For fans of tiny houses, there’s a new way to live small and affordably – even in the biggest, most expensive cities. Micro apartments are hot in many cities with developers busy building entire buildings of them in places like New York City and San Francisco. Read on to learn more about micro apartments and where they’re located.
The difference between a studio apartment and a micro apartment
Studios and micro apartments have many things in common. They’re often a single-area open floor plan and they’re both usually less than 600 square feet. The difference comes down to function and ease.
Micro apartments are designed to be space-efficient as well as LEED certified or energy efficient. They are designed so that they feel bigger and more open than their actual square footage. They typically feature a community feel with plenty of common areas and high-end amenities including gyms, recreation areas, spas and bike valets.
Best micro apartment developments across the U.S.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best micro apartment developments in the U.S. Even if you live in a larger space, the design and lay out of these tiny spaces can still provide inspiration. All images courtesy of the developer.
Seattle may have the largest selection of micro apartments in the country. This development offers small and relatively affordable units (as little as $800 per month) and also makes renting a snap. All units are pet friendly, have flexible lease lengths, come furnished and also include all utilities and wifi in the monthly rental price.
This 70-unit development in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood is a combo of 460 square foot micro apartments and 1-2 bedroom apartments. The property offers a central location and earned a walkability score of 98 according to Walk Score. Built with a net-zero carbon footprint, it is LEED gold certified with:
- reflective roofing
- passive cooling
- reverse cycle air-to-water chillers for hot water
- LED lighting
- no-VOC paints and finishes
- bike parking
Developers refurbished an old cylindrical hotel in order to offer Denver’s first micro-apartments in Colorado. One of the coolest communities for rent in Denver, in includes amenities like:
- Central lobby/reception
- 24-hour gym
- 24-hour laundry
- Common outdoor grill area
- Car-charging ports
- Pet-friendly units
- Clubhouse with adjacent swimming pool
- High-floor game room featuring pool tables and stunning city views
- Key fob access
San Francisco may arguably be the most expensive city to rent in the U.S. This 240-square-foot micro apartment located in the highly desired SoMa district rents for $2,247 per month. The available amenities add real value to the monthly price tag. They include valet dry cleaning service, an arcade, a rooftop deck with 360-degree views as well as a gourmet community kitchen.
Shattuck Studios is a four-story building for Berkeley students with 21 units. This project is exceptional due to the fact that the building went up in just 4 days. This is the first building to use MicroPADS, tiny modular apartments modeled on shipping containers. Each prebuilt apartment follows a shipping container model and then gets connected on site.
This development of micro apartments in Manhattan consists of 55 units that vary from 260 to 360 square feet in size. It includes a ground floor gym and lobby as well as a top floor communal commercial kitchen, dining area and large terrace with grills.
The developers of The Flats have several properties throughout Chicago, including three locations with micro apartments for rent:
- Lawrence House in Uptown Chicago (shown in images), a formal 1925-built hotel, renting for $1018 per month
- The Bachelor, a 1922-built industrial-style building Uptown
- Bush Temple on River North, the most upscale of the three, starting at $1700 per month
This high-end community set on the Potomac River combines luxury housing, restaurants, boutiques and more. A third are micro-units which average 350 square feet and are designated as affordable housing. According to the developers, the market rate for the micro apartments will be, “in the range of $1,500-$2,000 per month.”
Micro Apartments Around The World
Here are some stylish and very innovative micro apartments from around the world, proving you don’t have to have a big house to enjoy good design.
Sao Paolo, Brazil
Would you live in a micro apartment? Which design is your favorite?