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Micro-Apartments Growing Trend in Downtown Miami

  • Micro-Apartments Growing Trend in Downtown Miami

    Micro-Apartments Growing Trend in Downtown Miami

    A severe lack of housing in the urban Miami area is pushing developers to create smaller living spaces at cheaper prices to appeal to a growing set of renters looking for affordable options. East End Capital’s newest project, Wynwood 25, is set up to provide just this sort of opportunity. The new development in the Wynwood Arts District is set to offer what is known as micro-apartment units. These small-than-usual spaces are able to provide renters with a quality location at lesser prices than most of the higher-end units in the area.
    At Wynwood 25, the average apartment is expected to be around 750 square feet, smaller than the 1,000 to 3,000 square feet of the apartments recently built in the neighborhood. The smallest units will be around 400 square feet, comparable to an average hotel room measuring at 325 square feet.
    Developers say the main issue with Miami apartment pricing is that landowners have to charge at least $2.50 per square foot in rent in order to cover the high cost of land and construction. Most developers opt to build larger apartment units in the hopes of catering to a more luxury renter, leaving those with a lower income unable to afford the prices. Wynwood 25 hopes to tap into a different market and provide units with onsite amenities, including a fitness center, coffee lounge, and green courtyard.
    One issue the new building faces is that current Miami zoning code requires studio apartments to measure at least 400 square feet, raising in size to 550 for one-bedroom, and 650 for two-bedroom apartments. These classifications can lead to issues when dealing with maximum residential density limitations. Nearby Broward County is handling this issue by classifying studio apartments less than 500 square feet as half a dwelling unit, easing the density restrictions.
    Other development groups are catching up on this trend of providing micro-units. Property Markets Group raised a tower in the downtown Miami area and has plans to expand in Fort Lauderdale. Their Miami apartments offer 450 square-foot studios for $1,600. Nearby, another micro-apartment tower is set to be built, hoping to offer units no larger than 400 square feet at an average rental price of $1,000 per month.
    These micro-apartment units are clearly in demand, as Wynwood 25 already has over 600 applicants on its waiting list for only 289 apartments. As developers struggle to keep up, they see the potential for a city facing extreme challenges in the rapidly expanding Miami urban housing market.