Micro-lofts Fill Demand for Downtown Living

Whether you refer to them as the residential choice of the future for young professionals or “luxury shantytowns for hipsters,” micro-lofts appear to be the latest and greatest solution to urban housing shortages.

Micro-loft rendering in the Burns Block Heritage Building in Vancouver

These residential units—from new developments like New York City’s first prefab apartment tower to adaptive reuse spaces, like The Arcade Providence in Providence, Rhode Island—trade spaciousness for affordability. Making the most out living spaces as small as 200-400 square feet, many micro-lofts fit into the same amount of space as a one- or two-car garage. Units employ murphy beds, built-in furniture and plush common areas to make urban living a reality for the budget conscious who might otherwise be priced out of the market. Other key features often offered, such as convenient access to public transportation and outside bike ramps with direct access to a bike storage rooms points to another benefit of urban living: walkability.

Laura Street Trio: Florida Life Building, Old Florida National Bank (Marble Bank) and the Bisbee Building

Tapping into the trend of young professionals flocking to downtowns, micro-lofts seem to be clued into the changing lifestyle preferences of a new generation: vibrancy, activity, walkability and authenticity.

Micro-lofts in the The Arcade Providence touts the “chance  to live in one of Providence’s most notable landmarks.”

With high occupancy rates and the demand for more market-rate residential units in the core, could micro-lofts be in the future for Downtown Jacksonville’s vacant historic buildings, such as the Florida Life Building or the Bisbee Building?