How do I find a place to park a tiny house? After two years of talking with thousands of people about tiny houses at our monthly open houses, workshops and conferences, that is the most common question I get asked. Therefore, as Boneyard Studios has started our quest for the next location where the Matchbox and Pera houses will move later this fall, we realized that we should be documenting the process of searching for new space.
Thus far it’s been an exciting, although exhausting, endeavor as we’ve been having multiple meetings a week with vacant property owners, homeowners, city officials, and community organizations. Friends and a real estate agent have been sending me ideas for properties. Of course, most of these leads will not become our next location, but it’s still been fun to explore the city’s alleys and vacant properties and start paying attention to spaces that I have previously never noticed. As a geographer, I can’t neglect to bring mapping into this quest, so we are also working with a GIS student who is doing an analysis for us using city databases of vacant and blighted properties and alley lots to help narrow down the properties we consider.
The potential properties are everything from backyard space to vacant, very urban (and visible) properties to huge lands that have yet to be developed. The ownership varies from private homeowners to developers to city-owned property, all of which will affect what we can do with the space. Both Jay and I have a preference to partner with the city and/or a community-driven organization/business, and we just had a great meeting discussing this possibility and some potential properties. As we continue with this search for new space, stay tuned for posts on the process. To the extent that we can share our process publicly, we will and hope it can serve as resource to others, both individuals in the tiny house community and to organizations in other cities who are working on similar initiatives. And, of course, if you have ideas for locations or would like to chat with us about partnerships, please send us an email.