Edited Housing Guide: A Look at 4 Compact Housing Developments in North America
While building small is big in many places around the world, it’s still pretty novel in North America. Our abundance of space and affection for cars have made our architectural disposition similar to a big yawn after Thanksgiving dinner.
New American home footprints have been north of 2K sq ft for a while, and have even spiked to 2550 sq ft in the last year because credit scarcity has limited new home ownership to the cash-flush.
But that’s not what we’re going to talk about today. We are going to talk about the little guys. These are developers at the vanguard, building small, efficient, awesome homes.
And if we missed anyone, please let us know in the comment section.
1. Cubix SF (née Cubix Yerba Buena)
If you go to San Francisco’s SoMa district and see a Rubik’s-cubey-looking building, it’s probably the Cubix SF. The 98-unit building has floorplans ranging from 250-350 sq ft. Prices are in the low-to-mid $200’s, which is about a 1/3 of the area’s median price.
The building features nice finishes (see main image above for interior pic), modern appliances, a big roofdeck and groundfloor cafe. Their focus is on creating a low purchase price for people who still want a high quality, stylish apartment in a great neighborhood.
2. Vancouver Micro Lofts
Okay, so it’s not the US, but these micro units epitomize edited living. There are 30 units, which range from 226-291 sq ft and average $850CAD/month rent, which includes cable and internet.
The tasteful decors feature folding beds and tables, big windows and small, high quality appliances. With considerably lower rents than neighborhood average, the building proved very popular and rented out almost immediately.
In Seattle, Calhoun Properties has developed 9 building featuring their Apodments™, which are more like boarding rooms than standard apartments. Buildings have shared kitchens and living rooms. Some rooms have shared bathrooms and can be as cheap as $350/month including utilities, while the majority have private bathrooms, kitchenettes and some furniture and are as cheap as $495/month including utilities.
The units themselves are as small as 90 sq ft with fairly spartan decors compared to the other developments in this profile. Calhoun seems to be focused on young people who make low, hourly wages and/or don’t spend much time at home.
image via Facebook
4. Olympic Studios and Studio Lofts
In posh Santa Monica, CA, NMS Properties offers compact living for moderate income households (<$60K/year for singles and <$68/year for couples).
The units range anywhere from 360-448 sq ft. One of the cooler features is their furniture organizer, which allows you to drag and drop furniture pieces to pre-configure your furniture to the spaces somewhat tight quarters. We particularly like the loft layout, whose high ceilings give the small footprint a cavernous feel.
image via Olympic Lofts
graph via treehugger and Builder Online