Between well-intentioned but ultimately cringe-y New York Times op-eds and full-on museum exhibitions, I fully admit that I’ve been experiencing a slight case of micro-apartment fatigue in recent weeks.
New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, however, just can’t get enough.
Just a few short months after the 55-unit My Micro NY development (pictured above) was picked as the "winner" from a pool of 33 square footage-challenged entries in the AdAPT NYC micro-apartment design "contest," the HPD has announced that requests for proposals (RFPs) seeking additional pint-sized apartment developments will be issued in the coming months. According to The Observer, the “give us more!” announcement was made by HPD commissioner Matthew Wambua at a recent luncheon hosted by the Citizens Housing Planning Council.
“We are considering RFPs for two or three micro-unit developments later this year. We’re in the process of vetting a number of city-owned sites, and RFP guidelines will be tailored to the chosen sites,” a HPD spokesperson explained to The Observer following the event in which Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota also accepted a public service award and briefly addressed the urgent need for more affordable housing in the city.
Similar to the nARCHITECTS-designed My Micro NY project that will be built on a city-owned lot in the hospital-heavy/subway-starved Kip’s Bay neighborhood on the far east side of Manhattan, a percentage of the units in the potential new developments would be required to be affordable — affordable being a relative term in New York City as monthly rents for the units in My Micro NY will be between $940 and $1,800 with square footage ranging between 250- and 370-square-feet. In addition to nARCHITECTS, Monadnock Development and the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation rounded out the winning development team.
Although requests for proposals will not be issued until the aforementioned city-owned sites are secured, it does seem a touch premature to start in with a batch of new projects long before the city’s first pilot micro-apartment development is even completed (construction on the heavily prefabricated building hasn’t even commenced as far as I know) and prove to be financially viable. And, of course, the city's current zoning restrictions don't allow for such small housing units without special approval from the city (as a true pilot project, zoning rules were waived for My Micro NY). Unless the longstanding zoning restrictions are magically lifted altogether, I'm guessing they'll be waived for these upcoming projects as well.
It's also unclear if the upcoming RFPs will play out as splashy, highly publicized competitions a la AdAPT NYC.
Via [The Observer]