Micro Apartments Are Basically Dorms For Adults, And Soon We’ll All Live In Them

By Christian Scibetta

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Prepare for micro living!

As a city overflowing with singles (NYU students included) that need a place to live, housing for the individual needs to be built. These very necessary and novel spaces make up the miniaturized world of micro apartments that are coming to New York.

As the winning design for the Department of Housing Preservation and Developments initiative to build micro living spaces, My Micro NY is the newest housing project by modernist design group nArchitects. New York’s first micro apartment complex, My Micro NY is located at 335 East 27 street and is preparing for completion by the end of the year.

These little apartments are assembled in Brooklyn’s navel yard and are as small as 260 to 360 square feet.

Dating back to 1987, New York zoning laws forbid any apartments to be built any smaller than at least 400 feet. However, before leaving office Mayor Bloomberg put in process new policies that would allow micro apartments to act as an exception to this space restriction.

The introduction of Micro apartments could very well give New Yorkers what they want without breaking laws. While the idea of micro might conjure ideas of even more claustrophobic living conditions, plenty of city residents could very well already be living in small, illegal quarters.

“Any apartment that is subdivided among more than three people who aren’t related is in violation of occupancy rules, for example, and many apartments have locks on bedroom doors, which in many cases blocks the fire exit,” the New York Times reports, adding that “more than half of the housing added in New York City from 1990 to 2000 was in this illegal ‘housing underground.’”

New Yorkers already fill prewar apartments designed for the traditional nuclear family with several roommates to share the huge expense of housing. Walls are put up in these apartments, subdividing the space and rigging these locations into proto — micro apartments.

According to Business Insider the demand for single-person housing units is major. New York accommodates around 1.8 million 1–2-person households, but only 1 million single bedroom apartments are built. Attending NYU, it is not encouraging news to find out the island you want to start your career in already has around one million more single individuals than it can accommodate.

Adnan Zarif, a pre-med sophomore in Liberal Studies, is optimistic about the introduction of micro apartments to New York. “It sounds like a good idea if it will help with the housing shortage” Zarif said. With the hope of attending medical school after NYU, Zarif hopes to continue living in the city “I’d consider living in a micro apartment, but I wouldn’t mind something with more room.” Zarif knows that he’ll be lucky with any housing in the city, and the prospect of new micro apartments might allow him to continue to study in the city he loves.

My Micro NY is considering the different ways to make small living easier. Large windows will give the apartments a more open feel and ceiling heights are as tall as 10 feet in some units. Sliding glass doors and of location storage spaces are other elements units may include as My Micro NY makes these new apartments as accommodating as possible.

Everyone wants to live in the Big Apple; micro apartments might make it possible.

[Photo by Lena Warnke]