New York mayor pushes micro-apartments

Not only should soft drinks be smaller, but living units also should, Michael Bloomberg suggests. His goal is to create more housing for smaller households.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Jul 13, 2012 12:44PM

© BUILT Images / AlamyIf you thought New York City apartments couldn't get any smaller, Mayor Michael Bloomberg disagrees.


He is asking developers to submit proposals for a new building made up of "micro-apartments" of 275 to 300 square feet. As envisioned by the mayor, the units would have bathrooms and kitchens, windows even, but no closet — which seems like an epic fail from the beginning.


You might learn to live with less closet space but NO closet space? We think the mayor's design can be improved. His honor, by the way, has a 12,500-square-foot townhouse.


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While a number of New Yorkers live in less than 300 square feet, city zoning laws require that most apartments be more than 400 square feet. And the city has just 1 million studio and one-bedroom apartments to accommodate 1.8 million households of one or two people, the mayor said.

"We want people to come here — to start out, start their careers here, start their families here — and if you don’t have the kind of housing that they need, they can’t do that," Bloomberg said.


The apartments might rent for less than the market rate of $2,000 a month, which sounds like a lot but could be a deal in New York City. The final price is up to the developer.


You can see the mayor's suggested floor plan and see how it looks with two people inside it here.


Perhaps the proposed ban on supersize soft drinks is to help New Yorkers fit into smaller spaces.

San Francisco is considering a proposal to allow apartments as small as 220 square feet, though that proposal calls for closets.


While New York City and San Francisco are looking at smaller apartments as an issue of economics, an entire cult has grown up in celebration of small-space living, whether it's a 78-square-foot apartment, a house on wheels or a family home of just 168 square feet.

"What people have noticed is that it’s stressful to deal with a lot of things," Janel Laban, the executive editor of the popular désign website Apartment Therapy, told The New York Times. "Living more simply, as you’re forced to do in a small space, you can find that life is less stressful."


We're not sure living without a closet would be stress-free, especially in 300 square feet, but we agree with Laban's premise that less stuff often equals less stress.


Could you live in a 300-square-foot apartment? And how would you design it?

Jul 23, 2012 6:20PM

I see Mayor Michael Bloomberg  is still trying to suppress the people of New York City!!!

Jul 23, 2012 3:19PM

If everybody in the world lived at the standards of Canadians, we would need 3 more Earths to provide the resources. It would take even more for everybody to live up to current American standards. Even though the price could be dropped some, it is comparably cheaper than other New York housing at the same scale. I love Bloomberg's dynamic and nonpartisan policies. They reflect the kind of progress and respect an Independent president could bring to our country which is always plagued by mudslinging and unorganization by two rich, influential, and corrupt parties.

Jul 22, 2012 6:22AM
Ridiculous . Let Him live in a box which is what this would be . No walls except I hope in the bathroom . Price OUTRAGOUS.
Jul 22, 2012 5:42AM
How in the world can you "start a family" in a 300 sq ft apt?  I have an idea, why doesn't he give up some space in his precious 12,500 sq ft townhome for those he wants to bring in?  It's easy for him to say other people can do it, I doubt he wants to do it himself.
Jul 21, 2012 8:05PM
Bloomburg is a pompous A hole and its clear he views anybody lower than him as bottom feeders.  I do quite well and live in a spacious home but he is a jerk beyond all measures of such.  Puke!!!!
Jul 21, 2012 7:07PM
Don't laugh, after the economy tanks within the next few months, we'll all be living in places like this.
Jul 21, 2012 7:05PM
bloomberg's lost his cotton-picking mind. i think it's time to take him out behind the shed and elect a new mayor. he's swiftly overtaking the brain-dead hippies in san fran for trying to enforce a fascist nanny-state.
Jul 21, 2012 6:08PM
"The apartments might rent for less than the market rate of $2,000 a month..." If they go for the market rate, given the decreased cubic footage, then that says something about the desperation of people needing some place to live.
Jul 21, 2012 5:30PM
Jul 21, 2012 1:25PM

No closet space?????????   Where in the heck do they expect me to put my heels???  Sounds like a bad idea to me.

Jul 21, 2012 1:21PM

ever who is supposed to be filtering this spam is getting paid alittle kick back i think.  someone here said you had to keep these apartments clean.  that would totally put it out of reason for my wife.

Jul 21, 2012 12:49PM
sounds like he's wanting to keep the governor from New Jersey from moving their.
Jul 21, 2012 11:58AM

I have several times; my last place was 300sq ft. I fit a queen size bed, a sofa, and a reclining leather chair. It had a full size kitchen, and bath (w/ tub). Small closet space but it worked. You have to be creative in dealing with small quarters. All clutter needs to be put away, and furniture needs to be placed in such a way that you create path ways to walk around. Most people that visited my space including the owner of the building loved how I decorated the apt (always asking if they could use my apt as a model unit). I would laugh. Design can be important, however I feel what most important is keeping it clean and sharp looking as much as you can, it made my life a lot easier. Most Items I purchased are from Ross, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning (Very inexpensive way to go).

Jul 21, 2012 9:59AM
Jul 21, 2012 9:57AM
More idiot spammers for datesites than people commenting.
Jul 21, 2012 9:46AM
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm   how many other MEN live with the bloviated ignoramus .. maybe his place has a revolving door
Jul 21, 2012 8:39AM
I used to watch a program called small spaces big style. They used furniture that had multiple purposes, spaces that can be easly changed for other purposes. A desk can be used for dinner or for work. A bed that can also be a sofa. You can have a small space without giving up style. I think we can live on less if we try. You can make the choice it may not be for everyone.
Jul 21, 2012 5:17AM
Ever hear of a Park Model?  Thousands of senior citizens live in them seasonally AND year round. AZ, CA and Florida is full of them.  I'm one of them.  My unit is 385 sq ft with plenty of closets!  Outdoor space finished the total picture.  In NY that's the city it's self...outdoor space at it's best.  Not to mention the price....every where from a low 20K for a used home, to the average of 40K for a new one!  Life is good.
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