Throughout the city of New Orleans, more than 5,000 irregularly-shaped empty lots of land have traditionally been seen as too tiny to be built upon, so they just sit. One architecture firm and developer team, however, have been looking to make use of these lots by turning them into small, but affordable housing stock.
“The lot on St. Thomas ‘wasn’t worthy of a house’ is what the neighbors said,” architect Jonathan Tate said.
Tate’s firm and developer Charles Rutledge began noticing a preponderance of these irregular lots like the one on St. Thomas Street in the Irish Channel, a neighborhood that over the past few years has skyrocketed in real estate value. In total, there are about 20 to 30 irregularly sized lots that measure less than 900 square feet. They thought that if they could use the land to build smaller houses, they could both utilize the empty space, and also potentially open up an increasingly expensive neighborhood to first-time homebuyers.