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Ian Schrager, Developer of Multimillion Dollar Apartments, Implies Rich People Are Ruining NYC

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Schrager thinks that more micro units will help NYC maintain its economic diversity

Carmel Place model unit
More micro units like those at Carmel Place will keep the city interesting, Schrager suggests.
Max Touhey for Curbed

Hotelier and developer Ian Schrager has in impressive career that spans decades. He's the progenitor of Studio 54 and Palladium, the mind behind the boutique hotel movement, and more recently, a developer of multimillion dollar NYC condos with projects like 215 Chrystie and 160 Leroy. The man has clout and vision, and makes choices that make him a lot of money. So it's interesting to hear, by way of his recent interview with Dezeen, that Schrager thinks New York City shouldn't just be full of rich people like himself (although that's who his projects cater to.)

"I do think that not having diversity in cities is a bad thing. And it just being rich people is not a good thing." Schrager told Dezeen, "I think an area gentrifying and having some rich people is fine, as long as the area has diversity. It is a diversity that brings the energy, and brings the greatness to a city. I think that's an issue."

His recommended fix for keeping cities economically diverse is building more micro units, like those at the city's first modular micro-unit development Carmel Place. The flaw in that thinking, though, is that small apartment equates to less cost. As it turns out, micro units can be more costly on a square foot basis to build and develop—and rent—than regular apartments.

Rents for the studios at Carmel Place start at $2,650/month for a 260 square foot unit, and will rise to more than $3,000 for a 350 square foot unit. Those rents are unaffordable for many, and the studios eliminate the likeliness of sharing rent with a roommate.

Meanwhile, the 19,500 square foot penthouse of Schrager's undulating West Village condo at 160 Leroy will reportedly ask between $75 and $80 million.