DC’s Micro-Unit Development Rundown

by UrbanTurf Staff


The term “micro-unit” has become a real estate buzz word in major cities across the country. It is also a very legitimate trend in the DC area with a number of developments in the works, and UrbanTurf decided it was time for a rundown of the various micro-unit projects planned or under construction for the region.

Micro-units are considered to be residences that clock in below 400 square feet, have design elements like built-ins, Murphy beds, and drop-down surfaces like tables or desks. In micro-unit buildings, there are also often shared spaces outside the units that residents can take advantage of.


Blagden Alley Micro-Units

SB-Urban and Rooney Properties are building a 121-unit, short-term furnished micro-unit development in Blagden Alley (map). The project, designed by Hickock Cole, will target “a slightly higher-income, more upscale tenant” than a typical micro-unit, SB-Urban said back in 2014. The shortest lease will likely be in the 90-day range, and the company has said it expects most tenants to stay for 7-8 months.


WeLive Crystal City

WeWork’s foray into the residential world will take shape in the DC area at Crystal City’s Crystal Plaza 6, a vacant office building that will be converted into a 216-unit, micro apartment project and two floors of shared office space at 2221 S. Clark Street (map). (WeWork has yet to confirm their involvement in the development publicly, but filed documents are prominently labeled with the company’s WeLive branding.) The residential units will be retrofitted into the office building. Most will be studios, ranging in size from 300 to 315 square feet. There will be several “neighborhoods” scattered throughout the building, which will consist of expansive common areas, commercial-grade kitchens, and dining areas. The office portion of the building will open in November.


The Wharf’s Parcel 2

Parcel 2 is a 500-unit project designed by Perkins Eastman at The Wharf (map), but what stands out are the 171 micro-units. These units will be between 330-360 square feet and a third will be affordable. The units have 9-foot ceilings, tall windows, and laundry. Smart space-saving options such as a sliding barn door for the bathroom, built-in Murphy beds and shelving and window placement at the end of the unit gives renters more options for furniture organization.


Furnished Micro-Units at Patterson Mansion

Dupont Circle’s Patterson Mansion (map) is being turned into 90 furnished micro-units measuring about 350 square feet each. The mansion’s first floor, where much of its architectural opulence is on display, will become communal living spaces for the mansion’s residents. Like its Blagden Alley project, developer SB-Urban expects that the building’s tenants will be largely upscale professionals coming to DC for temporary stints. The building’s exterior addition will be clad in three types of glass with varying degrees of translucences, and the back of the addition will be clad in a light-colored brick. The architect on the project is Hartman-Cox.


Church Street Micro-Units

Developer Brook Rose will build a micro-unit project at 1456-1460 Church Street NW (map). There will be a total of 37 units, ranging from 265 to 490 square feet. The glassy 8-story building will incorporate three historic townhouses on the block, and feature expansive windows, multi-purpose furnishings, and a roof deck. The development is designed by Peter Fillat Architects.

See other articles related to: microunits, micro-units, micro units

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_micro-unit_development_rundown/10400


  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 3:34 pm on Thursday October 1, 2015:

    Although “microunit” is a nonspecific term, it is different than “extended stay suites,” which is what the SB-Urban projects clearly are.  Nothing illegitimate about that, but the SB-Urban projects don’t really belong in this listing.

    Curious that neither of DC’s completed-and-occupied microunit buildings, 1919 14th St NW/The Harper and 1355 17th St NW/The Drake, are mentioned.  They have both been up and occupied for over a year.  According to an article in ArchitectureDC magazine, they are quite popular and successful.

  1. Mark Wellborn said at 9:51 am on Saturday October 3, 2015:


    This was a rundown of micro-unit projects that are under construction or in the planning stages, so The Harper and The Drake did not qualify.


    The Editors

Comments are closed.

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