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How Small is Too Small?

Videos, Shaun's Soapbox // Jul 12, 2012

The CNN media player does not currently support HTML5 video. This video will not play on the iPhone or iPad.

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.