Most conversations about micro-apartments start and end with their size. That’s only natural, since, with measurements dropping as low as 300 square feet, the tiny apartments now sweeping across the Seaport District are far smaller than anything Bostonians have seen before. As these micro-apartment units roll into the market, jokes about living in a shoebox are being met by something else — shock at how much it costs to live in a shoebox.
This is partly the fault of officials in City Hall, who initially sold small living as one answer to Boston’s crushingly high rents. The problem’s bigger than that, though. City officials have been pushing for the development of micro-apartments, but they’ve never been able to articulate why 300-square-foot micro-units might be preferable to conventional 700-square foot apartments. The micro-apartments actually are a perfect fit for a place like the Seaport, but the reason has nothing to do with price.