SF Planning to Allow the Smallest Apartments

September 26, 2012 / Samantha Bartolata, Editor in Chief

In San Francisco plans are being designed for building apartments that are only 300 square feet of space and possibly smaller. These smallest apartments have been tried out in New York and Boston where rentals are at a premium. Claustrophobics beware.

SF Planning to Allow the Smallest Apartments

It is a good idea to provide affordable housing for all. However, how small is too small? It might be akin to living in a luxury jail cell if they go too small. The alternative, being homeless, is less desirable of course. However, these do not seem to be planned to rent to destitute people.

What are advertised as micro-studios are available in New York City and the total space is measured at only 275 square feet. The smaller ones proposed for San Francisco would be only 220 square feet. Pilot programs are being launched in New York and Boston. However, the micro-studios proposed for San Francisco would be reduced to the smallest of those in any existing project.

The city’s Board of Supervisors is set to rule on lowering the current minimum square footage of 290 to 220. Of grave concern to many is the fact that the total number of such units to be allowed has no upper limit. Conversely, in New York, Mayor Bloomberg has agreed to only 60 apartments measuring 275 to 300 square feet in size.

November will see an apartment building having 300 square-foot units in San Francisco. The developer, Patrick Kennedy, has already stated his intent to build thousands of micro-units of an even smaller size, if allowed. Innovations to make the most of the space are window seats that become beds and beds that become tables. Bay windows with spectacular views will minimalize the closed-in feeling of the apartments.

There is a situation in San Francisco where new jobs are being filled. Those newly hired employees are renting all the available apartments. As for price of the proposed micro-minis, the monthly rent is estimated at $1,200 to $1,700 as compared to what the average studio is now going for, $2,075. It sounds like the perfect solution for someone who is single and does not wish to live with a roommate to save on expenses. Students may flock to these micro-minis in the future.

Some who oppose predict a future where unsavory developers might build poor quality units. However, in a world that now holds a population in excess of seven billion, these tiny dwellings might someday be more of a necessity than a concept to be considered. The smallest apartments, whether luxury or basic, should always be of good quality for the people who need them.

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