Saturday, May 25, 2013

New York reveals plans for MORE micro-apartments averaging 400 square feet to deal with housing shortage

Daily Mail

For New Yorkers, the grueling search for affordable apartments is about to get a little easier.

The city is planning to build more 'micro-apartments' - economically-friendly spaces that average 400 square feet - the New York Observer reports.

'We are considering RFPs for two or three micro-unit developments later this year,' a housing official told the Observer. 'We’re in the process of vetting a number of city-owned sites, and RFP guidelines will be tailored to the chosen sites.'

The news comes several months after city officials announced plans to build 55 new units of micro-apartments on the East side.

Those units are planned for East 27th Street in Manhattan - with 40 per cent of homes available to low and middle-income New Yorkers. The first residents are expected to move in September 2015.

The project, which was viewed by Mayor Bloomberg in January, will be the first apartment building in New York where units are constructed off-site and then fitted together.

The design team behind the project aimed to capitalize on the sense of 'openness' in the tiny units.

The new homes are all between 250 to 370 square feet and have ceiling heights of around 9ft.

Each unit has an open-plan living space with kitchen, a separate bathroom, balcony and long storage area packed in close to the ceiling.

The apartments were designed with a pull-out pantry, fridge, range and fold-down bed. The new homes will be at 335 East 27th Street in mid-town Manhattan close to the East River. The building will have rehearsal spaces on the ground floor, lecture halls and a cafe.

An attic garden and ground-level picnic area have also been planned along with a laundry room, bike room and gym.

Mayor Bloomberg said of the units: 'New York’s ability to adapt with changing times is what made us the world’s greatest city – and it’s going to be what keeps us strong in the 21st Century.

'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.'

The current housing codes do not allow for an entire building of micro-apartments in NYC - despite the number of one and two-person households accelerating at the fastest rate.

At present 1.8 million people in New York live alone or with one another - yet there are only one million studios and one-bed apartments in the five boroughs. The design was a joint collaboration by Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHITECTS. They will be built by Capsys at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The winning design along with four runners-up will be part of an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.

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