Just at the turn of the year, the converted shoe factory at 63 Melcher Street stepped out as the reincarnated Factory 63 apartment building. It had 38 studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms, including 23 so-called innovation units for the techie on the go. Each of these particular units was no more than 600 square feet each and designed in the mold of micro-apartments to be severely functional.
And, judging by a Craigslist ad for Innovation Studio G at Factory 63, these units are not coming cheap: the rent for this one is $2,299 a month. That is comparable to the monthly median for all apartments in all of downtown Boston, not to mention well ahead of the median for Southie overall as well as for neighborhoods like the South End, the North End and Charlestown. For that $2,299, you get a "super tall ceiling," "a whole lot of exposed brick," "overhead storage space," "stackable washer and dryer in the bathroom," and a "modern, compact kitchen." Still, we can't help but share the irony-tinged thought that immediately leapt to our mind: It seems like a lot for a shoebox in a former shoe factory. (It's not clear—imagine that on Craigslist—if this listing is direct from the developer or a wishful attempt at a sublease.)
Then, again, who (or how) are we to truly say if the rent is too damn high? We're in unmarked territory at this point. Innovation units/micro-apartments are the new New Thing in Boston, and all the rage if you ask City Hall (or the Parkman House). Yet they've only ever been tested by the open market through the odd small studio condo or apartment here or there. They have never been tested on a large scale, with dozens—even hundreds—in the same building, spilling on to the scene at the same time. Stay tuned.
· A Chip Off the New M Block Debuts [Curbed Boston]
· The Cheapest, Priciest Areas to Rent a Hub Apartment [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete micro-apartments coverage [Curbed Boston]
· Our Rent Check archive [Curbed Boston]