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Tiny Apartments of the Future Unveiled in New Exhibit

By Trevor Kapp | January 22, 2013 7:13pm

NEW YORK CITY — They probably won’t be featured on "MTV Cribs," but these mini apartments will still make for cozy living.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua announced Tuesday that Monadnock Development LLC won a contest to build the city’s first micro-unit apartments.

The new digs, called My Micro NY, will range from 275 to 300 square feet and will be big enough for residents to sleep, cook and dine.

Monandock will build 55 rental units, of which 40 percent will be affordable to low-income and middle-income New Yorkers, at 335 E. 27th St., a city-owned site in Kips Bay.

“New York’s ability to pioneer new ideas made us the world’s greatest city — and it’s going to be what keeps us strong in the 21st century,” Bloomberg said.

The apartments, developed through the adAPT NYC program, will be the first built in Manhattan using modular construction, in which the units are pre-fabricated off-site in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and then assembled in their final location.

“I’m looking forward to the ribbon cutting,” Monandock Development President Nicholas Lembro said. “My Micro NY is an excellent and innovative solution for one and two-person households.”

To celebrate the project, the Museum of the City of New York has created a new exhibit called "Making Room: New Housing for New Yorkers," which features a full-scale micro-apartment, with furniture that changes from night to day. The exhibit includes several designs submitted to the city’s competition, as well as inspiration from crowded cities around the world, including San Diego, Montreal, Seattle, and Tokyo, Japan.

Bloomberg said he hopes the mini apartments will set the standard for the future.

“If the pilot is as successful as we think it will be, it will help make the case for regulatory changes we’ll need to meet the great housing challenges of the 21st century,” he said.

Wambua praised Monandock’s creativity.

"The design, both internally and externally, is exceptionally innovative,” Wambua said. “The modular construction will result in the creation of many quality jobs.”

The project is expected to break ground by the end of 2013.

"Making Room: New Housing for New Yorkers" will be on display from Jan. 23 through Sept. 15 at the Museum of the City of New York at 1220 Fifth Ave.