The micro apartment: it’s small, relatively affordable, and making its way to the nation’s capital.
Already commonplace in cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo and London, micro-apartments are trickling into densely populated cities in the U.S. as well. The tiny housing units emphasize efficient design and typically target young singles searching for an affordable place to live, although CNN Money cited that they're surprising popularity among older retirees.
In January, a competition sponsored by the City of New York heralded plans for the first micro unit community in the city, according to the New York Observer.
The micro unit plans followed the elimination of a 1980s ban on 400-square-foot, one-to-two person apartments in NYC, according to Web Urbanist. Zoning variances are still a requirement for micro units in the Big Apple, but the Urban Land Institute reported that the minimum unit size in Washington is a mere 220 square feet.
The winner’s proposal included 55 modular spaces ranging from 250 to 370 square feet, and rent for forty percent of the units will be classified as “affordable,” pricing from $940 to $1,800 per month. Business Insider stated that plans for micro apartments are also underway in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and in New Jersey.
In February, the construction at 450 K St. NW included 500-square-foot studio apartments and 560-square-foot junior one bedroom apartments, according to the Urban Land Institute.
On the 1400 block of Church Street, near Logan Circle, developer Brook Rose planned for 29 micro unit studios within its rental complex proposal, according to UrbanTurf DC.
The development project at The Wharf may boast the most extensive micro unit potential. Developers Hoffman-Madison Waterfront and architects Perkins Eastman-DC plan for 150 micro apartments out of the 875 total residential units, each measuring between 330 and 380 square feet, according to UrbanTurf.