New Micro Apartment Communities Are Flexible but Not Cheap

Posted On Fri, March 13, 2015 By

Posted On Fri, March 13, 2015 By In City Living, real estate trends

Is this the dorm-itization of NYC? via 20071110_0213 via photopin (license)

With shared office spaces like WeWork taking the city by storm, it’s no surprise that the residential real estate community is looking to get in on the commune-style action, especially considering the city’s push for micro housing.

The Daily News reports on “communal living hubs with micro-apartments for young professionals,” calling it the “dorm-itization of New York City.” Instead of traditional one-year leases, these new setups are offering month-to-month contracts where tenants came rent a room at the snap of a finger and move out just as easily. They can also freely apartment hop between buildings of the same owner. In theory, it sounds great for first-time New Yorkers, fresh-out-of-college twenty-somethings, and just about anyone with an uncertainly factor to their lives. But the News notes that a standard, five-bedroom micro apartment community has a lease of about $10,000/month, meaning that the modern nomads renting out rooms are still paying roughly $2,000/month, pretty steep for a single bedroom in a unit shared with a stranger.

509 East 87th Street
509 East 87th Street

Well-known development company Young Woo & Associates is trying out the concept at 509 East 87th Street. They own the building and are “leasing out individual bedrooms on the first floor through Campus, a San Francisco-based company that creates co-living communities for young professionals.” The project is called the Hive, and it would have three- to five-bedroom apartments, all available separately on a short-term basis. Though the bedrooms would be small, their inhabitants will have access to communal kitchens and bathrooms, a rooftop, backyard, and laundry room. The one little catch? In addition to the monthly rent, there’s a fee to become a member of the community (don’t we call that a broker’s fee?). If the venture is a success, Young Woo will undertake similar models in ten buildings across the five boroughs, and even across the world.

Campus now has four locations in New York, and its range from five- to 21-bedroom setups, all with bedrooms available on a month-to-month basis. One of their properties is at 80 Madison Avenue, at 28th Street, where the aforementioned $10,000/month five-bedroom apartment is located. Shared office space giant WeWork is also toying with the idea of breaking into the residential sphere, and it’s rumored that they’re bringing the concept to the city.

The Daily News breaks down the real estate trend: “Leasing individual bedrooms on a month-to-month basis substantially increases work for landlords but some experts said the extra effort would be worthwhile, since residents on short-term leases would likely be willing to pony up more money per square foot than in a traditional situation.” Fair point, but what do you think?

[Via NYDN]

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