Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on November 6th, 2013 at 10:10 am
permitted for Northwest Thurman near 23rd.
(Image: Footprint Investments)
The tiny house movement for apartment dwellers has arrived.
Think 200 to 300 square feet, and a kitchen shared with five similar units.
It’s a new milestone for the Portland area’s off-the-charts rental shortage, the third-tightest in the nation in the third quarter of 2013. And it might also be the key to a new model for apartment living that’s designed to deliver relatively affordable rents for tiny units in highly desirable neighborhoods.
The new buildings, sometimes called “aPodments” or “micro-apartments,” typically offer lightly furnished studios including a private bathroom. In order to attract tenants despite the small size, they’re located in areas with one of the hottest commodities on the real estate market right now: excellent active transportation. Portland’s first such building at 2250 NW Thurman St. proudly proclaims its Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score (88, 52 and 93, respectively).
And because each cluster of five units shares a kitchen, they duck Portland’s controversial new requirement that large apartment buildings include auto parking whether or not future residents are likely to use it.
In the City of Portland, one in four rental households doesn’t own a car.
Local transportation advocate Doug Klotz, who opposed the new rules, called the plan an interesting way of avoiding the parking minimum, which doesn’t kick in until a building has more than 30 apartments.
“It’s not 50 apartments,” Klotz wrote in an email last week. “It’s 10 five-bedroom apartments.”