It’s been almost three years since the Menino administration began encouraging developers to create housing units as small as 375 square feet in the growing Innovation District, similar to New York City’s famously tiny apartments. Designed for an urban lifestyle, these “innovation and workforce” apartments cater to ultra-active, young professionals who use them mainly for sleeping, while recreational activities take place in shared spaces within the building or in the nearby restaurants and bars.
Following the success of micro housing, a UK-based hospitality chain called YOTEL—a subsidiary of YO! Company—wants to bring a similar concept to the same area of the South Boston Waterfront. According to The Boston Globe, the micro-hotel project could be constructed by Boston Global Investors (BGI) as part of the company’s Seaport Square, a new live-play neighborhood that includes more than 300 small-sized apartment units along with flexible office space for startups and the 12,000-square-foot District Hall/Boston Innovation Center that was officially opened in fall 2013.
Created less than ten years ago by YO! Company founder Simon Woodroffe OBE and YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene, the micro-hotel concept is similar to the Japanese capsule-like hotels designed for very short stays at airports. Currently there are two micro-hotels operating at Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, one at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and the 669-cabin YOTEL New York at Times Square West located at 570 Tenth Avenue that opened in June 2011.
Reportedly, Boston’s new YOTEL will be built along Seaport Boulevard and across from the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse. The 11-story structure designed by Boston architecture firm ADD Inc. will have 307 micro-rooms ranging from 160 to 200 square feet; the affordable luxury hotel will also include a rooftop bar and seating area. Tariffs for the prospective South Boston YOTEL have not been determined yet, but most probably they will be significantly less expensive than traditional hotel rooms.
Images via YOTEL NY Facebook Page