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Bloomberg Announces Winner Of Micro-Apartment Design Competition

(credit: nycmayorsoffice/Flickr)

(credit: nycmayorsoffice/Flickr)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is moving ahead with his plan to create more housing in New York City by way of “micro-apartments,” which take the idea of a tiny space to a whole new level.

The winner of the “adAPT NYC” competition is a development team composed of Monadnock Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS, Bloomberg announced Tuesday.

The competition challenged architects to create affordable homes for single New Yorkers.

The development team’s “My Micro NY” project will create 55 new micro-units, 40 percent of which will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents, Bloomberg said. The units will be between 250 and 370 square feet.

“They have 10-foot ceilings. All have balconettes, big windows, lots of light and air and ample storage space for a studio apartment,” Bloomberg said Tuesday.

(credit: nycmayorsoffice/Flickr)

(credit: nycmayorsoffice/Flickr)

“It has 9-foot-10 ceilings, a very large window, 9 feet tall, with a Juliet balcony which allows you to open the doors and turn your whole living room into a sort of balcony,” said Eric Bunge, Principal of nARCHITECTS. “We’re thrilled at the chance of designing a housing prototype that will give New Yorkers in small spaces a sense of living in a larger social fabric.”

If the pilot program is successful, New York could ultimately overturn a requirement established in 1987 that all new apartments be at least 400 square feet.

“The growth rate for one- and two-person households greatly exceeds that of households with three or more people, and addressing that housing challenge requires us to think creatively and beyond our current regulations,” said Bloomberg.

In addition to the 1987 building code, the Tenement Act of 1901 was designed to rid the city of the scourge of overcrowded, unsanitary dwellings, which Bloomberg said is simply outdated.

“The world has changed. Today people don’t live in big families. A very big percentage of New Yorkers, particularly in Manhattan, are one- or two-person families,” Bloomberg said. “The needs have changed and we’ve got to change the building codes, I think, to go along with that.”

Smaller living is a concept already endorsed by some cities. San Francisco recently approved construction of apartments as small as 220 square feet. And Tokyo and Hong Kong have long offered tiny units.

As a way to get New Yorkers to think small, the Museum of the City of New York is opening an exhibit Wednesday called “Making Room: New Housing for New Yorkers.”

(credit: nycmayorsoffice/Flickr)

(credit: nycmayorsoffice/Flickr)

It features a fully furnished 325-square-foot studio apartment that incorporates the latest space-saving designs. There’s the bed that folds out over a couch, a padded ottoman containing four nesting chairs, a fold-out dinette table tucked neatly under the kitchen counter and a TV that slides away to reveal a bar.

New York City, which already has 8.2 million people, is projected to grow by about 600,000 people by 2030. A third of the city’s households consist of just one person, a percentage that climbs to 46 percent on the island of Manhattan.

Residents face average market-value rents of $2,000 a month for a studio apartment and $2,700 a month for a one-bedroom.

The modular apartments will be constructed off-site and trucked to the building for final assembly. The building is expected to be finished by September 2015, CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported.

The new 55-micro-unit building will be built on city-owned property on East 27th Street in Manhattan.

Would you live in a 250 square foot apartment? Let us know below.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)