Micro-Living Hits H-Town

Micro-condos offer Houstonians the opportunity to live large while living small

Micro-condos offer H-Town opportunity to live large while living small

The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Tokyo Unit
At 350 square feet, The Tokyo unit name implies exactly what it is — micro-living a la Japan. Courtesy of The Ivy Lofts
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016
The 24-story micro-condo building will house 550 units starting as compact as 350 square feet.  Courtesy of The Ivy Lofts
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Paris unit
The Paris unit feels particularly spacious at  Courtesy of The Ivy Lofts
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Jason Franklin
The Ivy Lofts director of sales Jason Franklin. Photo by Shelby Hodge
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, The New York
The New York unit main living area.  Photo by Shelby Hodge
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, The New York
In the New York unit, the small dining table/desk folds under when the murphy bed comes down. Photo by Shelby Hodge
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Jason Franklin
A scale model of the high-rise condo at the new sales center. Photo by Shelby Hodge
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Tokyo Unit
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Paris unit
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Jason Franklin
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, The New York
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, The New York
The Ivy Lofts, March 2016, Jason Franklin

Thinking about micro-living but unsure about making the jump to living small? Well, a million-dollar sales center is taking some of the mystery out of New Age dwelling by creating life-size, fully-furnished models of condominium units that start as compactly as 350 square feet.

At the moment, The Ivy Lofts site at 2604 Leeland in EaDo is all sales center but eventually the 24-story structure will be the largest micro condominium building in the continental United States. That according to director of sales Jason Franklin, who was on site at the center Tuesday morning as finishing touches were being completed.

"We wanted to provide something that was chic, that was in the proximity to downtown, that people could financially attain and that was responsible," he tells CultureMap. "So we put together this idea of creating a livable community. It's very New York."  

The urban nests start at 350 square feet with a unit dubbed The Tokyo. No question, the model is a homebuyer's trip into tiny land with amenities that include a two-burner stove and oven, a fridge, washer/dryer (all Bosch), a Murphy bed, a sofa, a surprisingly spacious bath and a balcony. This petite beauty is priced from $139,900.

Square footage increases incrementally with units dubbed the New York (from $214,900 to $224,900), the Barcelona ($244,900) and the Paris, which measures in at 1,000 square feet and is priced at $389,900. Later floor plan additions include The London at round 1,000 square feet and The Houston which is slightly over 1,000 square feet, priced at $384,900 and $584,900 respectively.

Franklin points to The Ivy Lofts mantra: Exactly What You Need and Nothing More. "It's really about simplifying material possessions to allow you both monetarily and emotionally to live more the ideas that you've had in life," such as traveling or owning a vacation home.

Novel Creative Development, based in New York, is spearheading the project that has been designed by award-winning Powers Brown Architecture.

A bonus for those committed to living smart, Franklin says, "This will be the first building in the continental United States that has been, from the ground up, completely automated by AT&T Digital Life. So your locks, your doors, your electricity, your cameras, your alarm — everything in your home, your air conditioning, can be all controlled remotely by your smart phone or tablet."

The project will include 15,000 square feet of retail space at ground level with hopes of including a boutique grocery, a restaurant, coffee shop and wine bar. Novel Creative Development will include B-Cycle rental bikes and Zipcar car sharing.

As Franklin says, it's living "simple, smart and convenient."