We know Innovation Housing (a.k.a. micro-apartments) are all the rage in South Boston's, um, Innovation District. They appear, however, to be making the leap across the Charles into Kendall Square, the Hub's other great tech hub (or perhaps its greatest, depending on whom you ask). Local notables, including the president of the East Cambridge Planning Team and the chief of the Cambridge Innovation Center (C.I.C.), are pushing micro-apartments for a new tower M.I.T. wants to build by Broad Canal, part of a 36-acre redevelopment of the area. Like those slated in Southie, these micro-apartments would be tiny and functional, the sort geared toward caffeine-addled techies needing but a place to crash. Per Marc Levy of Cambridge Day:
The private spaces would be 300 square feet or smaller, possibly with a bathroom and no kitchen or with a kitchenette good enough for, say, scrambled eggs; but then there would be access to a grand common space, including a big kitchen.
Though we've questioned whether Hub dwellers will ever pay Manhattan-sized rents for Manhattan-sized apartments, especially past the ripe, old age of 22, the demand is apparently there. Tim Rowe, the C.I.C.'s chief, said that a study by his center has "found entrepreneurs were paying about $700 monthly to live, for instance, in a third-floor walk-up with no air-conditioning with other people in a house a significant distance from Davis Square. But they were willing to pay up to $1,000 for the better location and features Rowe describes as being a residential version of the C.I.C. itself, a business incubator with small offices but well-appointed public spaces and meeting rooms."
The above YouTube is one funky idea Rowe has put out there, based on M.I.T.'s ongoing CityHome project. Guests coming? The walls become bunk beds! Seems crazy, but so did an Innovation District in Southie a few years ago and that's stuck, more or less.
· Kendall Square Canal Is Target for Low-Cost ‘Innovation Housing’ for Entrepreneurs [Day]
· Will Manhattan Rents Fly in South Boston? [Curbed Boston]
· Innovation District's 'Call for Housing' Answered by 212 Number [Curbed Boston]
· How to Talk About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· A Day in the Life of Kendall Square: Lobster and Smartphones [Curbed Boston]