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Dec. 16, 2011

Micro-Apartments Concept Takes Shape in Boston

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

In an attempt to attract young people to Boston, the city’s administration is encouraging the development of small units—some of them as small as 375 square feet, similar to the famous micro-apartments in New York. The new recommended square footage dropped 75 square feet from the current city regulations, which allow developers to build units no smaller than 450 square feet. Under the new sizing regulations, the micro-units would be categorized separately, as “innovation housing,” reports the Boston Globe.

Around 300 micro-apartments could be developed in the coming months in the Innovation District on the South Boston Waterfront, in buildings that would also include one- and two-bedroom units. This type of housing is designed for an eclectic, urban lifestyle. Residents are expected to use their apartments to sleep and occasionally do some work, while recreational activities would take place in the common spaces within the buildings or at the restaurants and bars in the area. As for transportation, occupants are encouraged to rent Zipcars or use buses or bicycles.

With rents around $1,500 a month, the micro-apartments would feature fold-out couches, wall beds and kitchen countertops that unfold as tables or work desks. Depending on the design, ceilings as tall as nine feet, big windows with city views and sliding doors that divide the living and sleeping areas could create the illusion of larger apartments.

If the South Boston Waterfront micro-housing plan is successful, the concept is likely to be implemented in other neighborhoods.

Illustration courtesy of the Boston Innovation District website

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