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Murray Hill Tenements Repurposed as Even Smaller Tenements

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Developers have cracked the code in Murray Hill, the neighborhood of choice for kids from Long Island to move to after they've graduated from Syracuse. A piece in the Daily News highlights one seven-building apartment complex (connected by underground tunnels) on East 33rd Street called "The Collective," where Slate Property Group has invested almost $10 million to take a bunch of tiny tenement apartments, subdivide them so that they're even tinier, add some flashy amenities, and rent them for exorbitant amounts. Surprise: it's working.

In The Collective, what would have been a studio apartment for a young 19th century immigrant is now a one-bedroom. What would have been a one-bedroom is now a two-bedroom, or worse. "Every apartment we've been in, we've increased the number of bedrooms by at least one," Slate's CEO explained. "In some cases, we've even increased it by two or three. That's a big part of the business model." One-bedroom apartments — i.e. 500-square-foot studios with an added wall — start at $3,000, and offer low ceilings and little natural light. But, on the bright side, you get to hang out on a roof terrace and have your own iPad-controlled locker where you can drop off your laundry. The gentlemen of Murray Hill seem surprisingly happy about this arrangement. "I didn't move to New York for lots of square feet," one told the Daily News. After all, who needs living space when you can have the staff at your building buy groceries for you? Keep doing you, Murray Hill.

· Tenements get trendy: Developers are reinventing old walk-up buildings as uber-hip homes for 20-somethings [NYDN]
· The Collective [official]
· Murray Hill coverage [Curbed]