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This $8,000 a month San Francisco apartment will include a staff robot

Harriet Taylor
Source: Crescent Heights

Jasper is a 40-story luxury high-rise steps away from the San Francisco offices of start-ups like Dropbox, Lyft and Silicon Valley shuttle stops ferrying workers to companies like Google and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).

It seems to embody all that the city's long-standing residents hate, and aims to offer everything its young tech and finance workers might crave. The building looks and feels like a luxury hotel during a perpetual spring break.

"The new jobs are all tech and finance and so we get a lot of those types of residents," said Roman Speron, vice president at developer and owner Crescent Heights.

Rents in San Francisco are the highest in the nation, according to real estate tracking company Zumper. New buildings are required to include some affordable housing units, but developers can opt to pay into a fund instead, which is what Crescent Heights did.

The most expensive three-bedroom unit rents for about $8,000 per month. Highlights include panoramic Bay views, soaring ceilings, outdoor terrace, stainless steel kitchen, hardwood floors, soaking tub, walk in shower, keyless entryway and fiber optic cable for super-fast internet. There's also an interior design consultant, housekeeper and furniture available for rent, at an extra cost.

That said — in the competitive San Francisco market — it is the add-on services, technology features and communal spaces where Jasper really stands out, said Speron.

The building offers a valet service, indoor pool, hot tub, gym with free classes and personal trainers, events like scotch and wine tastings, a movie theater, dining room, guest suites and a lounge that feels like a swanky downtown bar.

"For games on Sundays, we can have a big-screen TV and it also becomes a place where people can watch an NCAA college basketball game and have eight screens going at the same time," said Speron.

Private cabanas within the lounge, inspired by tech company offices like Square and Uber, allow people to socialize privately, he said.

To summon services there is an app, as well as touch screens throughout the building. With a few taps, residents can request their vehicle from the valet, sign up for events, check stocks, social media and public transit travel times.

"We have designed everything to save time for us and for our residents, more importantly," said Speron.

An autonomous robot designed by Savioke will join the staff in the future, said Speron. Residents will be able to order items — like desert, champagne, toothpaste or toiletries — using an in-app menu. Staff place the requested item in the robot which will call the elevator, arrive at an apartment door, call the person inside and flip open its top to deliver the item, said Speron. (The robot is already being used in some hotels.)

"We have had parties where the robots delivered water to our guests and it's pretty funny and outrageous and people are amazed," he said.

The building's app, touch screens and online portal were built by local start-up Riseio, a company co-founded by residents of Crescent Heights' older San Francisco building when they realized they could improve on its technology.

Co-founders Nikita Subbotin, a former real estate financier, and Tomasz Zawada, an early engineer at Shazam, hired former Facebook and Instagram engineers to complete the team.

Crescent Heights has applied to patent a new concept it's calling "predictive service," said Subbotin.

Beacons around the building connect with resident's cellphones and track their movements, so staff know people's daily habits like when they go to the gym or leave for work, and can anticipate their needs. The online portal contains detailed notes on residents' likes and dislikes — from sports teams to food preferences — so the concierge who greets them can immediately interact with them in a way that seems more personalized.

Residents must opt-in to the tracking. Half of the company's engineering hours are spent on data privacy, Subbotin said.

"If you feel like we're spying on you, you just turn it off," he said. "You have got all kinds of high-profile people living in those buildings, so they don't want their data to leak anywhere, so we understand that and we accommodate that."


Riseio charges up to $100,000 for the development and installation of the technology powering a building of Jasper's size. It then charges the developer a monthly maintenance subscription fee of up to $3,000.

The company's other clients are in U.S. coastal cities including Los Angeles, Miami and New York the company is getting some interest from Dubai and China, said Subbotin. That said, it's unlikely you will see the company's technology in President-elect Donald Trump's residential real estate properties.

"No Trump Towers," said Subbotin. "They're actually not that tech savvy, they're very brick and mortar believe it or not."



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