Negotiating micro-units in that First Street project in lieu of a more vague “5 percent” affordability component is a great idea.
Too bad these aren’t:
In lieu of providing five percent of the proposed 261 residential units as deed restricted units affordable to low-income households, the Developer shall build out 14 additional Micro Units as Workforce Housing Units. The Micro Units will range in size from 375 SF to 500 SF and shall be incorporated into the three phases of development as follows..
No, sorry, but 500 square feet isn’t micro. Staff knows that, too.
And at up to $3 a square-foot allowable rent (which of course it will be), that’s a lot of dough. More money in fact than what many Burbank tenants are already paying for similar sized units.
Council, insist on REAL micro apartments. A hundred square feet is too small, but 375 to 500 is ridiculous.
In fact, it’s a total joke.
For a real-world (in Burbank) size comparison, 350 square feet constitutes a HUGE single. Those late 20s buildings that we still have around in our older areas with the separate kitchens and big closets (and walls where the Murphy Beds once sat) are about that size.
Their 50s equivalents also come close. Five-hundred square feet by comparison is a decent sized one bedroom in any 30s through 70s building.
What staff is doing here is allowing Bethunin to pawn off his regular planned singles and smaller one bedrooms as some kind of special “micro-unit” alternative, and at about the same prevailing rent in Burbank. There is no “concession” to the deal on his part — efficiency singles ALREADY go for about $1,100 in Burbank.
And $1,500 for a smaller one bedroom is not on the cheap side here either. In reality it’s about average for the local prevailing rent, if not a little high.
The council shouldn’t fall for this evasive stunt. They need to insist on REAL 150 to 250 square-foot micro units at non- market rates. Otherwise, no concessions.
Who does staff think they’ re trying to fool here? They’re taking a good idea and then cynically manipulating it to the developer’s financial advantage.
Perhaps if you’re making two- or three-hundred-thousand dollars a year you’d think that 375 square feet is “micro.” But it’s not. It’s actually on the roomy side for a Burbank efficiency single.