First it was New York City with its micro-apartments, and now San Francisco is jumping on board with the idea of smaller apartment sizes. This consideration comes as a response to increased rental prices, a need for more single living spaces, and a serious housing shortage.
The current minimum apartment size is 290 square feet, and the proposal in negotiation will lower that to 150 square feet plus a kitchen, bathroom, and closet – making it 220 square feet in total.
According to Tim Colen, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, this is a “logical, necessary response to housing in an extremely high-cost market like San Francisco.” His developer-backed nonprofit company is “solidly behind” the idea of cutting minimum apartment size requirements.
Supervisor Scott Wiener created the proposal, noting that 41% of San Francisco residents live alone, which is a significant amount of people not needing a lot of space, and they often can’t afford it, either.
Berkeley developer Panoramic Interests already has an ideal location picked out for building these tiny spaces, right on site of what used to be a guitar store at Ninth and Mission streets, close to the Twitter headquarters. The plan is to attract recent college grads in the tech field who are newly relocated to the city and are not bogged down by tons of possessions.
The 160-unit building will have a lounge on every floor, a giant lobby, a rooftop deck, and a few larger units. The only parking available will be for bikes, and a City CarShare spot will be right outside the building. Occupancy will be limited to a two-person maximum.
Interested in renting one out? It will cost about $1,300 to $1,500 a month, and 15% of the units will be below market rate, around $900 a month, to accommodate low-income residents. The average studio apartment in San Francisco is $2,075 a month and 493 square feet.
It would be interesting to see San Francisco follow in New York City’s footsteps, with a contest between designers to create the best and most efficient micro-apartment. I didn’t think anyone would want to go smaller than the 275-300 square foot spaces in New York, but I guess that’s the beauty of competition. Would you live in 220 square feet of space?
Image CC licensed by voxtheory: San Francisco