Minneapolis has jumped on the micro-unit bandwagon. But unlike other major cities such as Boston and Seattle, where micro-units often just mean more opportunity for profits, the Midwestern city aims to make compact living an affordable alternative in a market where a small studio can go for $1,200 a month.
According to MinnPost, Village Green Development proposed a plan for a new residential high-rise downtown that would include 293 micro-apartments that are 350 to 425 square feet in size.
“The fundamental reason for micro-units is obviously to allow affordable housing primarily for singles — or for couples in an urban setting where they rent a small unit and live big with all the conveniences,” David Graham, an architect with Minneapolis’ Elness Swenson Graham Architects told the news outlet.
Micro-apartments are gaining traction across the country, as many millennials settle into single, urban lifestyles, and eschew many outsized amenities embraced by their generational predecessors. Many complexes housing these micro-apartments boast impressive communal spaces that include rooftop gardens, pools, fitness centers and lounges.
“Micro-units work because the demographic that chooses to live in a micro-unit uses the community spaces within the building and the city itself as their living room,” Graham said.
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.