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I’m a big fan of small houses. No McMansions for me. Check out developer Neil Shekhter’s new 165 unit apartment building in Santa Monica, Calif. The two story units total just 375 square feet. The first phase of the project opened in January and is more than two-thirds leased with rents starting at $1,000 a month.
The building is just a few blocks from Santa Monica College, which tells you part of the target customer. Kitchens, bath and living areas are on the first floor. The bedroom’s up above. “Despite their size, the units convey a spacious, private ambience, thanks to 17-foot ceilings and clerestory windows,” says architect Wade Killefer.
Shekhter, the developer, wants to take the concept to other parts of the country.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.