Many infill projects use versatile Katrina Cottages
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Katrina Cottages, which were designed as alternatives to FEMA emergency trailers after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, are getting a second life in projects across the US. The latest examples are in Buena Vista, Colorado, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and Seaside, Florida.
The compact traditional cottages with front porches won numerous design awards and were built to fit into urban neighborhoods. Many were used as emergency shelters and later auctioned off. The cottages are quick to install, look good, are affordable, do not require a large investment or major financing, and are popular with renters. In short, they meet today’s needs in diverse locations.
In Buena Vista, a town of 2,164 people in west-central Colorado, developers Jed Selby and Katie Urban purchased infill land on Cedar Street. The developers went to Mississippi this past winter and toured hundreds of cottages that were being auctioned, says Dustin Urban, marketing director for the firm.
They picked a dozen to purchase, ship, and convert to affordable one- and two-bedroom rental units on 25-foot-wide lots. The 400-square-foot one-bedroom units are being refurbished and leased for $550/month, and the 728-square-foot two-bedroom units for $800/month, Urban says. “We’re replacing the vinyl floors with solid wood flooring and the vinyl tile