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Orchard Court Lofts

Challenge

With interest in tiny houses, micro lofts, and small living spaces growing in the Iowa City area, developer M&W Properties wanted to create a new type of multi-family housing that was different than what was available in the college town. The focus was on simple, smaller-sized units.
M&W Properties wanted to find an architectural and design partner that could create a unique living concept that would appeal to graduate students and young professionals who want small living spaces with a quality, unique feel.

Solution

After identifying a good location in a new neighborhood between downtown Iowa City and Highway 6, M&W Properties and Shive-Hattery worked closely with the City of Iowa City to make sure the multi-family housing idea met development rules for the newly established Riverfront Crossings district.

After being successfully accepted as part of the Riverfront Crossings district, the concept for the three-story Orchard Court Lofts was designed by Shive-Hattery to give graduate students and young professionals in Iowa City a new type of rental option.

Ranging from 525 to 565 square feet, the studio units feature expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, filling living spaces with light and views to the neighborhood beyond. By incorporating step-backs into the design, more than half of the 45 units have outdoor decks. Wood flooring is featured throughout all living and bedroom spaces inside the units, along with LED lights and 9.5-foot-tall ceilings.

Exterior wood and graffiti wall panels create a funky, contemporary vibe. An onsite laundry room, game room, and study/lounge area on the top floor – along with a 1,500-square-foot rooftop patio with a gas grill and fire pit – provide space for tenants to gather and relax.

To minimize exterior paving and make the most of green space, there are no surface-level parking lots. Instead, heated parking is available under the building.

Impact

Graduate students and young professionals now have a new type of living option that embraces the tiny-house/micro-loft concept. The location of Orchard Court Lofts will make walking to work or school easy and efficient.
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