A rendering of SB-Urban’s proposed Blagden Alley development.
If developer SB-Urban gets its way, DC will fill up with an eclectic type of residential unit in the coming years — furnished micro-units with short-term leases.
For those who haven’t been following it quite as obsessively as UrbanTurf, the firm was created explicitly to bring this unique micro-unit concept to DC. Founders Mike Balaban and commercial real estate magnate Frank Saul III are “focused on serving the secularly growing, and under-served, demand for rental living responsive to the requirements of urban and urbane professionals not living in historically conventional households,” according to Balaban’s own description of the company on his LinkedIn site.
A rendering of the proposal for the Patterson Mansion.
SB-Urban believes its target demographic will move in with nothing more than a laptop and a couple of suitcases. They’ll use Uber, car-share and bike-share services to get around. They’ll care mainly about WiFi, not counter space. They’ll also have a lot of money. At a meeting regarding the company’s Patterson Mansion project, an SB-Urban employee said the 350-square-foot units would be marketed to tenants making $100,000 to $125,000 a year and rent for $2,500 to $3,000 a month.
Though DC has long had small studios on the rental market, no one has ever built a multifamily project with furnished micro-units explicitly catering to a younger, more mobile demographic. SB-Urban’s plans rest entirely on knowing that demographic’s needs and habits: it assumes thousands of very wealthy people will come to the city and be happy to sacrifice space for convenience, at least for short periods of time. The company has said it expects most leases to last 7-8 months.
A rendering of the planned conversion of the Latham Hotel in Georgetown.
And it’s not like SB-Urban is testing out the concept in a small, risk-averse way, as PN Hoffman plans to do with a small number of rentable micro-units planned for its Wharf development. Instead, SB-Urban is resting its fate on the concept’s success. It has three projects on the boards: A 90-unit development at the Patterson Mansion on Dupont Circle; a 140-unit project for Georgetown’s Latham Hotel; and a new, 125-unit development in Blagden Alley.
Two of three have already cleared the biggest hurdles to development by securing zoning and historic permissions, and the Blagden Alley project will go before the BZA again in early 2015.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_boldest_concept_of_2014_furnished_micros/9331.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
Why condo fees are high in some buildings and low in others can be a difficult questi... read »
When sellers haven't quite lined up their next house before their settlement date com... read »
The preferred mortgage product among most home buyers is the fixed-rate mortgage. How... read »
Here's what you need to know about reporting profit made from the sale of your home.... read »
Virginia's homebuyer assistance programs can seem complex. This edition of First-Time... read »
A recent transaction shows that the housing market isn't cooling off everywhere.... read »
Developer Akridge has released new images of their planned Burnham Place development ... read »
The new development will also have a nearly 20,000 square-foot public plaza.... read »
New plans filed with Arlington County last week provide the first renderings for The ... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
DC Real Estate Guides
Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market
We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro