Modular Housing Startup Looks To Fill North Minneapolis’s Vacant Lots

June 1, 2016

Predatory lending and the following foreclosure crisis hit Minneapolis’s north side hard. Dozens upon dozens of homes were left abandoned and neglected and, eventually, were demolished. While it was better than block after block of streets stippled with run-down houses, the vacant lots left behind from the demolished homes weren’t much of an improvement.

Numerous programs were set up to try and turn these vacant lots back into homes and one company is leading the way, theStarTribune reports. Smart Homes, a private startup construction company that is associated with minority-owned Thor Construction Co. is looking to create factory-built homes that will be made and sold for less than traditional new construction to help fill in the vacant lots found through Minneapolis’s North Side.

Currently, Smart Homes has broken ground on a model house that will have four-bedrooms and offer 1,800 square feet of living space plus a garage. The company has another 15 lots they are ready to begin construction on and will acquire more sites as demand dictates.

The company’s homes were developed through collaboration with urban-design architects and then taking the layout to Dynamic Homes, where the layouts were “modularized.”

By employing modular construction, about 25 percent of the cost of building a new home can be eliminated and the house can be completed in just 45 to 60 days. Each Smart Homes house will have a one or a two-car garage and will be highly customizable, offering choices of cabinet styles, countertops, appliances, floor coverings, and exterior siding and trim colors.

As their name suggests, the homes will also come with built-in smart technology to monitor security cameras at the front and rear doors, smartphone-controlled thermostats, lighting, and garage doors.

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