Monday, September 15, 2014

Turning parking spaces into micro apartments

From the NY Times:

What is the solution to affordable housing in New York?

One number has been repeated over and over — 200,000 subsidized units, to be built or preserved over a decade. Mayor Bill de Blasio promised it, but has yet to explain how he’ll get there.

Here are two other numbers: 9 x 18. In square feet, that’s 162, smaller than the most micro micro-apartment.

It is the size of a typical parking space. That lowly slice of asphalt has prompted three young architects — Miriam Peterson, Sagi Golan and Nathan Rich, fellows at the Institute for Public Architecture — to come up with what could be an innovative way to ease the housing crisis.

I’m intrigued by their proposal, “9 x 18,” because it’s about more than apartment buildings plopped onto vacant land. It considers how parking spaces — mandated in outmoded zoning regulations, prolific at public housing sites — might be leveraged into something more ambitious, something that encourages a mix of housing in active neighborhoods with accessible transit, public services and lively streets. In effect, the proposal trades asphalt for housing and amenities.

And even if “9 x 18” isn’t perfect or foolproof — especially when it comes to finances — at least it is concerned with more than hitting some arbitrary number.

After all, the New York City Housing Authority, albeit with a wealth of federal money, did build nearly 200,000 subsidized apartments in the two decades after World War II. But that was hardly an unqualified success: Too many of those apartments ended up in projects on the far edges of the city, without shops or grocery stores, surrounded by vast parking lots that acted like moats, thwarting street life and cutting off residents from the rest of the neighborhood. Many of the projects are crumbling today. The housing authority is broke.

The “9 x 18” proposal capitalizes on an outdated and onerous zoning mandate that requires private developers to build parking spaces for new apartments in certain parts of the city.


At one time "market rate" housing was "affordable" in most parts of the city. And if the parking spaces in question are at housing projects on the "far edges" of the city, then how can units be built on top of them that will have "accessible transit, public services and lively streets"? Did anyone proof this article?

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Plant of parking not underground near subway stops (within a quarter mile) crappy, some of them in public housing developments. For those with minimal retail nearby replacing parking lots with buildings that have ground floor retail could help make streets more 'lively'.

If you want 'market rate' to be affordable for most then you need supply to meet demand. There is a massive shortage of housing in in demand cities. NYC can't build out of that on its own. But it needs to build a lot more to do its share.

Anonymous said...

You'll never meet demand if wealthy foreigners are buying units sight unseen and driving up prices for people that actually live here.

Anonymous said...

When will people learn how to write properly?

Anonymous said...

Where else are we going to house all the illegals?

Anonymous said...

"You'll never meet demand if wealthy foreigners are buying units sight unseen and driving up prices for people that actually live here."

THAT is one of the biggest factors. Over 40% of all new construction in Manhattan and an increasing number in outer boroughs is foreign-owned. These are not lived-in and often never even seen in person. They are just investments.

This has distorted the development industry and skewed it to the highest end of the scale.

Anonymous said...

Families will be living in the mico unit just at they do in 3rd world space.

After a few more hurricanes dumping sewage and toxic chemicals in the lobbies and day care centers in LIC, I see all that development as rentals each with 2 or 3 families soon.

You have to be a nitwit to move into those new units. Be smart. Stay in Manhattan.

Queens Crapper said...

"Over 40% of all new construction in Manhattan and an increasing number in outer boroughs is foreign-owned."

What to do about this? The foreign investments aren't going to stop any time soon and neither will the flow of people into the city looking for housing. You can't legislate who is allowed to buy.

Anonymous said...

Jail cells have more space than these 'apartments'.

Anonymous said...

What to do about this? The foreign investments aren't going to stop any time soon and neither will the flow of people into the city looking for housing. You can't legislate who is allowed to buy.
-
True, but American citizens have every right to expect their electeds to serve their interest (that we are too stupid to do this is beside the pont).

If we have tons of hot money coming into NYC from drugs, exploitation, tax evasion, etc and its being used to buy up real estate so someone's mistress has a little nest or an airhead daughter can have a launchpad into NY social scene while long term tenants are being evicted, yes, there is something that can be done with taxes for 2nd and 3rd houses and the like.

Hell, if we can attract every potential needy Democrat from around the world we can rid ourselves of cosmopolitian Eurotrasht that is sucking up Manhattan real estate left and right.

Anonymous said...

There's no conceivable means of meeting the 200,000 goal, and removing parking that's needed for people who work and do business to and from areas without good public transit is going to cause major problems. But this is expected from NY Times writer Michael Kimmelman, born and raised in Greenwich Village, who would think that parking is "mandated in outmoded zoning regulations" and raises the easy straw-man of the public housing parking lots, as if that ONE obvious type of parcel would be any more than a drop in the bucket.

Aside from some major revamping of Staten Island, NYC within its current boundaries is nowhere near big enough to fit the 9,000,000 people projected by PlaNYC by 2030.

NYC real estate bought by foreigners, another favorite bogey of the entitlement hoards and the NIMBYs equally, has outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 10 years. That kind of growth is not sustainable forever, and they're only buying because the tweeders are building it for them. Attack the problem at its source and don't be distracted by nonsense like legislating against foreign buyers - it's a symptom of a larger problem, and will never see the light of day in court.

Anonymous said...

If the level of private sector employment improves in New York City to the the extent that renters will be free to choose where they live, these small apartments will be unrentable.

These apartments are sized for people for whom the choices will be "this", or a shelter, or the street.

By the way, I do subscribe to the theory that the middle class of New York is being "priced out" - namely there's a lot better value for the middle class - either as renter or owner outside the five boroughs.

Anonymous said...

American citizens buy homes in other countries, legally, just as foreigners buy homes here, legally.

Anonymous said...

No anon micro apartments or for people who choose between NYC micro and a house in Scranton.

Crappy a non-occupancy tax would reduce the condos as investment issue. If a unit isn't claimed as somebody's primary residence on a federal, state, and city tax return charge them 5-10% of its value.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of democratic countries, such as Switzerland that do indeed legislate who may or may not purchase property.

Anonymous said...

Zoning Resolution ZR 25-62 http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/art02c05.pdf

In all districts, as indicated, for all #accessory# off-street
parking spaces, open or enclosed, each 300 square feet of
unobstructed standing or maneuvering area shall be considered one
parking space. However, an area of less than 300 square feet, but
in no event less than 200 square feet, may be considered as one
space, where the layout and design of the parking area are
adequate to permit convenient access and maneuvering in
accordance with regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of
Buildings, or where the developer or applicant for a building
permit or certificate of occupancy certifies that such spaces
will be fully attended.

Anonymous said...

We can and should limit how much property foreigners can buy in already over crowded cities in America. However, it would take the federal government to enforce that and we all know how the federal government fails its' citizens!

Queens Crapper said...

"Crappy a non-occupancy tax would reduce the condos as investment issue. If a unit isn't claimed as somebody's primary residence on a federal, state, and city tax return charge them 5-10% of its value."

Yeah, but they already get away with claiming that their investment property is where they live so they can get STAR credits and the like, so...

Anonymous said...

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/art02c05.pdf

So clocking in at 162 sq ft. (9x18) these apartments are smaller by about 25% of even the smallest recognized parking spaces.

Jesus f'ing Christ, the NY Times pays Michael Kimmerling a full time salary to be its architecture critic, who received the Brendan Gill prize this year from the Municipal Art Society of NY and he can't even be bothered to look that up before he spews it on the pages of the Grey Lady? In the words of Holden Caulfield, to hell with all these phonies. Get me outta here...

Anonymous said...

Man cave

Anonymous said...

I guess the next generation of New Yorkers will be living in converted sea cargo containers. I wonder what the rent will be for those?

Anonymous said...

Perfect "residences" for Asian tech drones.