Tiny Homes Hit Mainstream (An Intentional Bike Neighborhood Is Born)

Tiny Homes Meet Mainstream Graphic
Graphic images D.R. Horton.

It looks like an oversize city lot - just 15,000 square feet - destined for some starter castle. But the plot of dirt sitting at the corner of inner city Portland's 43rd and Division streets is something else - it's the arrival of tiny homes to mainstream building.

D.R. Horton is by all measures a mainstream home construction company. But on the property known as Division 43 they plan to build microhomes of between 364 to 687 square feet (like LifeEdited!). Not only will the tiny single homes, duplexes and a four-plex be built with energy-efficiency in mind - they are also aimed at people who have gone car lite or car-free and use bikes for transportation. A total of 29 living spaces will be spread over the corner site, and even more amazing for Portland, prices start at just above $100,000.Never mind that Portland's Division Street is a truly lousy bike and pedestrian corridor - and the city's and neighborhood associations' efforts to change that have yielded little. Division 43 is in a vibrant part of the inner city - close to shops and restaurants, close to better bike streets and Zipcar car vehicles, and with easy access to PGPT (pretty good public transport).

D.H. Horton says it will use reclaimed materials in the construction of the tiny homes. According to market expert Jim Beriault of Fish Marketing, there couldn't be a more Portland concept than this one.

"You can't just keep going farther out from the city and keep acquiring farmland," Beriault said. "This is very much a commuter vibe and commuter village where MAX rules and bikes are king." - KATU.com story

The property will have a small community garden, and bike parking. The units will include built-in storage spaces throughout, with the two-bedroom 1.5 bath unit just under 700 square feet.

Micro structures are common in Portland on larger lots with a primary house, and regulations passed in the city last year relaxed restrictions on building such units.

More on tiny homes:
Tiny Homes: The Next Little Thing
The McMansion Era Is Not Over Yet
The Three S's For 2010: Small, Simple, and Shared

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