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Wave of the future? Developer touts micro units for millennial renters

Jim Buchta, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Home and Consumer News

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ready to live like a minimalist?

City Club Apartments CBD, a new rental building in downtown Minneapolis, is betting there are a lot of home seekers like you. Many of the 307 units in the building are compact, one-room apartments with built-in Murphy beds, and the 17-story building has only 20 dedicated parking spaces, making it an outlier in an increasingly competitive rental market.

The Michigan-based developer of that project, Jonathan Holtzman, was in town this week to tout the project, which he said has been a hit and will serve as a model for future developments.

He said that within months of opening, more than half the units have been leased, emboldening him to pursue a second high-rise development in downtown Minneapolis, though he wasn't ready to disclose the location.

"This community represents the next evolution of that process and thinking and will inform our vision and mix for the communities we currently have under development in Detroit, Kansas City, Chicago and Cleveland," he said.

With a record number of rentals expected to hit the market in the Twin Cities metro this year and competition for renters on the rise, developers are watching the market closely to determine the best mix of units in their buildings. Many believe micro-units are the wave of the future.


Holtzman said the majority of the new apartments that have come online in the last five years have been one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two-bath units, but "our nontraditional, smaller floor plans are leasing the fastest."

Holtzman calls the smallest units in the building "nanos."

One-room apartments, known by many as studios, efficiencies and micro-units, are nothing new in the Twin Cities. During the 1980s, several high-rise buildings were built with one-room apartments and smallish alcove units that have a small anteroom with room for just a bed and a nightstand.

Sacrificing space


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