City unveils plans for micro studio apartment complex

City hopes that small but efficient apartments will

City hopes that small but efficient apartments will help solve housing crisis. (Patrick E. McCarthy) (Credit: City hopes that small but efficient apartments will help solve housing crisis. (Patrick E. McCarthy))

The city is going to try to make the Murphy bed the new real estate trend in Manhattan.

A team of architecture firms won the city's bid to create 55 apartments that range between 250 to 370 square feet in Kips Bay.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the bid in July to come up with a stylish design for the growing demand for studios and one bedrooms.

There are 1.8 million one- and two-person households in New York City, but there are only a million studio and one-bedroom apartments and that imbalance will grow in the next 20 years, according to Bloomberg.

"Addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively," he said.


(Photo Credit: Mayor's Office)

The eight-story building, being called "My Micro NY," will begin construction in Manhattan at the end of the year and tenants will start living there in 2015.

"This is about making small spaces more humane and social," said architect Mimi Hoang, whose firm nArchitects of Brooklyn won the competition to design the apartments.

Matthew Wambua, the commissioner of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said rents for 22 units would be $940 each for lower-income residents. The other units will cost between $1,700 and $1,800 each.

"In Manhattan, the average rent for a studio is $2,400," he said. "This is way below market."

Tenants, who would be chosen from a lottery, would be able to get many amenities for their small space, which will have private, albeit tiny, bathrooms and kitchens, 10-foot ceilings, a large window and overhead storage spaces.



(Photo Credit: Mayor's Office)

Despite the features, location and price, New Yorkers said they'd prefer to live somewhere where they can cross their legs without a problem.

"That's so small. I'd prefer my three bedroom in Brooklyn," Livia Silva, 20, said when she saw a mock floor plan. "I need room to breathe."

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall and 268 pounds, however said the cramped quarters aren't too bad.

"I've lived in smaller . . . I would make it work," he joked at an unrelated event yesterday.

Although they are just planned for one building, Bloomberg said the mini-pads could become a new fixture in the five boroughs. He said the city would study their popularity and efficiency and determine whether to change building codes to lower the minimum space requirements.

"By tweaking those [guidelines] we can build more studios and one bedroom units," he said. (with Meredith Galante)


Maximizing space in micro-size pads

So what exactly can you get with a 250-square-foot Manhattan pad? The micro-unit apartments will be divided into two areas, a "toolbox" space that contains the kitchen, bathroom and storage units and a "canvas" space that makes up the majority of the living quarters.

The city gave four examples on how a tenant could use the space, including foldable dining tables that hang on the wall during the night and a Murphy bed that doubles as a bookshelf.

Tags: NEWS , Michael Bloomberg , HPD , Ivan Pereira , Meredith Galante , ARTICLE , AMNY , HOLD

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