clock menu more-arrow no yes

The Micro Housing Development Boom Across the U.S., Mapped

View as Map

The pronounced swing back towards urban living, and the renewed fervor for downtown development, has only made our cities more dense, making the search for cheap housing that much more challenging. While mayors across the U.S. have called for more affordable housing (in New York, both Bloomberg and De Blasio have said it was imperative the city offer more low-rent options), many developers have decided the solution to density and affordability is downsizing and designing smaller units. A micro housing and micro dwelling boom has hit big cities over the last few years, and while the number of developments remains relatively small, they've seen early success. According to an Urban Land Institute study released this fall, micro units—which they define as a 350 square feet or smaller, fully furnished studio—achieve higher occupancy rates and garner a rental rate premium compared to conventional units. Young professional, attracted to the opportunity to save 20-30 percent on rent while living alone, are snatching up available units, while architects and developers continue to experiment with new floor plans and amenities, since these projects, according to the study, often show a greater rate of return than standard development. Here's a map of many of the micro dwelling that have opened or are in-progress across the country.

All Micro Dwellings Coverage [Curbed New York]

Read More

1. Carmel Place

Copy Link
335 E 27th St
New York, NY 10016

This first-of-its-kind microhousing development, previously known as My Micro NY, will open in one of the densest cities on the planet next year, when tenants begin moving into Carmel Place on February 1 in the Kips Bay neighborhood. Only a dozen market-rate studios will go on sale in this much hyped building, a prefab building created by Monadnock Development, nArchitects, and Stage 3 Properties that was fabricated in the Brooklyn Naval Yards. Prices start at $2,540 per month for a 265 square foot unfurnished apartment and go up to $2,910 for a fully furnished 355-square foot apartment, with a range of space- and time-saving amenities, including the Hello Alfred personal butler app.

2. 4 + 1 Building

Copy Link
5411 N Winthrop Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

Chicago developer FLATS has bet big on the microdwelling trend, opening up a series of small-unit developments as well as a range of short-stay rental options across the city. This building, one of the company's developments in the Uptown neighborhood, features studios that measure in just shy of 500 square feet with furnishings from CB2. The company has a queue of future small space projects in the works, including the conversion of the Bush Temple of Music, a stylish turn-of-the-century building in River North.

3. Cubix Apartments

Copy Link
1008 N 109th St
Seattle, WA 98133

This proposed efficiency dwelling in North Seattle, part of the Cubix brand of small dwellings being developed by Daniel Stoner, seeks to leave a smaller footprint in a few different ways. In addition to smaller units (231-square-foot residences and 310-square-foot live-work spaces), the four-story structure is a transit-oriented development. Seattle is currently the capital of the micro housing boom, with hundreds of units available and more than 1,000 in various stages of development.

4. CitySpaces SOMA

Copy Link
38 Harriet St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Completed in 2012 by Panoramic Interests, this LEED Platinum structure features 23 units measuring 295 square feet each, all equipped with a number of green features, including solar hot water heating and an all-building car share, as well as space-saving adjustable furniture. The company also recently finished a building called The Panoramic in the same neighborhood. Both have been rented by universities to use for student housing.

5. Patterson Mansion

Copy Link
15 Dupont Cir NW
Washington, DC 20036

A grand residence built by a former Chicago Tribune editor that was once the home of the Washington Club, this Neoclassical structure is in the process of being converted in 90 microunits measuring roughly 350-square-feet each. The development firm SB-Urban, which is overseeing the conversion, purchased the building for $20 million last year.

6. Ivy Houston

Copy Link
2606 Bell St
Houston, TX 77003

This forthcoming condo development in downtown Houston will bring 300- and 450-square-foot loft units to the city sometime next year, as well as an array of more standard condos. The smaller spaces will boast attractive amenities, including a rooftop pool with a wet bar. Prices start at $119,000 for a 300-square-foot loft. Developers plan to break ground next summer.

7. Walbridge Common

Copy Link
508 E Frank St
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Micro housing isn't just for big cities. This forthcoming development in the River's Edge District of Kalamazoo, Michigan, suggests the micro unit trend isn't always about density. Set to open in converted warehouse built in 1924, this forthcoming mixed-use building will include 16 microunits meant to appeal to recent grads looking for a more economical way to live downtown. A spokesman for NoMi developers told MLive.com that there's a need for a "cool, hip place to live downtown for $500."

8. Efficient City Apartments

Copy Link
813 E 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

In a recent presentation to the Planning and Use committee for downtown Los Angeles, David Lawrence Gray Architects proposed turning a group of pre-WWI buildings in Skid Row into a series of entry-level, market rate apartments with an average size of 277 square feet. The mixed-use development would include 160 units.

9. Avenir

Copy Link
1515 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Located near Rittenhouse Square, this recently opened development includes a mix of standard and micro units in the converted Robinson Building, which start at $1,200 for 314-square-feet studios. Scully Company and Alterra Property Group spearheaded the project, which has the none-too-subtle name of Avenir, or French for future.

10. Passenger Flats

Copy Link
1400 Market St
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Parts of the iconic hotel in this Tennessee town have been transformed into a mixed-use development with a pair of restaurants, part of an $8 million renovation project. While much of the hotel will continue to operate as usual, 95 former hotel rooms have been adapted into 350-square-foot apartments that start at $800 per month.

11. 28 W. Grand River Avenue

Copy Link

Rock Ventures LLC, owned by Detroit's billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert, plans to turn the site of a former strip club into a 13-story tower with 250 micro units of 325 square feet each, expected to charge roughly $650 per month. Local firm Kramer Design Group will design the new building, which has a projected opening in 2017.

Loading comments...

1. Carmel Place

335 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016

This first-of-its-kind microhousing development, previously known as My Micro NY, will open in one of the densest cities on the planet next year, when tenants begin moving into Carmel Place on February 1 in the Kips Bay neighborhood. Only a dozen market-rate studios will go on sale in this much hyped building, a prefab building created by Monadnock Development, nArchitects, and Stage 3 Properties that was fabricated in the Brooklyn Naval Yards. Prices start at $2,540 per month for a 265 square foot unfurnished apartment and go up to $2,910 for a fully furnished 355-square foot apartment, with a range of space- and time-saving amenities, including the Hello Alfred personal butler app.

335 E 27th St
New York, NY 10016

2. 4 + 1 Building

5411 N Winthrop Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Chicago developer FLATS has bet big on the microdwelling trend, opening up a series of small-unit developments as well as a range of short-stay rental options across the city. This building, one of the company's developments in the Uptown neighborhood, features studios that measure in just shy of 500 square feet with furnishings from CB2. The company has a queue of future small space projects in the works, including the conversion of the Bush Temple of Music, a stylish turn-of-the-century building in River North.

5411 N Winthrop Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

3. Cubix Apartments

1008 N 109th St, Seattle, WA 98133

This proposed efficiency dwelling in North Seattle, part of the Cubix brand of small dwellings being developed by Daniel Stoner, seeks to leave a smaller footprint in a few different ways. In addition to smaller units (231-square-foot residences and 310-square-foot live-work spaces), the four-story structure is a transit-oriented development. Seattle is currently the capital of the micro housing boom, with hundreds of units available and more than 1,000 in various stages of development.

1008 N 109th St
Seattle, WA 98133

4. CitySpaces SOMA

38 Harriet St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Completed in 2012 by Panoramic Interests, this LEED Platinum structure features 23 units measuring 295 square feet each, all equipped with a number of green features, including solar hot water heating and an all-building car share, as well as space-saving adjustable furniture. The company also recently finished a building called The Panoramic in the same neighborhood. Both have been rented by universities to use for student housing.

38 Harriet St
San Francisco, CA 94103

5. Patterson Mansion

15 Dupont Cir NW, Washington, DC 20036

A grand residence built by a former Chicago Tribune editor that was once the home of the Washington Club, this Neoclassical structure is in the process of being converted in 90 microunits measuring roughly 350-square-feet each. The development firm SB-Urban, which is overseeing the conversion, purchased the building for $20 million last year.

15 Dupont Cir NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. Ivy Houston

2606 Bell St, Houston, TX 77003

This forthcoming condo development in downtown Houston will bring 300- and 450-square-foot loft units to the city sometime next year, as well as an array of more standard condos. The smaller spaces will boast attractive amenities, including a rooftop pool with a wet bar. Prices start at $119,000 for a 300-square-foot loft. Developers plan to break ground next summer.

2606 Bell St
Houston, TX 77003

7. Walbridge Common

508 E Frank St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Micro housing isn't just for big cities. This forthcoming development in the River's Edge District of Kalamazoo, Michigan, suggests the micro unit trend isn't always about density. Set to open in converted warehouse built in 1924, this forthcoming mixed-use building will include 16 microunits meant to appeal to recent grads looking for a more economical way to live downtown. A spokesman for NoMi developers told MLive.com that there's a need for a "cool, hip place to live downtown for $500."

508 E Frank St
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

8. Efficient City Apartments

813 E 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

In a recent presentation to the Planning and Use committee for downtown Los Angeles, David Lawrence Gray Architects proposed turning a group of pre-WWI buildings in Skid Row into a series of entry-level, market rate apartments with an average size of 277 square feet. The mixed-use development would include 160 units.

813 E 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

9. Avenir

1515 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Located near Rittenhouse Square, this recently opened development includes a mix of standard and micro units in the converted Robinson Building, which start at $1,200 for 314-square-feet studios. Scully Company and Alterra Property Group spearheaded the project, which has the none-too-subtle name of Avenir, or French for future.

1515 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

10. Passenger Flats

1400 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Parts of the iconic hotel in this Tennessee town have been transformed into a mixed-use development with a pair of restaurants, part of an $8 million renovation project. While much of the hotel will continue to operate as usual, 95 former hotel rooms have been adapted into 350-square-foot apartments that start at $800 per month.

1400 Market St
Chattanooga, TN 37402

11. 28 W. Grand River Avenue

28 W. Grand River Ave. Detroit, Michigan

Rock Ventures LLC, owned by Detroit's billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert, plans to turn the site of a former strip club into a 13-story tower with 250 micro units of 325 square feet each, expected to charge roughly $650 per month. Local firm Kramer Design Group will design the new building, which has a projected opening in 2017.