New York unveils micro apartment design

The city is moving forward with a plan to build more 250 square foot apartments.

Tiny apartments are nothing new in New York City. But now the city is more formally embracing small living quarters. Last July, the city announced a pilot plan to build more micro apartments . And today, the city showed off its vision to turn that plan into a reality.

The city chose a proposal -- as part of its adAPT NYC competition -- by the development team of Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS to build the city's first micro-unit apartment building. The building, located in Manhattan, will consist of 55 apartments that measure between 250 and 370 square feet. Forty percent of the units will also be priced at "affordable" rates below market value (whatever that means for Manhattan). The building will also be the first multi-unit building in Manhattan to use modular construction. Here's a rendering of what the units will look like on the inside:

The current zoning law doesn't allow this type of micro-only apartment. But that could soon change if all goes well with the pilot project. The city is waiving the zoning restrictions on this initial project in order to test the market. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg believes micro apartments will help meet pent up demand of a changing demographic in the city.

“The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations,” he said at a news conference.

While this project is only one 55-unit apartment, it's part of the New Housing Marketplace Plan by the city to develop more affordable housing units. The multi-billion dollar initiative by the mayor is expected to help finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for about 500,000 people living in New York. According to the city, so far it has received $3.42 in private funding for every dollar spent on this initiative by the city.

Photo: New York City Mayor's Office

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