Micro-dwellings may be more associated with high-rent, densely populated cities like New York and San Francisco, but local developer Cedar Street Companies is actively working to change that perception. Located throughout the city's north side, the company's FLATS developments offer a range of residences from studio, one and two bedroom apartments, to duplexes, penthouses and flexible fully furnished micro-dwelling rentals dubbed "Short Stays". Currently, the company has five properties completed in the FLATS line, but has three more buildings in the pipeline. We were invited to check out the reworked 4+1 building at 5411 N. Winthrop Ave. which will contain a total of 96 residences when completed, and the nearby 4875 N. Magnolia Ave. property which features a variety of residences, including the company's Short Stay units.
FLATS' furnished units sport a contemporary, posh vibe featuring furniture sourced from CB2 (which the company has a partnership with), IKEA and local antique shops. Amenities featured throughout the brand's various properties include in-unit laundry, fitness centers, bicycle parking, and included WiFi. The Short Stays, which are basically short term rentals, include all of the previously listed amenities, but also come fully furnished and sport key fob entry, cable TV and next cleaning service.
Rents at the 5411 N. Winthrop property start just under $1,000 per month, and a studio space at 4875 N. Magnolia Ave. can be had for $850 per month. According to FLATS co-founder and partner Jay Michael, who is also a cast member of the BRAVO reality TV show 100 Days of Summer, there is a wait list to get a unit at the 5411 N. Winthrop location.
Interestingly enough, FLATS does not shy away from acquiring aging 4+1 buildings, in fact the company scoops them up whenever the opportunity presents itself. The brand is pretty big on Chicago history, and the buildings we toured featured hallways that doubled as art galleries for old Chicago street photographers. The company is also pretty easy-going about personalization and invites tenants add their poorly drawn doodles to the elevator's walls.
At the time of our tour, 5411 N. Winthrop was half completed, however the built out is expected to be completed in the next 4-6 weeks. In total, Cedar Street anticipates opening a total of 250 new units through the autumn.