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Small apartments in New York

These new micro apartments are poised to drastically change the New York City landscape.

These new micro apartments are poised to drastically change the New York City landscape.

Small Apartments in New York

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted an upcoming rental project that will be the first of its kind in New York City. These new micro apartments are poised to drastically change the New York City landscape.

A Market of Singles

Since 1987, New York has forbidden the construction of apartments smaller than 400 square feet. In those days they worried most about overcrowding and a growing population, which was then comprised mostly of families. In 1970, roughly 30% of New York tenants were singles. By 2013, singles represented more than 50% of the rental market. With a continuous number of middle-aged adults starting their lives again as singles, the rental market is sure to remain healthy for years to come.

Living in a city with tremendously high rental rates, the unfortunate reality for most New Yorkers is that the only available apartments often have 2 or 3 bedrooms, the cost of which is impossible to assume for most singles. Thanks to roommates, thousands of New Yorkers are able to afford an apartment in the city that respects their budget. In these shared apartments, bedroom doors usually have latches and locks, which according to the security plan, makes them pretty much illegal.

Change of Zoning for the Pilot Project

A change in zoning regulations allowed for the introduction of the first ever micro-apartment project in New York City. The project, called My Micro NY, located at 332 East 27th Street, offers 55 apartments ranging from 260 to 360 square feet. The ultimate goal being to provide affordable homes to the 50% of New Yorkers who live alone. For Mayor Bill de Blasio, My Micro NY will serve as the pilot project for a global approach to lowering housing costs in his city.

As of now, these ‘affordable’ (as they see it!) studios will be available to rent at a cost of $2000 to $3000 per month.

Prefab. Construction

The steel structure project will begin to take shape this spring. Surprising detail: the units are prefabricated at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and are subsequently stacked one on top of the other on site. 

Photo de construction des appartements du projet My Micro NY. Source : New York Times.

My Micro NY. Photo tirée de l'article Home Shrunken Home du New York Times.

The apartments contain a kitchenette, a wheelchair accessible bathroom, 9 or 10 foot ceilings and large windows. Common areas and storage spaces will be available to all residents. The first tenants will be moving into their new apartments in the fall of 2015.

A peak at the available plans and an interview with architect Eric Bunge are available in this article from ArchDaily. If the module construction interests you, you can learn about how they are assembled by clicking here.

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