Streams

Bloomberg Unveils Design for City's First Micro-Apartment Building

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Packing into a tiny space at the Museum of the City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed off the winning design for the city’s smallest apartment.

Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corp, and nARCHITECTS will build the city’s first 55 micro-unit apartment building in Kips Bay. In July, Bloomberg launched a competition for developers to design a building with apartments no larger than 300-square feet in Manhattan.

The city's ability to adapt with the times, Bloomberg said, is what will help the city in the 21st century. “The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations," he said.

The 10-story building located on East 27th street will feature balconettes, 10-foot ceilings and a shared roof garden. Each unit will have two zones: a toolbox, comprised of the kitchen, bathroom and storage area, and a canvas, which will serve as the living and sleeping area.

Residents for the tiny units will be selected via lottery and wait list. Forty percent of the units will be income restricted. Rents are expected to range between $940 to just shy of $1,900. Officials say market rate will be whatever the market can bear. The apartments will range between 250- to 370-sq. feet.

In July, Bloomberg said the tiny apartments were a response to the city’s changing demographics, noting that 76 percent of Manhattan households are made up of two or fewer people.

New York City has 1.8 million one- and two-person households, but only one million studios and one-bedroom apartments, according to the Mayor’s office.

Bloomberg said the building, which will be built on a city-owned site, will not require and changes to the building codes. Currently, regulations require new apartments be at least 400-square feet.

The mayor made the announcement at the museum, which launched a new exhibit Tuesday entitled "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers."

Have you lived in a tiny apartment? Tell us about it in the comments section, or send us a picture at pics@wnyc.org.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the building would be in Chelsea on West 27th Street. The building will be on East 27th Street in Kips Bay.

Courtesy of the Mayor's Office
The rendering of what the inside of the apartment will look like.
Courtesy of the Mayor's Office
Floorplans of micro units from the winner of adAPT NYC competition to develop innovative micro-apartment housing model.
Courtesy of the Mayor's Office
Rendering of the building.
Courtesy of the Mayor's Office.
Rendering of construction of the mico-unit apartment building.

Tags:

More in:

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Comments [15]

Bob Sacco from Manhattan Island

CORRECTED (sorry for all the changes):
I presume that these "apartments" (i.e., rooms) aren't for the trust-fund kids or children of well-off mommies and daddies who can plunk down three to five hundred thousand for a "starter" flat on the Lower East Side or in the East Village for their darlings. No, these cell/storage units will be for some dreamy dope from Wisconsin or newly minted corporate drone who, respectively, want to be, or have to be, in Manhattan for their art, career, ego aggrandizement, or whatever endogenous or exogenous calling they have, or maybe just to feel "cool," like, they're doing something with their lives by living in the Big Town, even if it’s in a little way. So I wonder, will a new measure of success (actually of failure) for these Wannabes of Tenants Future be how long you’ve lived at (read: been stuck in) your little dog house closet of a place? Will the 40+ actor who moved into one of these new bright and gleaming holes so many hopeful decades ago be considered a loser because she or he's still in the dump, nowhere else affordable to go?

But I think to really get a good sense of living like this, who better to ask than some of the "tenants" of a much earlier development of tiny spaces – Rikers Island – for their seasoned perspective on living small? Who better to advise the pre-incarcerated than the actual incarcerated about the fine points of a room with no view – not now, and probably never.

Jan. 24 2013 01:51 PM
Bob Sacco from Manhattan Island

CORRECTED:
I presume that these "apartments" (i.e., rooms) aren't for the trust-fund kids or children of well-off mommies and daddies who can plunk down three to five hundred thousand for a "starter" flat on the Lower East Side or in the East Village for their darlings. No, these cell/storage units will be for some dreamy dope from Wisconsin or newly minted corporate drone who, respectively, wants to be, or has to be, in Manhattan for their art, career, ego aggrandizement, or whatever endogenous or exogenous calling they have, or maybe just to feel "cool," like, they're doing something with their lives by living in the Big Town, even if it’s in a little way. So I wonder, will a new measure of success (actually of failure) for these Wannabes of Tenants Future be how long you’ve lived at (read: been stuck in) your little dog house closet of a place? Will the 40+ actor who moved into one of these new bright and gleaming holes so many hopeful decades ago be considered a goner because she or he's still in the dump, nowhere else affordable to go?

But I think to really get a good sense of living like this, who better to ask than some of the "tenants" of a much earlier development of tiny spaces – Rikers Island – for their seasoned perspective on living small? Who better to advise the pre-incarcerated than the actual incarcerated about the fine points of a room with no view – not now, and probably never.

Jan. 24 2013 01:47 PM
Bob Sacco from Manhattan Island

I presume that these "apartments" (i.e., rooms) aren't for the trust-fund kids or children of well-off mommies and daddies who can plunk down three to five hundred thousand for a "starter" flat on the Lower East Side or in the East Village for their darlings. No, these cell/storage units will be for some dreamy dope from Wisconsin or newly minted corporate drone who, respectively, want to be, or have to be, in Manhattan for their art, career, ego aggrandizement, or whatever endogenous or exogenous calling they have, or maybe just to feel "cool," like, they're doing something with their lives by living in the Big Town, even if it’s in a little way. So I wonder, will a new measure of success (actually of failure) for these Wannabes of Tenants Future be how long you’ve lived at (read: been stuck in) your little dog house closet of a place? Will the 40+ actor who moved into one of these new bright and gleaming holes so many hopeful decades ago be considered a goner because she or he's still in the dump, nowhere else affordable to go?

But I think to really get a good sense of living like this, who better to ask than some of the "tenants" of a much earlier development of tiny spaces – Rikers Island – for their seasoned perspective on living small? Who better to advise the pre-incarcerated than the actual incarcerated about the fine points of a room with no view – not now, and probably never.

Jan. 24 2013 01:41 PM
Real NYer from Manhattan

I find it hard to believe this is the best design. Wasted entryway and no closet space? Bloomberg should try living in 300 square feet for awhile to actually understand what's needed to make it functional.

Jan. 24 2013 11:29 AM
Village resident


Well, I think it's positive that the mayor is addressing the issue. Many people in New York already live in very small places, with kitchens and bathrooms much grungier than these will be.

Just shy of $1900 seems awfully high, though. What are the income restrictions?

Jan. 23 2013 01:31 PM
TXC from Sutton Place South

I live in a 200 sq. foot apartment in Sutton Place South, so don't tell me about 300 sq. ft. places!

Jan. 23 2013 12:48 AM
Michael Poreda

Can individuals buy one of these apartments or are they only for rent?

Jan. 22 2013 10:07 PM
rachael

I currently live in a 300 sq ft apartment in brooklyn heights with my boyfriend and dog, and its tight! It has a tiny stove from the 1930s...maybe...definitely no dishwasher...and the only way we have more than 10" of counter-space is the island we purchased when we moved in. Its kind of a dump to be honest but its all we can afford without living far out in brooklyn. The most annoying thing is the randomly sized closet that doesn't really fit an actual hanger! and I'm pretty sure the stairs will be falling down at any moment, did I mention its on the 5th floor?! The highlight is the great light and high ceilings, otherwise we would be killing eachother for real.

Jan. 22 2013 10:05 PM
Jay from NYC

Comment #1 -- I willing to bet they need to be ADA compliant -- which requires a larger bathroom -- a wheel chair needs to be able to turn around -- Agree -- if the bathtub/shower was flat against the wall -- with a fully retractable door and a true water closet right by the front door -- would feel much more spacious. Stayed in an apartment in Paris -- efficient.

Jan. 22 2013 05:05 PM
bill from NJ

There is too much space allotted to the hall entranceway, that could have been incorporated into the living area. Not every apt. has to feel like a shoe box, with a narrow entrance. They could have used an opening directly into the living space, with the bath/kitchen off to one side, so one didn't need to pass them every time. That would create a much larger and more welcoming living area.

Jan. 22 2013 04:44 PM
Nancy Meehan from New York City

This is sooooo, " let them eat cake". Bloomberg's term can't end soon enough.

Jan. 22 2013 03:52 PM
Debbie Miller from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

I rent a 350 square foot one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. It's compact and contains a kitchen with large two counter top, full sink, dishwasher, full-size oven/stove with exhaust fan/light, ten cupboards, and a full-size refrigerator. The livingroom has three large windows. I use it as a bedroom. I have a bed, two upholstered chairs, a small night table, a small t.v., stereo, and plants there. I have a 3'x3' table and two wooden chairs in the dining area. The bathroom has a full tub with shower, vanity and sink, toilet, plus shelving and a window. The "bedroom," which I use as my office, is small, but I have a desk and chair, table with printer, bookcase, table, and lots of plastic storage drawers, stacked to the ceiling. There is a window in the bedroom. My apartment has one clothes closet, shelves behind accordian doors, and five windows. My apartment works for me and there is a place for everything. Needless to say, I don't own many things and do not accumulate.

Jan. 22 2013 03:35 PM
Valerie from New York, NY

Confirms all the worst fears people have about moving to NYC. Oh, Bloomberg.

Jan. 22 2013 02:49 PM
Dean Harris from Silvermine, Connecticut

Our furniture is designed to make micro apartments feel more comfortable.

Take a look at what we have done with some very small spaces.

www.ibrshop.com

Jan. 22 2013 01:12 PM
Stacey Bucovy from 91st and 2nd ave.

In my twenties I lived on the upper east side in a 350 square ft. apt. I loved it!It had nice features like marble in the kitchen and glass doors that separated the living space from the kitchen. It was very clean. I only put a futon, an armoire and a tv in the space plus a dining table for 2 people. I don't recall where I put most of my belongings. Maybe at my moms?

Jan. 22 2013 01:10 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by