The Boston Metro area’s future housing needs could be solved by micro-unit apartments, according to a recent article in the Boston Business Journal. Is this the face of modern housing, or just a fad? Here are some highlights from the article, with our own thoughts in the mix!
First of all, micro-housing is more than just an abstract concept in Metro Boston. About 195 micro-units are planned within five building projects in the Innovation District. These residential units will range in size from 300 to 350 square feet, and are expected to fetch a minimum rent of $1,200 a month.
What kind of tenants will seek these units? If you answered “Generation Y”, you are correct! In fact, micro-units could be the perfect solution for young professionals who want to live in urban centers, but who are priced out of traditional housing. The Innovation District is the perfect location to test this concept.
Of course, price alone does not make a lifestyle, and for micro-housing to succeed, it must offer a good mix of common areas and amenities. Our best analogy would be to compare micro-housing to college campus living. The average dorm room can range from 160 square feet to just over 200 square feet. Therefore, recent grads won’t object to a 300 square foot apartment. So long as there is an on-site fitness center, social area, and shopping and dining within easy walking distance, it won’t be much of an adjustment!
Recent college graduates aren’t the only ones who would adapt well to micro-housing. Experienced business travelers know that the average U.S. hotel room is about 325 square feet. In some countries, hotel rooms are as small as 48 square feet, with a shared bathroom as a common area. We are used to thinking big when it comes to commercial real estate in America, but going small makes a lot of economic sense.
For commercial real estate investors and developers, high-density micro-housing could prove to be an attractive niche. It would supply much-needed, entry level housing in the Boston Metro Area, while providing potentially lucrative returns. The key is to place such units in walkable areas that offer plenty of convenience, with proximity to employment and public transportation. Location is everything!
Speaking of location, we can help you pin down the best buildings, lease arrangements and sites in the Boston Metro Area! Our many years of experience will help you find the ideal location for your business needs. As your commercial real estate agents in Boston’s Metro area, we offer professional market guidance for business owners and investors.
Please contact us today for expert assistance!