Markets & EconomyRentals

Microunits migrate to smaller metro areas

'Small living' trend hits midsized cities

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The construction of microunits -- residences smaller than 500 square feet -- in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, D.C., and New York City has influenced developers in secondary markets to jump on the bandwagon and prompted groups to create new “microhousing” concepts. In Orlando, Florida, a subsidiary of Euro Group USA proposes a project that would feature 52 microhousing units -- smaller units that share a kitchen. The concept is similar in design to student housing properties, where three or four roommates share a kitchen and living room but have their own bedrooms. Kehoe North West Properties is about to break ground on a 123-unit project in downtown Portland, Oregon, that will be comprised entirely of microunits. The development is amenity-laden, with a private courtyard, indoor bike parking, exercise room, dog wash station and community room with chef’s kitchen. The project will take slightly more than a year to complete, with an August 2016 opening planned. The cons...