Would you like to supersize that? Â Americans like more than just big French fry portions. Â We have an affinity for all things ballooned in size. Â We prefer big cars, big closets, big diamonds and more. Â We ourselves are even bigger â€“ with recent studies exposing the American obesity epidemic.Â
So then, how is the idea of something so small growing in popularity? Â The mini-size trend referenced is micro-apartments. Â Micro-apartments have been around for decades and were first presented as a solution in the nationâ€™s most expensive housing markets like New York, Seattle, and Washington DC. Â The rooms are about the size of a hotel room (300 square feet or less) and often lack a separate kitchen or defined bedroom. Â The pint-size apartments offer less space in exchange for lower rent.
Nationwide, rent prices have soared. Â Consequently, renters are embracing the â€œmicro-apartmentâ€ as a less expensive alternative that commonly offer large lobbies and general communal space. Â Real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc. disclosed to the Wall Street Journal that 26 micro-apartment projects are in the works totaling 2,000 units built or under development since 2011 across San Francisco, Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Seattle.
Some real estate experts find the concept flawed. Â Most critics feel micro-apartments only work in large metro cities. Â In smaller or less expensive cities, rents aren't high enough for renters to give up space. Â Another potential problem cited in the WSJ article by Kelly Saito, president of Gerding Edlen, the developer Boston micro apartments, is that cities must offer enough of a draw to live downtown.Â
Chicago apartment rentals definitely arenâ€™t cheap, and most renters would gladly pay less and the cityâ€™s neighborhoods offer plenty of nightlife, restaurants, and easy commuting options. Â So with all the general needs to be successful, do you see micro-apartments as the next wave of Chicago homes?Â