ABO Developments - Spring 2013 - (Page 10)

Making Room: New Models for Housing An Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York BY ST EV E C U T L E R The micro-unit apartment building at 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan will feature a light brick façade with a series of setbacks and cantilevers. W hat are we going to do with the one million new residents coming into New York City over the next two decades, more than half of whom will likely be single, when we don’t have enough studios and one-bedrooms to house the disproportionately single population we’ve got already? The prevailing solution today is to cram them into the existing housing stock, several to a unit. But what kind of way is that to live? Besides, it’s illegal in some cases. There’s a limit to how many unrelated people can occupy one apartment, regardless of its size. Three, the law says. And current New York City zoning forbids developers to build apartments under 400 square feet in new construction. Mayor Bloomberg, famous for micromanaging lifestyle in New York to improve it, announced his solution to the problem last July: the micro-apartment. Together with HPD, the mayor launched “adAPT NYC,” a pilot program based on a long-term project by the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) of New York to develop a new model for residential construction in New York City. 10 My Micro NY will be the first multi-family building in Manhattan to use modular construction, piecing together modules prefabricated by Capsys at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The program asked developers to submit RFPs to design, build and operate a micro-unit apartment building on city-owned land in Kips Bay. Apartments in the complex would be just 275 to 300 square feet, yet livable enough — commodious even — to justify downsizing the zoning regs citywide and coax developers to add big numbers of small apartments to their new projects. The winning and runner-up apartment designs are on display at an exhibit entitled “Making Room” at the Museum of the City of New York running through September 2013. In addition to the prize-winning designs, the exhibit, coproduced by CHPC, features a full-sized furnished 325-square-foot micro-studio apartment and models and drawings of housing designs commissioned in 2011 by CHPC in partnership with the Architectural League of New York and examples of small dwellings in the U.S. and around the world. Let’s Get Small Mayor Bloomberg’s push for smaller apartment layouts and the museum exhibit were inspired by a five-year study conducted by CHPC on how to | A B O D E V E L O P ME NTS • www.abogny.com reconfigure housing in New York City to catch up with changing demographics. “Thirty-three percent of New York City’s housing units are occupied by single people living alone,” wrote CHPC’s Jerilyn Perine and Sarah Watson. “And a third of single persons living alone actually under-occupy housing, by living in a two bedroom apartment or larger. While some portion of these households are not revealing lodgers or boarders to survey takers, many others are truly under-occupying their units by choice or because more suitable housing is unavailable to them. More than half of these reported single person households benefit from some form of rent regulation.” The data suggests an opportunity for developers, if only the city would allow them to build smaller units. Scaled-down, affordable apartments in amenity-rich buildings convenient to transportation, if designed well, could tempt singles to give up their oversized rent-stabilized apartments. And they enable builders to put significantly greater numbers of housing units in dense areas of the city to accommodate the increasing number of single people just entering the housing market. http://www.abogny.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Spring 2013

A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
BuildingsNY The Bigger, The Better…2013
Workshops and Seminars
Making Room New Models for Housing
ABO 2012 Awards Luncheon
Rats A Success S tory
Index of Advertisers

ABO Developments - Spring 2013

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