Last July, New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, announced his adAPT NYC contest for proposals on the development and design of micro-dwellings based on the idea of accommodating the housing needs of the City’s growing population. Shortly after, CORE’s CEO, Shaun Osher, was interviewed by CNN on the contest and overall concept of micro-apartments in Manhattan.
Since then, 33 development teams submitted renderings, floor plans, and other visuals in the hopes of winning the first NYC contest focused on facing the challenges of space and a growing population within an urban setting. In early 2013, Bloomberg announced the winning group from the adAPT NYC contest which includes Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHITECTS. The winning team’s design will be constructed on a city-owned site at 335 East 27th Street and will consist of compact residences ranging from 250-375-square feet.
Although this project hasn’t even broken ground yet, the response generated from the contest by developers, architects, real estate professionals and the general public has proved Mayor Bloomberg’s housing goal to be valid and in many ways necessary. Yesterday, the New York Observer reported that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is hoping to have another request for proposal (RFP) out on another 2-3 micro-unit developments throughout the City this year. We can’t wait to see what the next round of proposals for micro-apartments will look like, and we’re excited about this small new development trend within one of the world’s greatest cities.
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This week, Mayor Bloomberg initiated a competition for developers to design a rental building filled with efficient studio “micro-apartments” no bigger than 300 square feet each. The current zoning precludes anyone from doing this, so it would be a change to the law — and even though it’s illegal, everyone knows that there are people who live in the confines of space smaller than this. How many people are there in this city who share an apartment of 600 square feet with 2 roommates?
I love the Mayor’s idea, as you may tell from my enthusiastic response on CNN, seen above. New York is a city filled with single professionals who are being priced out of the housing market. Even the surrounding boroughs are expensive, and I think that this initiative will keep some of these people here where they belong. Hopefully this will be the start of something new, and why stop at rentals? I look forward to the day when developers can build “for-sale” housing in the city of this size. This will make the entry level into home ownership easier to those who cannot afford $600,000 for a starter studio, not to mention encouraging smart design and creative architecture.
Shaun Osher is the founder and CEO of CORE.