(Plain Press, July 2015) The Tiny House movement is coming to Cleveland’s EcoVillage in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. On May 28th on the Northwest corner of W. 58th and Pear Avenue, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Citizens Bank and Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone announced plans to build a tiny 557 square foot house on the corner lot.
Councilman Zone noted the EcoVillage, started in 1998 to showcase green building and sustainability, is a fitting place to build tiny houses. He said the EcoVillage, the neighborhood within a half mile radius of the W. 65th Regional Transit Authority Rapid Station, was created to offer a model on how the built environment can help improve the lives of residents while reducing sprawl and helping the planet.
Jenny Spencer, Managing Director of Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, thanked Citizens Bank (formerly Charter One) for their support, which created the opportunity to bring the tiny house experiment to the EcoVillage neighborhood. She described the proposed tiny houses as ranging from 150 to 800 square feet, green built and energy efficient. Spencer said the tiny houses would offer residents the opportunity to live on a single floor and age in place.
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) staff members said the 557 square foot tiny house proposed for the lot on W. 58th and Pear will feature two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom on the first floor. The house will also have a second floor loft. The house will be heated and cooled using electric power and be equipped with a small washer and dryer. They expect the electric bill to be less than $400 per year. The house will be built on a permanent foundation – but will have no basement. The cost of the house is still undetermined, but DSCDO staff estimate the cost to range from $80,000 to $100,000.
Joe DiRocco, President of Citizens Bank, which contributed $140,000 toward the initial costs of planning, designing, constructing and marketing the first the tiny house, sees a market for the tiny houses among a variety of segments of the population including aging seniors, professionals, young adults, and empty nesters. He said the tiny houses would offer people looking to downsize the opportunity to build new on a vacant lot and have a home that can be maintained for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home. DiRocco said he hoped the 557 square foot tiny house would be the first of 2 or 3 tiny houses to be built on the lot at W. 58th and Pear.