Inside New York’s First Micro Unit Building
As micro units continue to provide livable solutions to space and cost concerns in cities across the country, New York City will be getting its first prefabricated, micro-apartment complex. Last week, the New York Times toured the Brooklyn Navy Yards home of Capsys Corp., where the My Micro NY units are being assembled.
“My Micro NY, made of prefabricated modular units built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will be stacked into place this spring. The apartments will come with kitchenettes, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, ceilings over nine feet high and big windows. And to help make living in a small space more palatable, tenants will have access to storage units and common spaces scattered throughout the building.”
My Micro NY is the winner of Mayor Bloomberg’s AdAPT NYC competition to develop an innovative micro-unit apartment housing model. As part of the Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers exhibit organized by CHPC in 2013, visitors were given a chance to explore the pilot micro unit.
“The many two- to four-bedroom units on the rental market “actually better respond to the housing landscape of the 1950s,” when homes were designed for families, and not for today, said Sarah Watson, the deputy director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council. Her organization has developed an initiative, Making Room, that explores expanding New York’s housing options…In New York, the Citizens Housing and Planning Council found that the pressure from what Ms. Watson considers “old-fashioned zoning laws” has led to widespread flouting of the law. “Most people sharing apartments together are in some way breaking the rules,” Ms. Watson said. Any apartment that is subdivided among more than three people who aren’t related is in violation of occupancy rules, for example, and many apartments have locks on bedroom doors, which in many cases blocks the fire exit.”
One of the initial objectives of Making Room was to keep pace with the changing needs of New York City’s population. We are very excited to see the combination of applicable research, up to date housing regulation policies, and innovative design come to life.