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Developers and builders in the Charlotte, N.C., area are catching onto the micro-apartment and tiny home trend. While residents of San Francisco or New York City expect to live in small spaces, the idea is new for people in the “Sunbelt boomtown.” Though as home prices rise, the Charlotte Observer’s Ely Portillo says residents are open to smaller apartments, due to their price and central locations, and several plans are already underway for the city.

“I think there’s a thirst for that in the marketplace,” said David Furman, a Charlotte architect and developer planning to build 100 micro-apartments next to the RailYard office towers under construction in South End. “If you want a lot of space, there’s plenty of places for that in the suburbs.”

The units will average about 400 square feet, and construction is expected to start this fall. One of the main selling points for potential tenants will be that they can locate in the middle of one of Charlotte’s hippest neighborhoods for substantially less money.

If a 400-square-foot apartment rents for $2 per square foot, a reasonable estimate for a new building, that unit would cost $800 a month. That’s less than half the price for many new buildings nearby, where 800-square-foot, one-bedroom apartments list for $1,600 a month or more.

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