There has been much buzz about the experiment in microdwellings under construction in Kips Bay. Now, your chance to rent an apartment there is only days away. Leasing will begin Monday at Carmel Place (formerly My Micro NY) on Monday, the New York Times reports. The building has 55 studios that range from 260 to 360 square feet in size; 14 of the units were designated affordable and are being assigned by lottery and eight more will be given to formerly homeless veterans, but 12 of the market-rate listings will go on the market on Monday. Eight of those will be furnished.
Of those 12 units, the lowest priced unit measures 265 square feet and is on the third floor. It will list for $2,540. Furnished units will include a pull-down bed, a sofa (that becomes part of that pull-down bed), plus cabinets and tables. The kitchen is really a kitchenette, with a two-burner stove, mini refrigerator, and a microwave instead of an oven. Going unfurnished can mean a substantial monthly savings. A 355-square-foot furnished unit on the second floor will go for $2,910, but an unfurnished 360-square-foot unit on the same floor will go for $2,750.
This might still seem like a lot to pay for such little space. But let's put it in perspective: The average size of a studio was 550 square feet in October, according to a report cited by the Times, and the median rent was $2,555. So apartments at Carmel Place are renting for about the same price for about half the space. However, the Times points out that it's like buying a Toyota Prius or other hybrid vehicle. The market will have to decide if these micro-units will stick around for the long run and possibly become more affordable.
A proposal making its way through the city government could mean more housing for the 40 percent of households that aren't families. It would nix the 400-square-foot minimum and relax density requirements. It still wouldn't mean buildings of only micro units, but it would mean more options for single New Yorkers. According to the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, only seven percent of housing stock is studios.
· Leasing Begins for New York's First Micro-Apartments [NYT]
· NYC May Be Getting Even More Micro Apartments [Curbed]
· Carmel Place [Official]
· All 325 East 27th Street coverage [Curbed]