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barakat

Micro-Unit Apartments

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I do think it would be good to find something to cater to singles and young professionals looking for a small space, and can't afford to pay north of $1,000/month for rent in the newer developments out there. As we redevelop our core into a residential-friendly environment, I think it's important to have a little something for everyone. I imagine, though, it's not something on a lot of developer's radars right now, as they are buying expensive plots and want to make money on the projects they do.

I think there is room for this sort of thing in some of the less-developed (or not quite as "hot") areas right around the core. Lafayette near 2nd and 4th, North Capitol, and the northern part of midtown near the hospitals (where small, inexpensive housing would be ideal for resident doctors).

I honestly don't really want MDHA building or managing this stuff, but perhaps they could provide some incentives.

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No offense, but are you guys crazy? Micro-units are the last thing we want. Nashville's development patterns are already cheating the citizens here. In a city where you are a 10-15 minute drive to the very affordable suburbs, we should be building BIGGER apartments. I'm not sure of the average rent/sq.ft. in town, but it seems like the newer developments are along the lines of $1000 for 600-700 sq. ft. I would like to see 800-900 for $1000. Nashville has a low cost of living and urban apartments should reflect that. I understand, city life has a premium, but Nashville needs to be affordable to attract people.

Here in San Francisco, the city is already building 200 sq. ft. apartments that will rent for $1500/month. That's right. 200 sq.ft.! And trust me, with what we pay in rent here and the tiny spaces we already deal with, it's a recipe for disaster. Would you believe me if i told you that i pay $2700/month for 650 sq. ft. In San Francisco? Believe it, because that's average. And that doesn't include a parking space. That's another $500/month.

Want to significantly increase the crime and murder rate? Go ahead, shove thousands of people into one building. Didn't we already try that with Chicago projects in the 80's? Does anyone remember how that experiment turned out?

I'm all for catering to single short time residents, but this is nothing more than a way for developers to price gouge its tenants.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-supervisors-back-micro-apartments-4055493.php#photo-3192726

Edited by nashvillwill
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Same thing in Vancouver http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2011/12/19/19145366.html

and San Francisco http://www.wired.com/design/2012/11/san-francisco-micro-apartments/

 

I think it's a great idea, but it isn't really low cost.  I would like to see some serious effort made to create genuinely cheap housing for people who don't think you should be forced into a life that revolves around paying for a place to live.  Back in the 50s housing was like 11% of the average budget.  People have been brainwashed into this weird obsession with housing.  I think most of it is due to the fact that the more unequal society becomes the more people have to compete for status symbols.

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Pine Street Flats has them. 420 square ft. starting at $998 per month. They are their most popular model.

Edited by producer2

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I'm quite sane, thanks for the assumption.  I don't think it's fair make make additional assumptions that you have in comparing San Francisco to Nashville.   The crime thing is a stretch, and ignores so many things.  You could have income requirements/restrictions, targeted marketing, etc.  Diverse housing stock is a good thing, and we don't have it.  "Short-term" residents does not equate to criminal residents, another broad assumption.  I know entertainment professionals who visit Nashville, throughout the year, who might like such an arrangement if it were in a good location.  Especially if the only option is staying at a hotel or typical furnished condo rental.   I don't equate Pine Street Flats to this type of housing, either.

 

No offense, but are you guys crazy? Micro-units are the last thing we want. Nashville's development patterns are already cheating the citizens here. In a city where you are a 10-15 minute drive to the very affordable suburbs, we should be building BIGGER apartments. I'm not sure of the average rent/sq.ft. in town, but it seems like the newer developments are along the lines of $1000 for 600-700 sq. ft. I would like to see 800-900 for $1000. Nashville has a low cost of living and urban apartments should reflect that. I understand, city life has a premium, but Nashville needs to be affordable to attract people.

Here in San Francisco, the city is already building 200 sq. ft. apartments that will rent for $1500/month. That's right. 200 sq.ft.! And trust me, with what we pay in rent here and the tiny spaces we already deal with, it's a recipe for disaster. Would you believe me if i told you that i pay $2700/month for 650 sq. ft. In San Francisco? Believe it, because that's average. And that doesn't include a parking space. That's another $500/month.

Want to significantly increase the crime and murder rate? Go ahead, shove thousands of people into one building. Didn't we already try that with Chicago projects in the 80's? Does anyone remember how that experiment turned out?

I'm all for catering to single short time residents, but this is nothing more than a way for developers to price gouge its tenants.


http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-supervisors-back-micro-apartments-4055493.php#photo-3192726

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I'm quite sane, thanks for the assumption. I don't think it's fair make make additional assumptions that you have in comparing San Francisco to Nashville. The crime thing is a stretch, and ignores so many things. You could have income requirements/restrictions, targeted marketing, etc. Diverse housing stock is a good thing, and we don't have it. "Short-term" residents does not equate to criminal residents, another broad assumption. I know entertainment professionals who visit Nashville, throughout the year, who might like such an arrangement if it were in a good location. Especially if the only option is staying at a hotel or typical furnished condo rental. I don't equate Pine Street Flats to this type of housing, either.

I never said that short term residents=criminals. I mentioned those two groups in two different paragraphs. If this is what you think is good for our city, then that's fine. Ill just have to disagree.

Also, I wasn't trying to compare San Francisco to Nashville. In fact, I was stating that one of the benefits to Nashville is that it is NOT S.F. When I move back, I would love to live in the city. But I also desire some decent square footage. I'm not going to pay $2000/month for 700s.f. You're right, we do need diverse housing stock. But, I would trade all of the amenities (pool, free parking, granite kitchen, private community room, etc) for an extra 200s.f. It seems like all that is being built is high end stuff.

Edited by nashvillwill

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Glad to see someone else on here thinks even the current 600-700sq ft apartments for 1K is too much for Nashville. I would LOVE to live downtown, but I just do not see how people can justify that cost. I live in Mt. Juliet now in a 1400 sq ft home with a yard/garage and the mortgage is less than 1K. I would jump downtown in a heartbeat if the prices were good. To me a 800 sq ft in Nashville area should be around $900 if not less.

 

I am not sure how people could live in a 200 sq ft apt. I am pretty sure I would go crazy if I lived in closet like that.

Edited by bigeasy

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Glad to see someone else on here thinks even the current 600-700sq ft apartments for 1K is too much for Nashville. I would LOVE to live downtown, but I just do not see how people can justify that cost. I live in Mt. Juliet now in a 1400 sq ft home with a yard/garage and the mortgage is less than 1K.

 

I own a 1,000ft2 house with a basement and garage in East Nashville and the mortgage is well under $1,000 a month. 5 minutes from 5-Points and 10 minutes from Downtown.

 

I'm sure its great to be in the heart of the Gulch, but $1k/mo for 600ft2 is pretty rediculous. But if you've moved here from a costal city where rents are 2x as much, I'm sure $1k seems like a deal.

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I own a 1,000ft2 house with a basement and garage in East Nashville and the mortgage is well under $1,000 a month. 5 minutes from 5-Points and 10 minutes from Downtown.

 

I'm sure its great to be in the heart of the Gulch, but $1k/mo for 600ft2 is pretty rediculous. But if you've moved here from a costal city where rents are 2x as much, I'm sure $1k seems like a deal.

I also have a circa 1000SF house in East Nashville, about 1 mile from 5 Points, and my mortgate payment is also well, well below $1,000/month.  But I also bought my house in 2005.  But prices are rising quickly right now, even in my neighborhood (Eastwood), and we're starting to see teardowns where people are building homes that they couldn't afford to build in other parts of town. 

 

Still, prices in East Nashville would have to rise exponentially to reach the prices in the Gulch or even 12 South.  East Nashville homes (even in the brand-name neighborhoods) are about $100k less than comparable homes in Sylvan Park.  When it comes to Belmont Hillsboro, an East Nashville home is at least $200k cheaper than a comparable home in that area.  That's why the music industry folks are gravitating to East Nashville: it's still cheaper than West Nashville (except maybe The Nations) or particularly 12 South. 

 

But $1000/month mortgages are going to start to elude those within walking distance to the hotspots:  budget-oriented home buyers in East Nashville are already starting to search in McFerrin Park, Cleveland Park and South Inglewood.  That's where the deals are these days.

 

Then again, the absence of a yard or maintenance on a home is one of the benefits of living in the Gulch that gets priced in to that market.  I mean, my mortgage payment is one thing.  My my mortgage payment combined with repair and maintenance on my house is killing me!  So the question is: how much would you pay to live in a small space that is within walking distance to a lot of things but that you don't have to maintain? 

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I am not sure how people could live in a 200 sq ft apt. I am pretty sure I would go crazy if I lived in closet like that.

 

In Chicago I lived in about 250 sq ft aprt, basically a nice size room with a tiny kitchen and a little bathroom off it, with a huge window with a lovely view and it was great.  The view was probably a big reason it didn't seem cramped.  It was on the lake, 2 blocks from what's now the Red Line (then the North-South line).  I'm more interested in what's around my home than the size of the home, to me small is a plus.

 

 

Then again, the absence of a yard or maintenance on a home is one of the benefits of living in the Gulch that gets priced in to that market.  I mean, my mortgage payment is one thing.  My mortgage payment combined with repair and maintenance on my house is killing me!  So the question is: how much would you pay to live in a small space that is within walking distance to a lot of things but that you don't have to maintain? 

 

People need to think of landlords as providing a service.  There is so much you don't have to deal with when you rent, you should expect to pay a premium.  Houses are a lot like cars, people pay a payment, they pay insurance, they pay property tax in some places, they pay registration and other fees, they pay for gas, they pay for oil changes, they pay for tires, for repairs--all to separate places and they never add it up.  The cost of living in a suburb where you need a car for everyone in the household old enough to drive vs. the cost of living near where you work in an urban area, that is having one car instead of 2 or 3--it's not a calculation people make.  Likewise with housing, for most people living someplace smaller and cheaper is probably the best financial decision they could make.  We're coming off a couple of decades where they idea was, buy the biggest house you can qualify for even if that means living on the edge of bankruptcy. 

 

I think we also need to consider that the urban housing that has been built in Nashville so far is meeting the bottled-up demand of a market that has been neglected for decades.  The Gulch will always be an expensive place to live, but eventually it may come to pass that some reasonably priced housing will be built near downtown.  The low hanging fruit gets picked first, but someday building reasonably priced apartments will be more profitable than not building anything.  Developers will say the market is overbuilt because they're used to a sellers market for housing, but right now in Nashville the market is way out of balance because of the shortage of housing in the core.

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