By the numbers: Sizing up NYC’s micro-units

Sizing up NYC’s micro-units

Apr.April 01, 2015 11:56 AM
My-Micro

The prefab units of the My Micro NY complex will soon be stacked on East 27th Street, as depicted in this rendering.

Seattle

A micro-unit complex in Seattle

New Yorkers have long lived in small spaces, but with the city’s first designated “micro-apartment” complex coming soon to East 27th Street, the concept of diminutive dwellings is getting new attention. Construction of the 64 modules that will make up Monadnock Development’s “My Micro NY” complex in Kips Bay is in full swing. Starting in June, those modules will be piled up to create a $16.7 million, 11-story building, which should be completed by late fall. They’re not alone, as WeWork is also planning to add mini-units to 110 Wall Street. While Gothamites could probably teach the rest of the country a few things about making do with Murphy beds and mini-fridges, the micro-living craze is sweeping the nation. Seattle has led the way, but “tiny houses” are popping up in cities like Portland and Boston, too. Even the land of sprawl, Los Angeles, is revising its zoning to allow small home construction in the backyards of existing homes. The movement in part reflects rising housing costs, but is also being driven by the increasing number of people living alone. Census data shows at least 21 percent of households are single adults. In New York, more than half of all adults were single as of 2013. Below, TRD sizes up the city’s micro-units. 

55

Number of rental apartments the My Micro NY complex in Kips Bay will contain. The units will range in size from 260 to 350 square feet. There are roughly 4,100 new rental units of all sizes expected to come online in Manhattan in 2015, and about 8,800 in 2016.

3,000

Estimated number of micro-units built in Seattle since 2009. Some of those units are as small as 90 square feet, though there is a push to require at least 220 square feet. Meanwhile, San Francisco has approved construction of 375 micro-units, while Boston has green-lighted 195.

400

NYC’s legal per-square-foot limit for newly constructed apartments, set in a 1987 law aimed at eliminating SROs and tenements. Yet there are roughly 3,000 apartments smaller than that in Manhattan alone.

72

Approximate number of 300-square-foot apartments that could fit inside the 21,504-square-foot penthouse planned for the former Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue. The $150 million condo, which will be the largest in NYC, will include eight bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and 10 powder rooms.

$92 to $103

The approximate per-square-foot price for market-rate units at My Micro NY, which will rent for around $2,000 to $3,000 a month. That’s a steep mark-up when stacked up against the median per-square-foot price for a Manhattan studio in February: About $58.

304 sq. ft.

Size of the dressing room in the 14-room, 10,100-square-foot Lenox Hill townhouse at 107 East 61st Street, which Sotheby’s International Realty listed for $29 million earlier this year. The dressing room has 15 closets.

212

The average number of square feet for an apartment in Tokyo, a city notorious for its cramped housing and high density. The average studio in New York is a little under 500 square feet.

Tudor-City-Manhattan

Tudor City

$289,000

A typical price for a studio under 300 square feet at the 10-building Tudor City complex on Manhattan’s East Side. Tudor City was the first residential skyscraper complex in the world when it was built in the late 1920s. It was converted to co-ops in the 1980s.

33%

Portion of NYC households with a single person. An estimated 19 percent of those singles are under 35 years old; 20 percent are 35 to 55 and just over 50 percent are 55 or older.

18 inches

Width of the dishwasher units planned for the My Micro NY apartments. A full-sized dishwasher is typically 24 inches wide.

75%

Increase for median apartment rents in NYC from 2000 to 2012, to $1,100. Nationwide that spike was 44 percent. Those hikes are, not surprisingly, part of the impetus behind smaller and smaller living.

Sources: Curbed, CNN Money, New York Times, New York Observer, Politico Magazine and TRD reporting.


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