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Florida's Micro Apartment Boom

By Colleen Colkitt

What Is A Micro Apartment?

Never heard of a micro apartment? No worries, not too many people outside of America's largest and most densely packed cities have. This new "mini living" trend is an innovative way to figure out a living situation where consolidation is the key. The one-room apartments are about 300 square feet.

These apartments are very popular in Seattle right now, and the trend is spreading to the Miami area. Each apartment utilizes space by lofting the bed, and installing shelves in the stairs on the way to the small bedroom. No space goes unused here, as shown by the living room space sharing utility with the kitchen area. Complete with a kitchen area, and sometimes even a washer and dryer, the innovations in design have allowed people to manage comfortable, but limited, in these micro apartments.

Why Is There Demand?

Everyone wants to get the most out of a small apartment. That's why there is so much help for decorating a small space and making it appear larger and roomier. These smaller apartments are just taking this concept one step further. There is a high demand for this type of space because many other cities, such as New York and Seattle, and even countries like Japan, have a large amount of people who need temporary and cheap housing. Micro apartments appeal to younger demographics or maybe even those residents who are looking to downgrade their home.

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg gave a statement that outlined the need for micro apartments due to the overwhelming amount of one-and two-person households, with very few studio and one-bedroom apartments available. This is why he plans to give the OK for zoning apartments with as little as 275 square feet! The current limit is 400 sq. feet, but things are changing as the demand and needs of the urban populace continues to grow.

In big cities there is a big demand for affordable housing. Apartments in NYC are already known to be tiny, but the micro apartments planned for Miami have a lot of potential to be a trendy and affordable way to save on money and space!

Micro Controversy

Although some people are all for this type of single-room apartment, others are not as ready to accept the micro apartment. If anyone's ever lived in a college dorm room, with the addition of a roommate, then you know how difficult it is to manage in such a small area. Since these are built for one person, you don't have to worry about a roommates belongings fitting in the apartment, but you sure do have to limit yourself as to what you bring in. Space is limited, and many are upset that local neighborhoods aren't being consulted for their input on the matter.

Some residents are worried that micro apartments will crowd too many people together and the minimalistic nature of the small homes don't encourage people to put down roots. Although local officials are going by the zoning code, some residents suspect they're pushing what they can do under the land use code.

Some people are upset, but for the most part, the micro apartment boom coincides with the recession. Cities have allowed tiny apartment units for many years, and in the past three years this trend has continued and developed through innovative design and smart planning. You decide if micro apartments are a good alternative for you!

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