De Blasio going big on small apartments

City pursuing zoning changes to allow for higher density, smaller units

Carmel Place at 335 East 27th Street in Kips Bay
Carmel Place at 335 East 27th Street in Kips Bay

The de Blasio administration is looking to expand the availability of so-called micro apartments.

Officials are pushing two changes to the city’s zoning code, to allow smaller subdivisions of internal space in buildings, and to remove the requirement that apartments be no smaller than 400 square feet.

The changes are meant to address the needs of the city’s singles, numbering nearly 50 percent of the population, according to the nonprofit Citizens Housing and Planning Council. Studios make up only 7 percent of the city’s housing stock. About 35 percent of units are one-bedrooms, but many of those also go to couples.

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“You can’t deny the data,” Sarah Watson, deputy director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, told Crain’s. “This mismatch causes all sorts of economic distortions.”

Back in 2012, the Bloomberg administration held a contest to build a micro-unit pilot project with units smaller than those required under current rules. The result of that initiative was Monadnock Development’s 11-story, 55-unit Carmel Place project at 335 East 27th Street in Kips Bay. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg

Correction: Monadnock was misspelled in a prior version of this article.