Monday, January 14, 2013

Tiny Homes and Shoebox Apartments: Getting Bigger

Whether a continuing backlash against McMansions or simply a reflection of the fact that there's only so much urban square footage (and so many dollars) to go around, interest continues to grow in the micro-housing trend. (Here's a d5R story on the truly-tiny trend from 2011.)

Most recently, The Architects Newspaper reported yesterday on a new pilot program in San Francisco for "micro-apartments" as small as 150 square feet in living space and 220 square feet in all, including kitchen and bathroom.
"'San Francisco has one problem above all other problems, which is that housing costs too much,' said Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR). 'Allowing people to live in smaller units is one of the very few tools we have for potentially helping a lot of people.'"
The apartments are expected to rent for $1,200 to $1,500 a month, far below the city's average of $2,000 a month. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been less successful in getting approval for a similar city-sponsored measure.

Rendering of the "suite" unit at Smartspace SoMa, a 23-unit micro-apartment building under way.

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