250 Units, Most of Them Micro, Proposed for Crystal City

by Lark Turner

250 Units, Most of Them Micro, Proposed for Crystal City: Figure 1

Vornado is collaborating with communal office developer WeWork on a new “WeLive” development on S. Clark Street featuring 252 units, most of them micro-sized.

The units will be retrofitted into a vacant office building at 2221 S. Clark Street (map). Because the building is eventually slated to be torn down as part of a long-term development plan for the area, the changes would be temporary — but would still last for 20 years, as ARLNow reports. The concept would be developed by WeWork, which up to now has focused on coworking office concepts, not residences.

250 Units, Most of Them Micro, Proposed for Crystal City: Figure 2
A floor plan in the building. The 12th floor will have larger units.

Each floor would have shared living and kitchen spaces, because the units will not have an oven or a stove, according to ARLNow. Residents won’t share bathrooms, though.

The building will have 208 studios divided into three categories: studio, studio+ and studio max, along with a few two-bedrooms, 22 three-bedrooms, and 20 four-bedrooms. The different types of studios correlate to size. Studios are 300 square feet, while studio+ are larger and studio maxes top out at a comparatively massive 660 square feet. The plans indicate that the studio+ units may also have higher-end features or other amenities, because some are just 13 square feet larger than the simple studios.

250 Units, Most of Them Micro, Proposed for Crystal City: Figure 3
The layout of a communal kitchen in the proposed development.

The project is especially interesting because the units will be leasing for about $24.77 per square foot (a calculation that includes amenity spaces and can’t be correlated to market rents), about $10 less than its area office space gets, the Washington Business Journal reported. But apparently that relative loss of income is worth it to try and turn Crystal City into a cool place to work and live, which Vornado is betting this project will do.

See other articles related to: wework, welive, vornado, microunits, micro-units

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/250_units_most_of_them_micro_proposed_for_crystal_city/8488


  1. 17th Street said at 2:32 pm on Thursday May 15, 2014:
    As a renter of small apartments, my interest in this project came to an end with the shared kitchen spaces. That is far too dorm-like for my taste. What I would interest me is a well-designed small unit, including a well-designed kitchen - small, but complete. I don't want to cook in the common space, nor do I want to deal with others cooking in the common space - issues regarding clean-up, smell of their cooking, or use of the common cooking space at odd hours. Common living room type spaces are one thing, but cooking is altogether different.
  1. jj said at 5:20 pm on Thursday May 15, 2014:
    300 sq feet isn’t micro, especially if there’s no kitchen. micro is 62-199 sq feet. what you’re talking about is a studio. why call it something it’s not when the rents will be more than a studio? by definition a micro should be smaller than a studio, junior one bedroom or one bedroom.
  1. corey said at 5:53 pm on Thursday May 15, 2014:
    This would be attractive if you and a close group of friends could have a whole floor to yourselves and co-operatively share the kitchen space. I wouldnt trust other people to clean up. The other solution would to have management inspect and clean common areas daily. Sorry but i dont wanna live in Crystal City.
  1. alexander.r.tomlinson@gmail.com said at 8:41 pm on Thursday May 15, 2014:
    @jj I'd need a source on this, as most new construction studios are around 275-375 SF, right in target with this project. 62 SF? There may be a couple of eccentric projects here and there, but I'd challenge that this is even feasible for a truly livable lifestyle. An FHA bathroom will take up a minimum of almost 25 SF in and of itself- you're talking about 30 SF left to live in after the fact. I would agree however that this is not micro without a kitchen. This is communal dorm-style living turned apartments.

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