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New Microunits Coming to Berkeley

Panoramic Interests' micro housing developer Patrick Kennedy is on a roll (and not just because of his treadmill desk, here in his Berkeley office). His latest project proves the tiny living arrangement is here to stay in the US: Patrick's going through entitlements to bring a 65-unit microhousing concept just a third of a mile from Berkeley's campus. The project, called The Independent (below), will be car free with a ground floor market. Meanwhile his 9th and Mission Panoramic project, with 120 microstudios and 40 microsuites, or two and three-bedroom apartments, is set to start leasing in March for a June delivery. He thinks it will lease well to the “Twitterati” of S.F. (one half is set aside for the California College of the Arts), and notes he’s a few days ahead of schedule due to the drought. He’s interviewing brokers now for its 3,200 SF retail space.

He’s switching gears and doing a micro project in Berkeley, in part, to take a break from S.F. (he admits he's had quite a steep learning curve in S.F., investing five years of blood, toil, sweat and tears into The Panoramic). Projects in Berkeley take, on average, two years faster to do than in S.F. and The Independent could deliver as soon as July 2016 (he's considering prefab). Microunits are going to work, Patrick thinks, because it fits into the direction of where everything seems to be going: smaller, faster, lighter, cheaper. Think about computers, cars and phones; it’s only natural to clump housing into the group. There’s no question Millennials are more transient with not as much stuff and are more nomadic and open to less conventional living situations, he says. For more on micro-units, check out our Bisnow National edition.