Mayor Bloomberg ready to offer small living spaces

One of the suggested layouts

Michael Bloomberg has called on designers to come up with a proposal for a Manhattan apartment building made up mostly of “micro-units,” defined as rentals with 275 to 300 square feet of living space…Submissions are due September 14, and winners will be chosen at the end of 2012, with the first micro-units to be developed by late 2013…

“Today there are about 1.8 million one- and two-person households in our city, but there are only about 1 million studio and one-bedroom apartments,” Bloomberg told reporters…

The pilot units will be required to fill at least 75% of the building. They’ll have kitchens and bathrooms, but are far smaller than current city minimums of 450 square feet…

The units will likely be priced under $2,000 a month, which is the average market rent for a studio apartment in Manhattan…

Micro-units will equate to about 15% of the size of the average U.S. home, he added, which spans about 2,200 to 2,400 square feet.

The program’s first micro-units are to be built on a vacant lot owned by the Housing Preservation and Development Department, and are part of a city initiative to create or preserve 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014.

Not as difficult a task as some might imagine. Aside from designers working in cities around the world where space can be as demanding as NYC – Tokyo comes first to mind – the best people to have a shot at this concept would be recreational vehicle designers. Grayheads like me certainly know enough individuals and couples living in trailers – tagalongs and 5th wheelers – with about 300 square feet of living space.

Bloomberg’s apartments will be able to have built-ins which needn’t be concerned about the wear and tear of transport or the extras required for portable and plug-in energy sources.

Looking forward to seeing what folks come up with.

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