Salida, Colorado, Will Be the Home of the Largest Tiny Home Community in the US

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man unloads pink in front of pink tiny house washington

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200 tiny homes, a community building, an exercise facility, a restaurant, and other amenities will be built along the Arkansas River in Salida.

One of the country's leading tiny house developers, Sprout Tiny Homes, got approval last month from the Salida, Colorado, city council to build 200 tiny house rental units, along with a number of other community features, on a 19-acre riverfront parcel. Once built, the Riverview at Cleora will be the largest tiny home community in the United States.

Filling a Need for Rental Housing

Although these units aren't going to fall under the category of affordable housing, they could go a long way toward alleviating some of the pressure on the local housing market in Salida. This iconic Colorado mountain town is a popular mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and outdoor adventure destination, and yet has a scarce number of both short-term vacation rentals and longer-term residential rentals.

"The planned development for Riverview at Cleora is 200 tiny home units; a community building with catering kitchen, exercise facility and management office; a restaurant lot overlooking the river; and 96 storage units. There are plans for a walking trail to be constructed along the length of the river, two resident parks, and numerous pedestrian walk ways, resulting in approximately 2000 square feet of common green space per pod." - Sprout Tiny Homes

Sprout Tiny Homes, which is also working on a 33-unit tiny house development on a 4.6-acre parcel in Walsenburg, Colorado, believes that its River View at Cleora development "will address the huge need of quality housing of the community of Salida," as well as serve to attract "sustainably-minded residents who share the active lifestyle decision to work and live in one of the most beautiful places and climate" in the state. These tiny houses, however, aren't going to be your stereotypical tiny home, with a low monthly payment and the ability to just pick up and move at any time, as they won't be for sale and they will be built on permanent foundations.

Costs and Availability

Monthly rents for the tiny homes will range from $700 to $1450 (utilities included), which seems high for a tiny house, but for Salida, with its relatively high average home price ($319,000) and an average monthly rental price in the neighborhood of $1,400, the development may offer more housing choices to both local workers and vacationers. According to the Denver Post, only "a little more than 100 homes are available for vacation rental" in Salida, even though the town of 5400 residents tends to attract high numbers of seasonal visitors. About one third of the tiny homes in River View at Cleora will be used for short-term rentals, and the Post reports that 12% of the units "will be set aside with reduced rent for local workers."

Diagram of River View at Cleora development for tiny houses
Sprout Tiny Homes

Sprout Tiny Homes currently offers three models of its houses, which are built with structural insulated panels (SIPs) and feature "chemical free interiors," and can be built either on wheels or on a foundation, and the company just recently released a shipping container house design as well. More info is available at the company website.

Update, April 26, 2021: According to a public notice from the city of Salida, the final development plan was not submitted for signature or recorded, "therefore the Planned Development never became effective." The site has been rezoned for an RV park.