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Would You Pay To Live in NYC’s First Micro-Unit Building?

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Carmel Place started welcoming its first residents last week, but opinions are divided

The city’s first micro-unit building, Carmel Place, began welcoming its first tenants last week. The New York Times gave us an inside glimpse into what it feels like to spend a night at the 55-unit building. But as the excitement has subsided slightly, the New York Post is now examining the development with a more critical lens — particularly focusing on the cost to space ratio.

The publication has not taken kindly to the development — what’s the point of moving into a tiny space if you have to pay a lot more, the story asks. For instance, the apartment the Post looked at — a 360-square-foot unit — costs $2,920 per month, which works out to about $97 per square foot per year.

In comparison, the Post looked at a building on Billionaire's Row — at 146 West 57th Street — and saw that an 808-square foot apartment on the 59th floor costs $3,700 per month or about $54 per square foot per year. This building has better amenities than Carmel Place too, according to the Post.

A NeighborhoodX study from earlier this year also didn’t have a particularly favorable view of micro apartments like the one at Carmel Place. With a 250-square-foot unit renting there for $2,650 per month, that works out to a per square foot cost of $106. In comparison, the neighborhood average is $57 per square foot.

That being said, of the building’s 55 units, eight have been set aside for formerly homeless veterans and 14 are affordable units and all range in price from $980 to $1,873 per month. Developer Ian Schrager has also previously called for the construction of more micro-units to foster economic diversity.

Currently, seven apartments at Carmel Place are listed on StreetEasy and range in price from $2,570 per month for a 265-square-foot apartment to a 360-square-foot apartment for $2,920.

Where do you stand on this debate?