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As communities seek to fix broken real estate economies, new building prototypes that can both repair damaged urban fabric and garner financing are needed. The Incremental Sprawl Repair (ISR) working group recently came up with new models from Fayetteville, Arkansas, architect Robert Sharp and Chico, California, designer/developer John Anderson. The group focuses on low-cost, small-scale, rental-based buildings for reforming automobile-oriented environments. (See September 2011 New Urban News for another article and prototypes).
Sharp’s Trenton Donut, designed to fit a half-acre lot, is a three-story building plan with 16 rental apartments and five micro retail/office units. It is supported by 23 parking spaces in the rear and on the side, and the building hugs the corner of an intersection along a commercial strip state highway.
Total direct and indirect construction costs for the 12,000 sq. ft. building are $1.4 million (about $101/sq. ft.). Land, at $180,000, brings the total cost up to $1.58 million. A 20 percent down payment on a FHA loan would amount to a $317,000.
The five commercial units all have street frontages and shopfronts, yet can rent for about $350-$500/month, according to Sharp. The residential units will rent for more, but are still affordable. The overall building yields an