The Real Deal New York

Some new tiny townhouses are on their way to Manhattan

Developers are building them on leftover spaces from the building boom
November 02, 2018 09:30AM

Gene Kaufman and 267 ½ Water Street (Credit: Studio Scrivo and Google Maps)

Developers in Manhattan are using bits and pieces of leftover space from the building boom to construct some new residences that are particularly tiny, even for Manhattan.

On East 52nd Street in East Midtown, for instance, architect Gene Kaufman is planning to build a house on a 10-foot lot, where the widest rooms would span about 8.5 feet, according to the Wall Street Journal. And at 267 ½ Water Street by the Brooklyn Bridge in lower Manhattan, developer Andreas Giacoumis is about to put a $5 million house on the market where the widest room is 10 feet.

Giacoumis is building his house on leftover land from a 20-foot-wide condo at 246 Front Street, while Kaufman is building his on leftover land from hotel developer Sam Chang’s 2006 purchase of two East 52nd Street buildings.

Small houses in New York are not new. A house at 75 ½ Bedford Street in Greenwich Village was built in 1873 and spans just 9.5 feet wide, and the city’s landmarks preservation commission said it is generally known as the smallest house in New York.

Overall, tax records list about 600 tiny houses built on lots no wider than 12.5 feet. Most of these were built before 1930, while only nine were built since 1970, excluding ones on Staten Island.

In an age of increasing concerns about climate change, “the notion that we can have big cars, big homes, and a lot of other things has changed,” Kaufman told the Journal. “Small is beautiful.” [WSJ] – Eddie Small