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Santa Monica gets 97 mini-apartments

Each unit is 375 square feet in the $50-million project at Lincoln Blvd. and Broadway.

July 04, 2013|Roger Vincent

A $50-million residential and retail complex has been completed at a busy downtown Santa Monica intersection by a local developer that specializes in building mini-apartments in urban centers.

The five-story NMS @ Lincoln complex at the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Broadway has 97 units and stands next to a sister project of similar size called Luxe @ Broadway that opened last year.

Both properties are made up of 375-square-foot apartments, which developer NMS Properties calls "micro units." NMS has built more than 400 such units in Santa Monica in the last decade, President Jim Andersen said.

The median-size U.S. home is more than 2,000 square feet, according to a Census Bureau report. Micro-units are about the same size as a large recreational vehicle and have the same design imperative: Fit as many features as possible into a small space -- but don't make it claustrophobic.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, July 09, 2013 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Micro apartments: An article in the July 4 Business section about a new complex of small apartments in Santa Monica said the building called NMS @ Lincoln is at the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Broadway. It is at the northeast corner.

"It's like a Rubik's Cube," Andersen said during work on a similar complex in 2010. "It's a geometry problem."

Santa Monica architect Killefer Flammang Architects designs the diminutive dwellings intended to provide housing for workers and students who might otherwise be unable to afford rent in the seaside city where many tech and entertainment firms are expanding.

Young people coming to Santa Monica for jobs and the beach lifestyle should provide a stream of tenants, Andersen said. "We believe the millennials, particularly, will provide a ready market for the foreseeable future."

NMS @ Lincoln has a Chase Bank and a Starbucks on the ground floor and is fully leased, he said. Rents start at $1,495 a month.

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

Twitter: @rogervincent

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