It’s a tidy little rectangle of a place on what was a vacant lot on North Atlantic Avenue in the city’s Garfield section. It’s the first of what might be movement.
At just under 350 square feet, developer Eve Picker’s City Lab developed the house as a pilot project to see whether it will attract buyers who want to live simply and small.
“They lead very active lives, they just want somewhere comfortable,” said Picker. “They don’t want to accumulate a lot of stuff.”
They couldn’t if they wanted to. The tiny house features a tiny bathroom, which holds it’s only built-in closet.
In the kitchen, Picker says a dishwasher still has to be installed, and there’s also room in there for a washer and dryer.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “Where would somebody sleep?”
Picker: “Well, I would build a Murphy bed on this wall with storage around it. So you could pull the bed down at night and sleep and put it back up in the day.”
Picker says this kind of austere living is both environmentally-friendly and cheap.
Sheehan: “And your utility bills?”
Picker: “I think it’s going to be virtually zero. At the moment, they’re heating this space with this little electric heater.”
But sadly, the cost of excavating the site and tapping into the water and sewer lines proved much higher than she anticipated. Also, at the $109,000 asking price, she’ll sell the house at a loss.
Picker says projects like it to develop vacant lots into affordable housing will need more government help.
“You know, I have plans for three more, and I don’t know how to get them done. It’s just really expensive,” Picker said.