NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The cost of renting an apartment in the hot spots of Nashville is only going up and so is the affordable housing problem. But, one local developer hopes he can help solve a very big problem, with something very small.
Stop us if you’re heard this one before: ‘There’s a new apartment complex in Nashville’.
But wait, this one is different. “It is Nashville’s first micro-housing project. Micro-housing is a really small unit but for a very affordable price,” says Bert Mathews, the CEO of Mathews Company.
Martin Flats is the newest development in Wedgewood-Houston and each apartment is 200 square feet for $1,000 a month.
“But, in that 200 square feet, you’ve got a bed, you’ve got a bathroom, you’ve got refrigerator, you’ve got built in places, you’ve got a chair and a microwave. So all the things that you need inside your unit,” says Mathews.
There is no kitchen inside the unit, but each floor has their own common area, kitchen and laundry room.
Mathews says the micro-housing units could help solve a few large problems in the city.
Chief among those issues is affordable housing. “We are one choice for affordable housing,” says Mathews. “We need to take care of all sorts of people with all sorts of needs. Not everybody wants to live in a micro-housing unit. But for some people, it’s a great option.”
Another problem these units could help alleviate, traffic issues.
For people who don’t want to live outside of the city and commute, this is a way for them to live closer to work.
“A lot of people would like to live in this neighborhood,” Mathews says of popular Wedgewood-Houston. “But to be able to afford to do that, we don’t want it to be limited. (We want) for people who want to make that choice.”
Martin Flats could be a perfect fit for people like traveling nurses, flight attendants or musicians, who spend a lot of time on the road.
“Just when they get here, they want to close their door and have some peace and quiet and then be able to walk out in a neighborhood, it really works well for them.”
The concept is already in place in areas like Seattle. There are 150 micro-units in the building but 58 are already rented out with people who are willing to sacrifice space for convenience.
Mathews has two other micro-housing projects in Nashville right now. One is in So-Bro on Third Avenue, and the other has yet to be named.