Here's yet another spin on micro-apartments, that vampiric Boston real estate trend that will always be with us: tiny apartments for families. City Hall is encouraging the private developers of major new projects to gear some of their units toward keeping people in the city in a bid to stop them from splitting for the 'burbs once babies start arriving.
The scheme, however noble, has two flaws. One is quite familiar: Just because the spaces are smaller doesn't mean the rents are. Here are just two examples from a run-down by Casey Ross in The Globe: "At Ava Theater District, a new building on Stuart Street, 815-square-foot two-bedroom units are being offered for about $3,900 a month. Similar units are more affordable at the company's building at Assembly Row in Somerville, where two-bedrooms with 779 square feet start at about $2,680, according to the building's website."
Note the reference to two-bedrooms. That's the other flaw, as we see it. These supposedly family-friendly micro-apartments are about 1,100 square feet max, with bedrooms carved into them rather than out of them; they're hardly family-sized, that is, whatever the family-friendliness. Thus the whole thing seems like a marketing ploy rather than a real, tangible, long-term solution to the Thunderdome that is the Boston housing market. Instead of stopgaps like 800-square-foot 2-BRs and heavily subsidized workforce apartments (that we imagine will involve ultra-competitive lotteries for units), why not just build more housing? Oh, right.
· Developers, City Hope Tiny Apartments will Keep Families in Boston [Globe]
· The Biggest Greater Boston Apartment Openings in 2015 [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Micro-Apartments Are Real Estate Vampires [Curbed Boston]
· Hub Micro-Apartments: Follow the Money and the Rest Is Noise [Curbed Boston]
· 1350 Boylston and the Battle for Building Boston [Curbed Boston]
· Our complete micro-apartments coverage [Curbed Boston]