So, you thought you’d look to live in happenin’ Harlem? And you hoped to find a pad for, say, ballpark of $1,300 or less?
If you’re lucky, you might land one of a handful of newly refurbished cubes that’s just big enough for a party of one, with a common washroom just down the hall.
Developers Matthew and Seth Weissman are lifting the curtain this weekend on their second set of five recently completed mini-apartments ranging from 150 to 450 square feet at 2299 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, at W. 135th St.
It’s called a Single-Room Occupancy, or SRO - a vanishing segment of city real estate that was long associated with tenants who were down on their luck.
The Weissmans have identified an opportunity to market the minis to a new, up-and-coming niche even as housing advocates bemoan the loss of affordable options for the lowest-income residents.
Two of the building’s four residential floors are occupied by tenants with rent-stabilized leases with rents of $350 to $600 per month, but the landlords are asking $1,200 to $1,550 for the renovated units.
They’ve sunk more than $500,000 into facelifts at the building, which they bought for $1.4 million in 2013.
But not everyone supports the brothers’ rare move to preserve the building’s 20 tiny SRO units, which are grouped five to a floor and share 2 1/2 bathrooms.
Housing advocates have long bemoaned the loss of SROs, which have declined from 200,000 units in the 1950s to as few as 15,000, according to a 2014 report published in the CUNY Law Review.
The authors acknowledged the relative affordability of refurbished minis but said they did nothing to stanch the rise in homelessness that has long been correlated to the decline of SROs.