I’m currently searching the South Bay area for a single/studio type apartment with about 320 square feet and renting in the $375 to $425 range. Of the ones I’ve seen at those prices, most were about 240 square feet and in shabby, older buildings. Some were refurbished garages, tool sheds and even a gazebo passed as a bachelor apartment. Even in high-crime areas of Hawthorne and the Los Angeles International Airport area, where I work, these small units command high rents.
Perhaps developers should consider building more of these smaller units and less of the luxury units (or “yuppie shacks”), where singles rent for $600 and up. There are many single people in South Bay, ranging from young people on their first job to retirees on fixed incomes, who would form a ready market for the type of apartment I’ve described. It wouldn’t take a huge land parcel to build a structure of, say, 20 to 30 units. With ever-increasing rents driving people to live in garages and gazebos, something certainly needs to be done now.