PORTLAND -- A big trend across the country known as micro apartments has made its way to Portland.

The small apartments have about 300 square feet of living space and the concept started in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston.

Now Portland s first micro apartments have opened at The Freedom Center in Portland s Pearl District.

The center at 1430 NW Pettygrove Street has 150 studio apartments, ranging from 295 to 385 square feet, and 100 of them have already been leased out. Rent runs from $785 to $1050 a month.

The residents include a cross-section of young professionals and older folks who want a city living experience.

It's becoming more than potentially a niche. It's a lifestyle change, said Mark Madden with WDC Properties. And it's not just for 20-somethings. This project is for 20 to 50-year-olds. It has couples and singles.

Renter Donald Dimick said it takes imagination to come up with ideas for using the small space to its fullest advantage, but he enjoys it.

All my friends live in the Pearl. My whole social network really is in the Pearl. I work at Blitz in the Pearl. It's like, Pearl, Pearl, Pearl. It's my life right now, Dimick said.

There are community areas at the center which give residents the feeling of more space, including a den for relaxing and watching TV and a lounge for larger get-togethers. It does not have a pool or workout area but there are areas to store bicycles.

Rent runs from $785 to $1050 a month.

The Freedom Center is located on Northwest Pettygrove Avenue in Portland s Pearl District.

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