The Real Deal New York

Industry keeping close tabs on Kips Bay micro-unit project

May 03, 2013 02:15PM

The micro-unit apartment complex being built in Kips Bay is one of the real estate industry’s most ambitious pilot projects and will call attention to a Manhattan enclave rarely associated with high-profile development, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

The project being developed by Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHITECTS will consist of 55 “micro-units,” or under 400-square-foot apartments, 40 percent of which will be affordable.

The building will rise on a city-owned parcel of land on East 27th Street.

“The site’s proximity to neighborhood features such as retail and open space, businesses and places of employment (such as major hospitals), and access to mass transit made it a strong location for this pilot project,” Eric Bederman, a spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said in an email to the Journal.

The project is being scrutinized closely by the industry, on account of it being the city’s first micro-unit building  and Manhattan’s first pre-fabricated family building. (Forest City Ratner is using pre-fab construction on its first residential tower at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn.)

The Department of City Planning recently began the project’s public approval process, known as ULURP, and construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Nick Lembo, president of Monadnock, told the Journal that he would strive to ensure that the units were operated with leases and not in a single room occupancy-type model, addressing a concern shared by many neighborhood residents.

“We will be operating these units with leases, of course, and the expectation is that each tenant will stay for the full term of his or her lease,” Lembo said, adding that the building would be monitored for any illegal subletting. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani