These Modular Micro Apartments Are The Future of NYC

Unless you're a Russian oligarch or trust funded transplant, the prospect of living comfortably in New York City is becoming less and less of a possibility. Soon, though, it may be much easier to afford your own place, when Manhattan's first-ever building of micro apartments opens later in the year. The nine-story project in Kips Bay will feature 55 units under 360 square feet, each boasting a stunningly efficient layout and its very own tiny private balcony.

We recently got a behind-the-scenes look at the Brooklyn warehouse where each of the mini modular units gets made. Watching a sizable apartment complex come to life under another building's roof is something else.

So long as people continue their influx to Gotham, this may very well be how new affordable housing muscles its way into the urban landscape.

The project was the winning proposal of a city-sponsored competition aimed towards discovering innovative housing solutions that would affordably accommodate the city's growing population of one and two-person households. They hope to make $2,000 per month studio apartments a thing of the past.

The unique plan—a collaboration between the design firm nARCHITECTS and Monadnock Development—involves constructing each mini unit off-site, then stacking them individually like giant Tetris pieces. The whole process means a significantly shorter project schedule, so those broke actors can quit shacking up three to a studio in the East Village ASAP.

When it eventually opens later this year, it will be New York City's first micro-unit apartment building, and the first multi-unit Manhattan building made using modular construction.

All 55 units are currently being built in the Capsys Corporation's specialized warehouse across the river at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It's essentially a Santa's workshop of mini houses.

Each shipping container-esque shell runs between 250 and 360 total square feet, though finished floor plans vary only slightly from one another. 

They may be tiny, but they'll also be highly livable, with 10-foot ceilings, a flood of sunlight from windows, and small juliet balconies. You may not be equipped to host giant dinner parties, but hell if your glass balcony doesn't make up for that.

These renderings give you an idea what they'll look like when finished. Each one will essentially be a modern studio apartment, complete with a modest kitchen, bathroom, and multi-use living area that shifts between living room, dining room, and bedroom depending what you're up to. There are also generous storage lockers built in above the kitchen and bathroom. 

The apartments are miniature, but the building itself hasn't skimped on any amenities. There's a 1,500-square foot garden and equally sized patio up on the roof and 97-square foot "libraries" on most floors. There's even a gym, but you might want to stay away from there. The apartment's small enough as it is without you getting bigger.

Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He would sooner cut off a finger than endure a search for a Manhattan apartment again.