• Micro-Housing: Rethinking Urban Living

3/4/2013

How do we make Boston living affordable for young professionals?

One idea is to develop micro-units, or mini apartments, in the downtown area.

Panelists at “Micro-Housing: Rethinking Urban Living,” a forum sponsored by Suffolk University Sawyer Business School and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, will explore this idea on March 26 from 7:45 to 9:45 a.m. in the Modern Theatre at 525 Washington St. in Downtown Crossing. Admission is free.

Speakers will include Karen Clarke, co-director of the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University; Tom Connolly, vice president of human resources at Vertex; Tamara Roy, senior associate principal at ADD Inc; Kelly Saito, president at Gerding Edlen; and Kairos Shen, chief planner at Boston Redevelopment Authority. Peter Howe, business editor at NECN, will moderate the discussion.

The talk comes as developers are constructing micro-units as small as 375-square feet in the fast-growing Seaport District. So far there are more than 700 units being built on Boston’s waterfront, including the $100 million Boston Wharf Tower, which is under construction on A Street.

Attendees will get a glimpse of what these apartments might look like. At the event, students from Suffolk’s New England School of Art and Design will design and exhibit a full-scale micro-apartment.

Richard Taylor, executive in residence and director of the Center for Real Estate at Suffolk University, is studying how micro-housing will affect the Greater Boston markets. He’s found that small units work well if you invest in common areas, like roof decks, cafes, and gyms, that allow residents to eat, work, and socialize outside of their individual units.

The event is the third in a series of Building Boston 2030 public forums on Boston development. The series encourages statewide dialogue on public policies and business considerations that can help Boston continue to create good jobs, attract and retain a skilled workforce, and attract private capital to spur innovation.

Register online.

For updates on the series, follow @SuBizSchool on Twitter and use the hashtag: #BuildBoston.

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