Monday, February 23, 2015

Capsys Manufactures the New Face of NYC Apartment Living

For most single New Yorkers, the tyranny of living in a small space, or worse, a shared space, is all too familiar.

And with the number of single New Yorkers growing, the demand for more of these spaces is inevitable.

Enter My Micro NY, the city’s first micro-apartment complex, at 335 East 27th Street, with 55 units ranging from 260 to 360 square feet. The building will begin leasing studios this summer for around $2,000 to $3,000 a month.

My Micro NY, made of prefabricated modular units built by Capsys at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will be stacked into place this spring. The apartments will come with kitchenettes, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, ceilings over nine feet high and big windows. And to help make living in a small space more palatable, tenants will have access to storage units and common spaces scattered throughout the building.

To allow this building to come to be, the city had to waive current zoning and density rules that limit apartments to no less than 400 square feet.

The project is being watched with interest by both housing advocates and developers, and not just because of its modular construction. Housing advocates say the creation of more micro-apartments could open up many more reasonably priced living options. More units dedicated to singles could eventually bring down rent prices across the city, as more two- to four-bedroom apartments would then open up to families. Singles looking for larger apartments to share with others may have artificially inflated the rental market, as the combined incomes of roommates can be greater than those of families.

Some developers have a related idea on the drawing board, “micro-suites,” or apartments that are slightly larger than the legal limit — at, say, 500 square feet — but house two or three singles in separate, albeit tiny, bedrooms.

Whether New Yorkers can live (and happily, at that) in less than 400 square feet is not really in question — many New Yorkers already do.

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