Carmel Place rendering
Carmel Place rendering
Carmel Place rendering

A New York City zoning code established in 1987 that prohibited the construction of apartments smaller than 400 sq. ft has been jettisoned to make way for smaller apartments for singles who prefer to pay more to live alone.

The New York City Council in November voted for two changes to the 30-year-old zoning code: 1. to allow for the build and sale of micro-apartments under 400 sq. ft; and 2. to loosen the density restrictions so that existing units can be broken into legal sub-divisions.

Officials say the changes are meant to help meet the needs of the number of growing singles in the city– which now accounts for close to 50 percent of the population– so that they do not have to double and triple up with roommates. The city’s very first micro-apartments will open on February 1, 2016, at Carmel Place, a nine-story, modular building located at 335 East 27th Street, reported The New York Times.

Carmel Place prefab houses being lifted into place

The micro-units were prefabricated in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and delivered by truck over the Manhattan Bridge. There are 55 prefab studios between 260 to 360 square feet, ranging anywhere from $2,540/mo to $2,910/mo– about the same rent for a regular one-bedroom apartment in that same area, but considerably more rent per square foot.

Carmel Place completed

Now Tiny Tim and other singles his size can live comfortably anywhere in New York City, while developers can get even more bang for their buck! The good news is, about 14 units in the building are designated as affordable, which is about half of the market rate costs. And already, the building is averaging 4,300 applicants per apartment.

The de Blasio administration is looking to expand the availability of these so-called micro apartments– next into the Lower East Side, other parts of Manhattan and then across the five boroughs.

As a single Brooklynite, how much would you be willing to pay for an “affordable” 300 sq. foot micro-apartment?


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