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A New Pod Hotel With Micro Rooms Is Coming To Williamsburg In 2017

Developers are betting big on going small in an effort to keep NYC affordable for a budget-minded traveler.

By Jeff Vasishta December 13, 2016
Photo courtesy of Garrison Architects

So size really doesn’t matter. BD Hotels’& CB Developer’s third micro-outpost of 100-square-foot modular hotel rooms is about to be open for business in Williamsburg.

Geared towards the economy-minded traveler, the hotel room offers a choice of Queen-sized or bunk beds and costs $125 a night. It is designed by Garrison Architects and fabricated in Brooklyn—and if you want to recapture that dorm room experience minus the exam cramming and beer kegs on tap, Brooklyn Pod may be the place to do it. The promotional blurb says as much, offering to “create a social college campus feel.”

In total, there are 249 modular rooms with oversize windows—the intent to bring the outside in—if it can fit. If it can’t, there’s a 10,000-foot shared public space, including April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s second Salvation Taco (the first is at Midtown’s Pod 39), private and public rooftops, a sidewalk café, and three courtyards. The ground floor will offer 16,000 square feet of retail space to merchants. If you’re in Williamsburg, chances are you’ll be more interested in what’s outside the room than in it. Located off the corner of Driggs and Metropolitan, Pod Brooklyn is also close to Bedford Avenue, with its mix of hipster boutiques and national brands.

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“We are introducing an entirely new category to Williamsburg with our first hotel outside of Manhattan in over 20 years,” states BD Hotels co-founder/developer, Richard Born. “We look forward to filling a gap in lodging within an area that has seen a surplus of luxury hotels. We expect Pod Brooklyn to attract the individual looking for affordable, stylish accommodations, allowing them to easily explore the destination and meet others in numerous communal environments.”

Of course, BD Hotels aren’t the only micro hotel chain in town. Earlier this year, the 325-key Arlo Hudson Square and 250-key Arlo NoMad opened  for business. An international developer and investment firm Quandrum Global is the company behind the brand. They immediately staked their claim as the company that knows New York better than others, with its team of experienced NYC hotel industry vets.  Micro hotels rely on the interface between guests and management staff through technology to cut down on additional space and employees to keep costs low. The Arlo chains uses “Alice,” a guest interface software that allows requests to be sent and received.

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Other micro hotels about town include distinctively purple/pink hued Yotel—design scheme the late great Prince would surely have approved of—and CitizenM, a kind of  IKEA store on steroids.

There’s a hierarchy, though, between these half-sized havens. The Arlo chain is undoubtedly at the top. It may be small on size but not style. Room service comes courtesy from Arlo NoMad’s Italian eatery, Massoni, which more typical of full-sized five-stars.

“Our design is more boutique-like than other hotels in the micro category,” Oleg Pavlov, founder and CEO of Quadrum Global told the NY Post. “If you use all-natural materials and pay attention to textures and layout, it doesn’t feel like a small room.”

Their prices—around $200 a night—are higher than their micro competitors, but still considerably less  than macro ones, which average a daily rate of around $240, depending on the time of the year.

“We’re starting to see more signs of [micro-hotels] entering a new quality level,” says Mark VanStekelenburg, managing director at CBRE Hotels’ Consulting. “It’s pushing into the upscale and upper upscale region of the market.”

Just don’t expect to see any basketball teams or Sumo wrestling squads there anytime soon.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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