20-Minute Living isn’t Micro


micro unite with living room,, bed, kitchenette, and windows

The Boston multi-family residential market has recently taken a turn from developing macro-units to much smaller (250-350 sq. foot) micro-units.

These units are a response to Mayor Menino’s call for more affordable housing in the Seaport district. Developers want to build housing that enables people to live, work, and play. By providing common spaces for residents, developers believe young professionals will be willing to trade personal space for proximity to city life. Mark Elden, the developer of the Boston Wharf Tower, terms the concept of “20-minute” living. The major stops of daily life: public transit, shops, restaurants, and other amenities are within a 20-minute walk.

ADD Inc. took this concept and ran with it. After doing extensive research and development, ADD Inc. designed an apartment based on brutal functionality. Their micro-units feature:

  • large windows
  • eight to ten-foot ceilings
  • a wraparound counter for dining and working
  • a kitchenette with a stovetop
  • a micro-bathroom
  • built-in bike storage
  • a bed alcove that doubles as the living room

With over 700 housing units currently under construction in the Seaport, these micro-units ranging from $1,500-$2,000 a month should allow young professionals to also get a piece of the action. A model unit showcasing the concept is on display at BSA Space until March 8th.