A 54-square-foot unit in NYC listed for $1,200 per month

GOSSIP & RUMORS: A 54-square-foot unit in NYC listed for $1,200 per month

An itty-bitty closet of a Manhattan apartment has resurfaced online and gone viral for how much it cost per month — and just how little it offers. 

This 54-square-foot Midtown West unit without a bathroom or a kitchen listed for a grand $1,200 a month, and — as usually happens — appeared in a video that accrued more than 2.8 million views on TikTok.

“So today I’ll be showing you the smallest apartment that currently exists in New York City,” listing agent Alexander Bruni claimed at the beginning of the brief clip, which posted last February. “Check this out.” 

According to Yahoo Finance, which reported the video making the rounds once more online, a similar unit with the same specs in the very same building rented for a cool $1,290 per month in February.

A view inside the apartment, whose tiny size doesn’t fit much. thatnycrentalpage/Tiktok
The hallway outside the apartment. thatnycrentalpage/Tiktok

The unit appears to be a single-room occupancy, or SRO apartment, that was later converted to market-rate rentals. SRO housing in New York dates back roughly a century — and was originally meant to house individuals who would otherwise be homeless. The pocket-sized studio is a legal if rare arrangement, in which tenants share a common bathroom located elsewhere in the building. In the case of this unit, it’s down the hall.

It takes Bruni mere seconds to show viewers the entirety of the Midtown West unit, which is just 9 feet by 6 feet, a size so small he repeatedly reassures his audience that “this is real.”

The micro-unit features a single window that appears to look into an air shaft, two shelves and “no space for anything besides a bed,” Bruni says. 

The unit is just 54 square feet. thatnycrentalpage/Tiktok
The shared bathroom, located down the hall. thatnycrentalpage/Tiktok

Other recent viral stories about SROs have featured a similarly compact Midtown residence, which rented for $650 a month, and another Greenwich Village third-floor space that sought a whopping $2,350 a month. 

Although many may consider the set-up extremely overpriced, Bruni — who regularly helps New Yorkers find more normal-sized abodes and shares tours of his listings on TikTok, where he goes by @thatnycrentalpage — argues that it does have its merits. 

“In reality, all jokes aside, in college, whatever bumble town you were going to college in, you were probably paying $1,200 at least for the dorms there — you were not paying to live in New York City, that’s for sure,” he says. “So yeah, the unit might be small and very unsightly but at the end of the day for what you’re paying you get to live your life in New York City.” 

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