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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

'Microapartments' debut in Little Italy

If you have a small budget, a small apartment may be the answer to affording an upscale San Diego neighborhood.


Microapartments just debuted in Little Italy. The smallest units at The Continential are 380 square feet. The largest is 550 square feet.

The cheapest unit is about $1,600 dollars a month, which on average is about 30% less than the median price in Little Italy. 

“We felt the market was becoming saturated with high end-high priced units and we could fill a void that was untouched,” said Matthew Segal, the architect.

Not everyone embraced the more budget-friendly concept.

“Initially, the neighborhood was not excited to say the least,” said Segal. “They were adamant no one could live in a micro unit, [and] we would never rent them.”

The complex just opened weeks ago and 80% of the apartments have already been leased.

“I would say predominantly, it’s single people from early 20s all the way to mid- to late-50s, 60s,” said Segal. “It’s a full gamut of people.”

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The laundry room is on the rooftop deck where residents can wash their clothes and watch the sunset. All of the units have a patio.

“I think it’s part of the way we need to go to solve the housing crisis,” said Segal. “Not everyone can afford $5,000 a month to live downtown. This offers the opportunity to diversify the neighborhood.”

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There are 11 parking spots in the building and less than half have been spoken for.