Bloomberg unveils those tiny, tiny Manhattan apartments

Rendering of micro-unit modular construction. (Mayor's office via Flickr)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

"Some people want big apartments, and some people just don't," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning, as he announced the winner of a competition to house people for whom space is not a priority and living in Manhattan is.

Construction will begin by the end of the year on a ten-story, 55-unit building at 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan.

For the first time in New York City, a multi-unit building will (legally) consist entirely of what the city has dubbed "micro units," which are apartments of between 250 and 370 square feet.

Zoning regulations don't currently allow entire buildings made up of tiny apartments, but the city will waive those regulations on this site before selling it to Monadnock Development, which, together with the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS, comprises the winning team.

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

Though there will be no direct city subsidies, the developers are getting a very large indirect subsidy on the site itself, which they're selling to the developer for a well-under-market $500,000.

 

 

The idea for this pilot is to find out whether the micro-apartment model works. If it does, it will give added ballast to the argument that the city's zoning needs to be revised to help meet the needs of the city's growing population of people who live by themselves.

Though New York City has 1.8 million one- and two-person households, there are only 1 million studios and one-bedrooms in which to accommodate them.

This city pilot program, known as adAPT NYC, is designed to rectify that "fundamental imbalance," one that "is expected to grow in the years to come," said the mayor.

Thirty-three teams responded to the city's request for proposals, and the work of the five finalists, including the winner, is now part of an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York called, "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers."

Not only will this be the first building made up entirely of legal, very small apartments, but it will also be the first multi-family Manhattan building to be made using modular construction.

The individual apartment "modules" will be manufactured in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and nearly half of them will be set aside for people with low or middle incomes.

Each unit will have a Juliet balcony, storage space, a pull-out pantry, full-height fridge, range, and convection microwave. There will also be a lot of shared space to foster socializing, including a rooftop garden, a ground-floor porch with picnic tables, and rehearsal space.

All of the units are rent-stabilized, and those available to people with middle- and lower incomes will rent for between $940 and $1,800 a month. The market rate units will go for more than that.

Residents should be able to move in by September 2015.

Here's what the tiny apartments will look like:

And here are the floor plans: