spaces allowing the user to enjoy what little breeze there might be available for cooling. To maximize these breezes on the interior space large window openings and cross ventilation designs were utilized wherever possible. A steeply pitched roof with high ceilings induced extra ventilation on the interior spaces, too. During these hot seasons the extensive rainfall acts as a natural cooling factor. The large overhangs and porches allowed windows to remain open during the rainstorm allowing the interior to take advantages of their cooling effect.

More: Why I Hate Martha Stewart’s Builder Concept Home

A toolbox of tricks: Northern version

beale houseAymar Embury II/Public DomainFurther north, there were all kinds of tricks that could be combined; in this one photo you see purgolas and overhangs, large casements to catch the breeze, and deciduous trees that shade in summer but drop their leaves in winter. Standard practice among architects with any sense.

Celebrate Mass

Termessos© Termessos/ Larry SpeckIn the southwest, where it is dry and there is a” high diurnal swing”, where it is really hot in the daytime and cool at night, one can put thermal mass to work. It turns your home into a thermal battery, keeping it warmer at night and cooler in the daytime. Architect Larry Speck describes it:

I became interested using high thermal mass as an alternative while traveling in Turkey with my son Sloan eight years ago. He and I visited remote Roman ruins on the south coast and the interior, where the sites are in raw states and are not much frequented by tourists. The summer climate in Turkey is very hot and humid, not unlike Texas. But it was strikingly comfortable inside the stone ruins with their high thermal mass.

More: Beat The Heat: If You Want A Cool House, Celebrate Thermal Mass
Thermal Mass, Careful Siting and Shading And Natural Ventilation Keep This Building Busy
It’s a Mud Mud Mud Mud World

Install external blinds

External blindsLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0In Europe, many people hate air conditioning; the French insist it makes you sick. But many live in buildings with thick walls, relatively small windows and external blinds that they leave up at night when it is cooler, and pull down in the daytime to keep out the sun and trap in the cool air. But it also works in newer buildings or where people have added AC; as one manufacturer of European blinds explained:

External blinds “are the most practical method of controlling solar heat gain. The problem of solar heat build-up is combated before it becomes a problem by mounting the blinds externally, where they intercept and defuse the suns rays. When Exterior Blinds are used in conjunction with air-conditioning, the air-conditioning units can be smaller, cost significantly less, and operate more economically because of the reduced demand on the air-condition system.”

Keep cool with culture, not contraptions

LuncheonRenoir: Luncheon of the Boating Party/Public DomainPerhaps the most important lesson from the way people did things in the past is this; that we should adapt the way we live to the climate, instead of throwing money at air conditioning and hiding inside. Barbara Flanagan once explained how they do this in Barcelona:

The secret to Catalan comfort is not a gadget, but a self-induced, mind-body state of discomfort suspension: heat tolerance. Accordingly they plan their seasonal vacations, daily routines, food, drinks and wardrobes for maximum cooling. In other words, it is the culture that cools, not the contraptions.

More: Keep Cool With Culture, Not Contraptions

But do they still work?

dumbbell tenementDumbbell tenement roof/Public DomainAlas, most of these tricks only work on detached houses on big lots, unless you are willing to live in a shotgun. And we live in a hotter world. More and more of us are living in cities. For years, I have been showing this photo of an old tenement roof, suggesting that this air shaft created a stack effect that ventilated the apartments below; in fact,they were horrible:

..they had these tiny light slots or light shafts in the middle that were so narrow that you could actually reach out and shake your neighbor’s hand. They received almost no light, unless you lived on the top floor. If it was a hot day and people opened their windows, you might have 20 or 22 families living with their windows open in this tiny little shaft, so [imagine] the noise and the smells of all of these apartments.

sleeping in parkEphemeral New York/Public Domain

That’s why people would sleep in parks. And that is why air conditioning has been such a blessing; because none of these techniques worked all that well. They help, but the more important design approach today is to do everything possible to reduce the amount of air conditioning needed. That might mean a lot more insulation and smaller, but better windows. Or as I put it in an article on the subject on MNN.com:

We need a balance between the old and the new, an understanding of how people lived before the thermostat age along with a real understanding of building science today. To discover what we have to do to minimize our heating and air conditioning loads and maximize comfort, we have to design our homes right in the first place

Let’s go glamping at the AutoCamp

by Lloyd Alter –

trailer in the trees autocamp

© Autocamp

Sunset Magazine tours 11 modern “glampgrounds”, a portmanteau of glamorous campgrounds. They show one glampground full of custom Airstream trailers,AutoCamp Russian River.This is a concept that we have discussed on TreeHugger for years: if you are going to live in smaller spaces, then it works best if you are part of a community, and that there ismuch to learn from the trailer park. We previously looked at Autocamp Santa Barbara, a converted trailer park, but this new one, opening in August, is far more impressive. It is in Sonoma County, 90 minutes north of San Francisco, and is designed from scratch, with 24 custom Airstream trailers and 10 luxury canvas tents.

autocamp site plan© Dan Weber Architecture

The trailers are laid out on the site around a clubhouse designed by architect Dan Weber. According to Dwell Magazine, the site is subject to catastrophic floods and the building was designed accordingly:

lodge© Dan Weber Architecture

Elevated four feet above grade, the structure is comprised of unyielding materials to brace against disastrous floods like the deluge that submerged Guerneville’s roads in 1986: board formed concrete walls, locally harvested redwood ceilings, and blackened steel that will patina over time. “The material palette had to be robust enough that a tree floating through the building wouldn’t damage it,” explains Weber.

autocamp trailer© AutoCamp

I assume that the Airstreams can just be hitched up and towed to higher ground; that is a benefit of mobile living. It also treads lightly on the ground; they write on the Autocamp site:

AutoCamp is not only luxury camping, but a great way to experience environmentally-sustainable, small-space design. We love hotels, travel, and design, but we also value the preservation of our local and global environment.

To put it simply, we believe that great design has the power to change the world, and that smart planning and small space design can help us reduce our environmental footprint. We invite you to come experience the simplicity of small space design at AutoCamp.

autocamp interior© Sunset Magazine

However these are not restored old Airstreams, which would have been greener still; they are custom designed by Dan Weber in a Midcentury Modern style, with all the comforts. Each sleeps four and come complete with Casper mattresses, fancy organic linens and even the coffee is from their favorite local roaster.

Some are be appalled at the idea of glamping; Sunset talks to one camper who considered it “but we didn’t want to feed the industry that is killing the experience. Commercializing camping is a terrible trend.”

autocamp interior© Autocamp

I am not so sure; one could also compare it to the many campground resorts that were all over the US and Canada in the postwar years, most of which have disappeared. They filled a real need for people who could not afford or didn’t want second homes, cottages or cabins or even their own trailers; it makes much more sense to rent like this. Also, there are lots of people who don’t want to sleep on the ground, and fewer young people are camping. As Scott Hale, a consultant, tells Sunset: “The outdoors needed a bit of a refresh to engage a new generation.” Not to mention good WiFi and a few hidden Pokémon.

autocamp sofa© Autocamp

Starting at $175 a night, it is a lot more costly than camping. But it is a great introduction to small space living, and it does get people outside, and compared to some of the wretched excess in the area, it’s pretty modest. I think it looks like fun, and hope that people realize that there is no need to look down at the trailer park, but that it is a great model for development for anyone. And as consultant Hale notes, “We need a bigger audience to help steward the natural world.”

Tags: California | Camping