- In San Francisco, a group of people paid $US2.25 an hour to work in a parking space called WePark.
- Victor Pontis told BBC he set up WePark last week after being inspired by a funny tweet.
- WePark is the latest trend highlighting just how expensive and crowded San Francisco has become.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
What do you get when the office meets the parking lot?
“Get this: San Francisco has become so crowded and expensive, people are paying $US2.25/hr to work…in a parking space. It’s being called #WePark,” Budman tweeted.
— scott budman (@scottbudman) May 1, 2019
WePark pays for the parking space, which doubles as an office using free nearby WiFi or mobile-phone hot spots, Sophie Williams of BBC reported.
Victor Pontis set up WePark on April 25 near San Francisco City Hall after being inspired by Twitter, he told Williams: “Somebody posted a photo of a truck that someone set up with bike parking on it and somebody mentioned ‘What if you could work out of a parking spot?’ I thought it was a pretty funny idea.”
— Joe Girton (@yogirton) April 29, 2019
About 30 people showed up the first day, Williams reported. “We live in a very expensive real estate market,” the WePark visitor Jean Walsh told Williams. “It’s just so crazy to think the way we use our street is not reflective of that and so those parking spaces are just dirt cheap compared to all of the other real estate in San Francisco.”
In San Francisco, the median price of listed homes nears $US1.3 million and the median rent is $US3,300, according to Zillow. That’s overwhelmingly more than the national medians of $US285,000 and $US1,675, respectively.
Homes are so expensive that only 12% of households can afford them, with nearly 60% of tech employees unable to afford them, Business Insider previously reported. The pricey real-estate market is even causing some residents to delay having kids, decide to live in their cars, or leave the city altogether.
Tech giants have crowded the city with more people and have, in part, fuelled the soaring real-estate prices. San Francisco also deals with a crowded homeless population of 7,500 and a consequent poop problem, Business Insider’s Ben Gilbert reported.
Some people on Twitter are wondering if WePark is a parody – but either way, its creation highlights how unaffordable and crowded San Francisco has become.
“WePark is serious! But it’s also a joke,” Pontis told Business Insider. “Setting up a desk and chair on a busy street is absurd.”
One way or another, the idea has spread to Toulouse, France.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.