Apartment Trend Alert: Ultra-Tiny Living


On the island of Manhattan, a new set of micro-apartments offer minimalist chic at NYC prices.

What can you get with less than 400 square feet? How about a gym, roof terrace and stainless steel appliances? Not to mention the chance to finally ditch the roommates and lay claim to your own slice of paradise? That’s the option currently being offered by Carmel Place, New York City’s first ever micro-unit development.

Carmel Place: Small On Space, Big On Style

Located on the Lower East Side, Carmel Place features 55 units designed to make the most of its small footprint. Housed in one of New York’s tallest modular buildings, each apartment ranges between 260 to 360 square feet, about half the size of the average Manhattan studio. Monthly rent averages between $2450 to $3000 per month. While the city’s current regulations prohibit apartments smaller than 400 square feet, former mayor Michael Bloomberg overruled those restrictions and allowed the project to move forward.

The inspiration for Carmel Place began as a collaboration between Monadnock Development and the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association. The project’s designers, naArchitects, chose modular materials to reduce construction time. The architecture makes use of vertical spaces to create a sense of openness and light. Built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and delivered by truck via the Manhattan Bridge, the nine-story Carmel Place apartments rise up on East 27th street like a set of building blocks.

What’s Included?

Each apartment comes outfitted with hardwood floors, white cabinetry and large windows that create a sense of openness and light. Every unit includes a small kitchenette and shower-only bathroom. Specially designed sofas, desks and Murphy beds allow tenants to make the most of their tiny dwelling.

Rent includes access to a gym, small garden and community room. The complex also includes a bicycle garage, a small lounge and plenty of tenant storage throughout the building. Residents have access to weekly housekeeping, Wi-Fi, cable and admission to some free events.

Though nearby studios offer more square footage at a lower cost, Andrew Bledsoe – co-founder of microhousing startup Ollie – told Business Insider that modern tenants are willing to trade space for extra amenities. “We’re noticing that people are willing to trade off space for a better experience,” he said.

Are Your Units On The Small Side?

If your apartments are smaller than others nearby, put these two things on your to-do list: maintenance and marketing. First, go through this list of 5 things renters hate to make sure your units, though small, are immaculate and ready to rent. Then update your property website and online listings to emphasize everything that’s great about your property. Highlight amenities, the neighborhood, your friendly onsite team… anything that makes your community a nice place to call home. If you use Yardi Breeze, you can even take some new photos with your phone to update your online listings immediately!