320-Square Foot Apartments Coming to 9th Street

  • November 6th 2012

by Shilpi Paul

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320-Square Foot Apartments Coming to 9th Street: Figure 1
1250 9th Street NW. Courtesy of PGN Architects.

Another DC developer is gambling that there is a market for very small studios in DC.

CAS Riegler, the firm behind The Standard Eleven and The Flatiron, is planning on creating a handful of apartments as small as 320 square feet in their newest project at 1250 9th Street NW. The 70-unit apartment building is one of many developments planned for the burgeoning 9th Street Corridor.

The move enforces the thinking that some DC residents are willing to live in very small spaces, and represents a continued push to deliver them in the city. As we reported in July, a 24-unit Douglas Development project at 600 F Street NW comprised of 275-square foot units was nixed at the last minute. And a few weeks ago, it was reported that The Wharf development will offer 330-380-square foot apartments at one of its new buildings.

“We had been reading about Bloomberg’s micro-unit challenge up in New York and thought it would be cool if we could try a few out here,” CAS Riegler’s Director of Development Robin Bettarel told UrbanTurf. “A few developers in DC are testing the waters and time will tell if there is a strong market for them. There have been a lot of studies done that seem to suggest that younger generations are far more committed to living urban lifestyles than older generations before them.”

320-Square Foot Apartments Coming to 9th Street: Figure 2
Floorplan for 320-square foot unit.

The decision to move forward with the very small units was the result, in part, of a dictate from the Historical Preservation Office: the fifth floor needed to be set back from the floor below it. This requirement both lessened the square footage and created outdoor terraces on the top floor of the former Fight Club space. As a result, cramped residents can easily step outside when they need breathing room.

While the units don’t quite qualify as micro — generally thought to be be between 275-300 square feet — they are small enough to require creative design solutions. For example, a bed pulls out from underneath a slightly elevated living area to create a bedroom only when needed, giving the layout enough room for a separate dining area. And though the layout is narrowly rectangular, the windows line the longest side of the studio to provide plenty of light.

Beside wanting to be close to urban amenities, Bettarel believes that more folks are considering their carbon footprint when looking at homes. A smaller home means a smaller area to heat and cool, as well as a general trend towards minimal consumption.

“If these trends continue, I think we will absolutely see more of this type of housing being built,” predicts Bettarel.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/320_square_foot_apartments_coming_to_9th_street/6256.

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