Micro-housing — small residential studios in urban settings such as Manhattan and Hong Kong — are officially on the drawing boards in Phoenix.
Developer Michael Lafferty is the latest with micro-housing plans near downtown Phoenix.
Lafferty is looking at bringing between 190 and 230 micro units to 12th and Van Buren streets just east of downtown Phoenix.
“I’m developing with purpose,” said Lafferty, president of Phoenix-based Lafferty Development who wants to spark redevelopment along Van Buren Street. “I don’t develop storage units in Scottsdale.”
The $25 million St. Ambrose project gained zoning approvals from the city of Phoenix earlier this week. Lafferty could start construction before the end of year or in early 2016.
Lafferty is still determining specifics of the St. Ambrose project. That includes whether the project will be affordable housing or asking market-rate rents or if it will be condos.
Lafferty said he is looking at $125,000 to $250,000 price points. Micro-housing encompasses studio apartments in urban settings. They are popular in New York City and other dense markets with high rents.
They are now showing up in Phoenix.
Transwestern Commercial Real Estate is proposing an apartment tower with micro units near McKinley and Second Streets in downtown Phoenix.
Lafferty is marketing his project to students at Arizona State University’s downtown campus and the University of Arizona’s Biomedical Campus.
He also sees demand from urban-oriented millennials and downsizing, empty nest baby boomers in living with less square footage.
Lafferty said he will have a 700-square-foot, three-bedroom concept at his development aimed at roommate living situation.
He also has plans for a cafe and bakery as part of the development on Van Buren Street traditionally known for used car lots and cheap motels. Stretches of the street were once known as Phoenix’s main ‘red light’ district.