Micro apartments popping up in UWT’s backyard

Downtown Tacoma is an ever–changing area that reinvents old space into new work. Moving into 2018, Koz Development prepares to prop up their newest site of micro apartments near the UWT district.

The movement for micro apartments or “aPODments” has gained traction as people living in cities prioritize conve­nience and location over comfort. Micro apartments are small units designed to maximize the way space is used in an urban environment, while offering an innovative living arrangement for city dwellers. According to “Curbed Seattle,” in 2017 micro apartments in Seattle were averaging around 350 square feet. Now developers are looking to Tacoma for a new site for micro apartments.

Koz Development is on track to complete their micro apartment unit in Tacoma by summer 2018. The 1,400 square foot space will contain 104 units. The site is situated in downtown Ta­coma on South 17th Street and Market Street. Due to the proximity to UWT and the central business district of Ta­coma, the developers are marketing the new spaces towards young profession­als and academics.

Douglas Naini, a UWT senior, con­siders the upcoming development to be beneficial to the area.

“As the UWT student population grows it would be beneficial to have more nearby places for students to live,” Naini said. “I believe this would help international or out of state students who need a safe and close living place that is more cost effective than other apartments in Tacoma. There is also no need for a car because of the buses and the link.”

Units will range from $850 to $900 monthly including utilities, amenities such as Wi-Fi and secure bike parking. To maximize space, the developers are incorporating dual purpose factors such as a fold down bed. Chief Execu­tive and president of Koz Development, Cathy Reines, tells The Tacoma News Tribune that the goal with small spac­es is to be thoughtful and innovative in the design to give the illusion of more space. The average rental cost of an apartment in Tacoma is $1,157, making the micro apartments com­paratively more affordable.

Tacoma’s city codes allows for a minimum of 250 square feet, so develop­ers are ranging their units between 250 and 400 square feet. The building will not include a parking lot because the location is close to transit and the com­mercial core of downtown. Addition­ally, the secure bike lot is meant to en­courage residents to choose alternative options for transportation.

The U.S. census reports, “among the nation’s more than 3,100 counties, Pierce had the largest net increase of people moving from another county within the United States in 2016.” Micro apart­ments are an attempt to limit spatial issues and accommodate new residents. Considering that the units are so small, developers can fit a substantially larger number of units per building — this allows for density within the city to grow without taking up all the space is there is left to develop. With rent prices at $900, one must wonder whether stu­dents at UWT will be the resulting tenants of the micro units or if new resi­dents from out of town will benefit from the proximity to downtown Tacoma.

To stay updated on the progress of the units and to learn more about Koz Development and their micro apartment movement, visit


Alyssa Tatro

Alyssa majors in urban studies and community development. She is interested in and concerned about issues in Tacoma that impact the community. She is obsessed with all things chocolate and piggies.