New York planning 250-square-foot apartments

The city normally bans anything under 400 square feet, but it's bending the rule to experiment with 'micro' units.

By Kim Peterson Jan 22, 2013 6:38PM
The Big Apple is getting a little smaller for some residents.

The city is planning for its first "micro-unit" building that features 250-square-foot apartments. The "My Micro NY" building, as it is being called, is the first apartment-style building in Manhattan composed of pre-made modular pieces.

Why so small? Because one- or two-person households are growing faster in the city than those with three or more people, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.
"Addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations," he added.

So how exactly does one live in a 250-square-foot apartment? That's where the creative thinking comes in. Pantries can pull out of the wall. Beds might fold down. You won't have much space for a party, but the building will have lounges on each floor that can hold up to 40 people, Bloomberg News reports. Each kitchen will have a full-size refrigerator.Image: A rental agreement and two keys on a house shaped key ring -- Epoxydude, fStop, Getty Images

The ceilings will be up to 10 feet high, with loft space overhead for storage, Bloomberg News reported. Some apartments will be bigger, up to 370 square feet.

The building will have 55 units, 22 of which will be rent-restricted and based on tenant incomes, Bloomberg reports. Those units will start at $939 a month, but only for couples earning up to $55,000 a year. Rent will go up to $1,873 a month for couples earning in the $106,000 annual range.

Life is not very comfortable in that kind of cramped space. "I had no room for anything," one woman told Gotham Gazette, describing her life in a studio that measured less than 300 square feet in the Lower East Side. "I ate on my bed, I did my homework on my bed, I slept on my bed. . . I had my small dog, and she just sat around all day in this little box. It was not fair to her."

The city considers this something of an experiment, and if it pans out regulators may overturn a rule that says new apartments must be at least 400 square feet, the Associated Press reports.

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45Comments
Jan 23, 2013 12:17AM
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This isn't that novel of an idea.. anyone ever lived in a college dorm room? Things can be a bit tight, but for those who don't own a lot it's not that bad.

 

I guess this seems very novel to older generations considering it was not popular for them to get a college degree, and if they did, even less common for people to live away at college.

Jan 22, 2013 11:35PM
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Lemmee see....City planners involved, sounds like greasy palms and lobbying going on ??hmm.

13,750 sq.ft.(apx) building takes in about $750,000-1.2 million per year or $75-90 per sq. ft.

Those fold out beds were popular back in 50s for studio apts..If you like living on a bed..?

 

We live in a big old Farm house, 1 bathroom is 120 s/ft.

Farm kitchen is over 300 sq.ft.

1 Deck upper/lower stepped level with Gazebo is apx. 660 sq.

No, I don't think we could handle those...Living quarters.

And YES, I know we are fortunate or lucky, also we don't live in the City, or Big Apple....

Jan 22, 2013 10:53PM
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For decades, populations of Communist regimes have been forcibly crowded into tiny, shoebox size apartments.  Now these waters are being tested in NY, where the population meekly takes whatever the govenment dishes out because they are "progressive" and "enlightened".. they can't be trusted to drink the proper-sized drinks, or order the right things on the menu, or eat what the State thinks they should eat.  Now another creeping encroachment.  The government doesn't think people should have living spaces they have worked for and can afford.  It isn't fair to those who haven't achieved.  You are taking THEIR space.  You reap what you sow.
Jan 22, 2013 10:42PM
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The space doesn't look that small because the footage was shot with a wide angle lens. What a rip-off. I've been living in Brooklyn for 7 years now and watching Manhattan (and Williamsburg which is almost just as expensive) become more and more lame because of all the superficial, image-conscious douchebags moving there who can actually afford it. Whatever, to each his/her own, just saying I still think it's ridiculous..
Jan 22, 2013 10:39PM
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Looks like Dallas Korben's apartment in Fifth Element.
Jan 22, 2013 10:10PM
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There's more to come, according to this feature article on the future of modular in New York City:  http://commercialobserver.com/2013/01/its-a-mod-mod-mod-modular-world/
Jan 22, 2013 9:47PM
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Understood! With The **** Governor  taxing anyone that can afford a real home out of the state. You are all tools. And you deserve it!

Jan 22, 2013 9:39PM
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Price based on income? That is absurd!!!  I live in NY, it's ridicuously expensive and this adds insult to injury. Mayor Bloomberg is out of touch with the real world as well...................
Jan 22, 2013 9:02PM
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Does NOT look all that MICRO to me . Small compared to what? A two bedroom house? Then , yes.

Where's the micro furniture, the micro chairs, the micro TV, the micro bed? NO where.
Jan 22, 2013 8:39PM
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You do know that you don't have to rent it, thats what makes it not communist.
Jan 22, 2013 8:32PM
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THIS IS WHAT THEY DO IN COMMUNIST CHINA! DON'T THINK THE DEMO LIBERALS ARE COMMUNIST NOW? FIRST NEW YORK

BANS SALT AND SODA AND RAISES TAXES SO HIGH NOBODY CAN AFFORD IT AND THEN ANTI GUN LAWS NOW THIS?

MAY AS WELL TRY IT IN THE CAPITAL OF SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS! CALIFORNIA IS NEXT!

Jan 22, 2013 7:37PM
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So if you make more you have to pay more for the same amount of space?  Marx would be so proud.  NYC is a fine place to visit, but I'd never want to live there.
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