Is Charlottesville Ready for Micro Spaces?

Is there enough to do in Charlottesville to justify living in so-called micro spaces?

Could you live in a 500 square foot condo? (would you buy or rent it?)

What is the future of (urban) housing?

I’ve written about tiny homes and efficient living before, particularly as they relate to the emerging trends of more urban living, a renewed focus on efficiency of life and resources and a limitation of physical real estate as urban areas become more populated. 400 square feet can be astonishingly functional.

Jeannine at Small and Chic Home poses the question from the perspective of someone who lives in a relatively small space (785 square feet) in Charlottesville. I can’t offer any more than she, as her skills at design and use of space far exceed anything I could offer.

… Charlottesville and Staunton were among the independent cities growing at a rate faster than the state since 2010

Charlottesville is growing fairly quickly, people want to live closer to stuff …

I wonder … what will the now-broken-ground City Walk offer? Small spaces? Highly pedestrian/biker friendly spaces?

City neighborhood planner Brian Haluska confirmed that the project will be a rental apartment community that will consist of four multi-family buildings that will hold 301 units and have one parking deck. …

“The road will take a lot of traffic off Carlton Road,” Haluska said, “and the path is a big positive in the pedestrian infrastructure in the city. A lot of pedestrians will now have a key path to downtown that will be safe and inviting.”

Previous designs called for at least one building to be nine stories tall, but that was scaled back. Haluska confirmed that each building will be three stories over a basement.

Does Charlottesville (City) have enough to do to make living in such small spaces valuable? Is the trade-off for less indoor living space for greater outside opportunities more balanced now?

Keep in mind that Albemarle County is projected to grow to 155k people by 2040 – from 102k today. (source: Weldon Cooper) and Charlottesville City is projected to to 49k people by 2040 – from 45k today. (source: Weldon Cooper)

Would you live in a tiny space in Charlottesville?

There aren’t many “tiny” condos on the market in Charlottesville … ever … but right now (1/25/13 10:30am), there are 10 active in the MLS with fewer than 1000 finished square feet, units ranging from ones built in 1966 to newer ones built in 2010.


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About Jim Duncan

Father, husband, Charlottesville real estate agent, bicycle rider & soccer coach. And more. Lots more.
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