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Cities Start to Embrace 250-Square Foot Apartments

  • September 25, 2012

by Shilpi Paul

Cities Start to Embrace 250-Square Foot Apartments: Figure 1
Three micro-studios. Image courtesy of R2L Architects. Click to enlarge.

The lure of the micro-studio is sweeping the nation.

San Francisco is considering lowering the minimum size of an apartment within the city borders, from 290 square feet to 220 square feet, reported The Los Angeles Times recently. The city is taking a look at the building code today.

As we reported this summer, the tech boom and limited new construction have led to sky-high rents in San Francisco. Micro-studios may offer non-dotcom millionaires an affordable way to live in the city. Although, according to the San Franciscan who drafted the legislation, in a city where the average rent is above $2,000, affordability means that micro-units may rent for between $1,200 and $1,700 per month.

Opponents of the legislation worry that increased density will stress public transit systems and public spaces. Some also feel unnerved by the idea of “shoe box legislation.”

“We are humans, not spiders,” said Carmelita Perez in the article.

With this news and Michael Bloomberg’s call for submissions for the best micro-unit layout in New York City (the Mayor asked for designs between 275 and 300 square feet), it seems that populated cities are more and more open to exploring the possibility of providing very small homes. The zoning code in New York City also prohibits dwellings that small; Bloomberg will waive the regulations in order to test out the concept in one building in a Manhattan neighborhood.

While DC doesn’t have anything quite that teeny yet, a poll we conducted this summer revealed that a majority of respondents would be willing to sacrifice space to save money. Also, R2L:Architects told us about a proposed project that almost brought 275-square foot apartments to Chinatown. So, could DC be the next city to embrace small-scale living spaces?

See other articles related to: san francisco, new york city, micro units

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/san_francisco_may_join_the_micro-studio_market/6072

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