How a 77-square-foot apartment with no bathroom for $2,350 a month sparked a bidding war: 'If you want to be on a prime block, you can't have everything'

Three screenshots from a TikTok video from NYC real-estate agent Omer Labock, which show a very small narrow studio apartment with a window and radiator at one end (left), a kitchenette (middle), and a narrow hallway where the shared bathroom is located (right).
A tiny studio apartment rented for $2,350 in New York City.TikTok/@omerlabock
  • A tiny New York City studio with no bathroom and $2,350-a-month rent was quickly snapped up.

  • The 77-square-foot space is in the coveted Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

  • "If you want to be on a prime block," a student who bid on it said, "you can't have everything."

Good things come in small packages.

But does a 77-square-foot studio apartment in New York City — which has no kitchen, a shared bathroom in the hallway, and recently rented for $2,350 after a bidding war — count?

The unit in Manhattan's trendy — and expensive — Greenwich Village neighborhood is less than 7 feet wide and 11 feet long, according to David Brand, a reporter for local news site Gothamist who visited last week.

The petite pad most recently sparked incredulity and outrage two weeks ago when a 32-second video tour, originally posted on TikTok in December by real-estate agent Omer Labock, was reshared on a Reddit message board called "facepalm."

Brand reached out to Labock for his reflections on the studio and its neighbors. (The building has 26 apartments across five floors, according to listings site StreetEasy, which is owned by Zillow.) "They're tiny, man," Labock told him. "The smallest units I've ever shown."

The wildest thing? People want to live there.

The median rent in Manhattan exceeded $4,150 in March for the first time ever, according to Douglas Elliman's monthly market reports. So it makes sense that renters are vying for anything they can afford.

At least one person who toured the studio last week found it a bargain: a Pace University junior who was preparing to bid on the unit when Gothamist's Brand visited. "He asked that his name not be used in a story because he didn't want to jeopardize his chances of landing a spot in the elite ZIP code," wrote Brand, who said the undergraduate told him, "If you want to be on a prime block of the city, it's like, you can't have everything."

Homes like these, however, are actually relatively common in New York City.

Called single room occupancy units, or SROs, they were originally built to house lower-income workers who couldn't afford larger homes, according to a New York Post article detailing the fascinating history and current residents of these microapartments.

Take Alaina Randazzo, a 25-year-old in fashion media who pays $650 a month for her 80-square-foot studio.

Alaina Randazzo lofted bed from small apartment tour
Alaina Randazzo's lofted bed in her tiny SRO apartment.YouTube/CalebSimpson

Developers haven't been able to construct new SRO units since 1985, but existing ones are essentially grandfathered in.

49 W. 11th St. — where this studio is located, tucked between Union Square and New York University's Washington Square Park-area campus — dates back to at least 1937, a spokesperson for New York City's buildings department told Gothamist.

One current tenant in the building, who declined to be named, showed Gothamist their own apartment in the building — complete with lofted bed and a desk that retracts to take up less space when not in use.

The resident said they'd lived there since 1997 and currently pays just $1,100 a month in rent.

Via Hendrix's SRO apartment,, which has a futon for a couch and bed and an exposed clothing rack.Via Hendrix for Insider

Via Hendrix, who lives in a 72-square-foot Manhattan apartment and pays just $1,345 a month, wrote for Insider in 2021 that her low rent is worth the sacrifices of a small space with no amenities.

Hendrix sleeps on a futon that is her bed by night and her couch by day, she cooks using a hot plate and a toaster-oven-air fryer combo appliance, and she can host up to three friends for gatherings.

"At the end of the day, this is by no means the perfect apartment. Someday, I would love to have a living room for parties, a full fridge, a closet, more counter space, and so much more," Hendrix wrote. "This apartment has allowed me to live in the center of NYC, which was a priority for me. The city is always experienced outside anyway, so I don't mind having my small and cozy place to return to."

Read the original article on Business Insider