Rent for 90-Square-Foot Apartment Could Nearly Double

A New York landlord is reportedly trying to jack up the rent
of an absurdly small apartment that has drawn media attention for its miniscule dimensions in the past.

The 12-by-7-foot apartment, nestled in the heart of Manhattan's Upper West Side, shelters Felice Cohen, who cherished the shoebox abode for its coveted location and affordable rent. She used to pay just $700 a month, which, believe it or not, is really cheap for the Upper West Side.

"I don't think in terms of what I'm living without, but what I'm gaining," Cohen told AOL Real Estate last spring. "Sure, I don't have a large refrigerator or an extra room, but when it comes down to it, I live in New York City, steps from Central Park, Lincoln Center, numerous restaurants, theater and wonderful museums."

But the apartment is now reportedly on track to possibly shed some of that charm. The rental's landlord, the New York Post reports, recently informed Cohen that he intends on renovating the space, and ratcheting up the monthly rent to $1,200.

He told Cohen the news after discovering that she was illegally subletting the apartment. In response, Cohen says that she's moving on to bigger things, the Post reports: The celebrity personal organizer and author recently bought a 500-square-foot apartment.

That's somewhere around the size of your average "shotgun shack," mini-houses that are gaining popularity among Americans looking to cut back on expenses.

As has been the case with Cohen, a growing appetite for frugal and sustainable living are inspiring people to take up residence in mini-domiciles across the country.

"My decision to inhabit just 89 square feet arose from some concerns I had about the impact a larger house would have on the environment, and because I do not want to maintain a lot of unused or unusable space," writes Jay Shafer, who owns a "shotgun house"-building company. "My houses have met all of my domestic needs without demanding much in return. The simple, slower lifestyle my homes have afforded is a luxury."

Cohen has expressed a similar appreciation for her endearingly cramped living quarters. But only through the shrewdest rationing of space was she able to make them realistically inhabitable.
The apartment has a loft bed that allows her only 23 inches of room from the ceiling, a chaise, floor-to-ceiling shelving and a desk. She prepares meals using just a mini fridge, toaster and hot pot.