Tiny living coming to downtown St. John's with 'micro-boutique' apartments

A microwave that doubles as an oven? A bed that folds into the wall? It's all coming to Water Street in 2017.
This cleared lot at the intersection of Water and Temperance streets in St. John's is the site for Micro Boutique's apartment building. (CBC)

A developer hopes tiny living catches on in a big way in downtown St. John's, as plans unfold for a "micro" apartment building to open next year.

"They're a new form of housing, spreading like wildfire across North America," Chris Galea, President of Micro Boutique Living, told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

The apartment building, planned for 12 Water St., will consist of bachelor, one- and two-bedroom units, similar to what the company has already built in Wolfville and Antigonish, N.S.

"All our buildings are located in the downtown core, at much more affordable prices because the units are smaller."

Squeezing in style

Galea said well-executed design makes the apartments feel roomier than they actually are.

"Everything is custom built within them, so within about half the space of a normal apartment you have all the amenities and more you would find in a full-size apartment," said Galea.

Everything is designed to maximize efficiency and space.- Chris Galea

The units will come fully furnished and with space-saving specialty appliances, like microwaves that double as convection ovens, or a washer that doubles as a dryer.

Added to that is the custom furniture, such as Murphy beds, and high ceilings.

"Everything is designed to maximize efficiency and space," said Galea.

Galea estimated rents would be between $700 to $1000 a month.

Students to seniors

The Micro Boutique Living building in Wolfville was filled to capacity before it even opened. (CBC)

The company will offer flexible leases, Galea said, from daily to weekly stays, school-year lengths or annual terms.

Galea said tiny living appeals to a wide variety of ages, from students to seniors to travellers.

"They're very fun, they're very hip, they're very cool," said Galea, adding the Wolfville building had 100 per cent occupancy before it even opened.

Micro Boutique Living plans to cut the ribbon on its Water Street building by the spring of 2017.

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