The concept of tiny homes is not new- hello, yurt! But the small house movement has been more of a subculture, until, we hope, now. “Mainstream” construction company D.R. Horton’s introduction of 29 microhomes to Portland’s Division 43. D.R. Horton is taking advantage of an opening in the “nichest” of niche markets, Portland, OR, to bring micro-homes (think, in some cases, less than 400 sq. ft) to the corner of SE 43rd Ave. and Division St.
The new development of 29 microhomes is built to maximize urban space and be sustainable (think, smaller home, smaller carbon footprint). D. R. Horton claims it will be using reclaimed materials in the construction of these homes and there has been quite a bit of interest in tiny homes as people reel from the recession and look to downsize their lives. The homes are being nestled on 15,000 sq. ft of city space, after all, and seem to be optimal for people who rely mostly on bikes for transportation.
The little community will have an eco-village feel, with a shared small community garden and parking for bikes. It will fit perfectly with Portland’s uber-progressive bike culture (Portland has at least twenty miles of bike boulevards, and is the jewel of bike-friendly infrastructure and bike culture in the country). More homes without garages will encourage bike riding, but requires this bike-friendly infrastructure. Building homes with bicyclists in mind goes a long way towards this though, and eliminates oft-wasted garage space.
Studios range from 634 to 687 feet, with one to two bedroom homes hitting just under 700 square feet. Prices ranged from $120,000 to over $180,000- reportedly cheap for Portland’s market. Cheap enough for native Portlandians to afford those lust-worthy, handcrafted, custom bicycles, or perhaps even a Carroll Shelby bike? Maybe.