Urbaneer launches compact housing model for Michigan

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Tioga is available in three configurations — 456-square-foot studio, 535-square-foot one-bedroom and 693-square-foot two-bedroom. Courtesy Urbaneer

Urbaneer is bringing its Tioga Series home to Michigan to meet the needs of a growing number of property owners looking for compact housing solutions.

Ideal for resorts, vacation homes and Airbnbs, Tioga offers standard features with options and up to 30% more living space on demand. The compact home has flexible interiors and unit combinations, as well as durability and consistency in materials.

Tioga is available in three configurations — 456-square-foot studio, 535-square-foot one-bedroom and 693-square-foot two-bedroom. Each home features patented components that transform the interior space to support five living modes: cooking, dining, entertaining, working and sleeping; a fully functional kitchen with energy-efficient appliances; and interior finishes based on a Scandinavian design that provide clean lines and easy-to-clean surfaces.

Customers can get the home within a predictable delivery timeframe that is faster than the industry standard for a site build of 12 months and have it installed in only a few months.

“Urbaneer is excited to offer Tioga and its ‘Airstream of compact housing’ design directly to Michigan consumers,” said Bruce Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Urbaneer. “Tioga lives 30% larger than a conventional home thanks to space optimization features and exceptional design. Whether you operate an Airbnb in West Michigan, run a resort in Traverse City or own a vacation home in Petoskey, Tioga provides predictable timing, price and quality in an unpredictable, price-inflated and, at times, substandard housing market. It’s also ideal as a backyard accessory dwelling unit or as a guest or rental unit.”

Inspired by an Iroquois word meaning “where it forks,” Tioga’s open, compact design is based on research that suggests Americans spend roughly 80% of their awake time in the kitchen. The home’s core space, which features a kitchen and living space but not formal living and dining spaces, easily supports a range of activities for both an average size family or a single occupant.

The addition of built-in storage and other furniture further increases usable functionality without an increase in floor area.

The Tioga starts at around $135,000, depending on local building codes and excluding site work, land, transportation and installation. Urbaneer works with multiple off-site manufacturing partners, markets directly to the consumer and manages the entire delivery process.

Accessory dwelling units are now allowed in popular destinations such as Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Holland, Petoskey and Traverse City to encourage housing availability and attainability. Tioga helps meet growing demand following a year in which the housing industry delivered 50% fewer compact homes than it did in the 1970s.

“Urbaneer has established a reputation as an innovator, and innovation is something that is desperately needed in the housing industry,” said Ryan Kilpatrick, executive director of Housing Next, which partners with local governments, developers and nonprofits in West Michigan to remove barriers to the creation of affordable housing at all price points. “Given the shortage of new units, we need to think differently if we are going to solve the housing crisis. Urbaneer brings a unique approach that delivers quality and value to a market that is seeking new solutions.”

Tioga homes initially are available in 15 Lake Michigan counties — from Berrien County in southwest Michigan to Ottawa County in West Michigan to Emmet County in northern Michigan — with additional areas of the state planned for the future. The company is looking for new builders to join its growing network.

Thompson and his wife, Brenda, Urbaneer’s co-founder and design lead, live in one of the company’s other products — an 800-square-footprint compact home in Grand Rapids’ historic Heritage Hill neighborhood. With its moveable walls and flexible open floor plan, this “living lab” for Urbaneer offers more than 1,200 square feet of living space, which is not that much smaller than the average U.S. home 50 years ago.

For more information about Tioga, including how to order a home, visit Urbaneer’s website or call (616) 334-1793.

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