New York's tiny prefab apartments at Carmel Place have stories to tell

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credit: Lloyd Alter

The disappearing bed was in the original architects concept, but everything else in the apartment was chosen by Jaqueline Schmidt, director of design for Ollie, the company that manages the market rental units in the building. It's another interesting and perhaps controversial aspect of the project, but one that I think we will be seeing a lot more of. Because it really harkens back to another era, when single people often didn't live in apartments but in residential hotels where there were amenities and services for hire. According to their website,

Ollie revolutionizes the living experience for urban renters with professionally designed, fully-furnished studios and shared suites, lifestyle-relevant services, extraordinary amenity spaces and unique community engagement opportunities.

Ollie's website is full of gorgeous smiling millennials and in fact, that is who they thought would be the primary market for Carmel Place. However Jaqueline Schmidt toned down the designs to attract a broader market, and many of the tenants are downsizing baby boomers. (In an early article on the building, I predicted " micro-flats are a terrific idea that will be popular with a broad spectrum of the population, from young renters to older retirees to rich people looking for a pied-à-terre in Manhattan, there will be huge demand.")

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