The Real Deal New York

Meet the guy paying $450/month for a Williamsburg “cubbyhole”

And by “cubbyhole” we mean a 40-square-foot apartment

September 17, 2016 12:00PM

Jack Leahy via Facebook

Jack Leahy via Facebook

Micro-units may be all the rage, but this is taking it too far. One brave man has rented a 40-square-foot cubbyhole tucked into the ceiling of a performance space. That man is Jack Leahy.

Leahy says that his apartment may be of dubious legality, but that, on the bright side, it’s just a few blocks from the waterfront in Williamsburg

“But they don’t have any idea,” Leahy tells the New York Times, referring to those who are jealous of his low rent. “It’s like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ — how much did that guy pay?”

His windowless den is roughly nine feet long and four-and-a-half feet wide and you need to climb a ladder to get there. Oh, and did we mention that it’s only about five feet high.

So who is Mr. Leahy? He’s a 25-year-old musician who moved to New York from Austin, Tex., last September. He works at Best Pizza in Williamsburg, and he uses his saving on a $220-a-month music studio in East Williamsburg, which is roughly the same size as his crawl space – except that it boasts a normal ceiling height.

Leahy shares a kitchen and a bathroom with seven other people and is forced to stay quite and out of sight when the performance space is in use.

But believe it or not, Leahy tells the Times the he had to fight for the space. He was eventually able to convince the landlords to give him the space with a “very long, thoughtful, funny, charming email” that described his minimal grocery storage needs.

“I think I was happy to be in New York and that I actually had a place,” Leahy said. “It was just kind of comical. It is comical. Whenever I show people where I live, they always laugh.” [NYT]Christopher Cameron