Saturday, August 3, 2019

New Owners, New Direction for Kasita Homes

Started in 2015 by Jeff Wilson, the man that lived in a dumpster for a year, Kasita Homes has been continually building their flagship product, a 352 sq ft single module tiny home.

Starting at $139,000 these homes were designed to help the housing needs of rapidly growing West Coast cities. While the idea was slightly ahead of its time, sales were about what management wanted.

Selling most of their product in and around the Austin, TX area, they continued to make improvements after the city passed legislation to allow ADU homes.

But all that has changed this year. New owners, Kenny Tomlin and Richard Lent—who also own the Kimber Modern boutique hotel in South Austin—became co-owners of Kasita.

They decided the hospitality industry is a better direction for the company and stopped all single family housing at Kasita.

Individual Kasita units are now hotel suites, intended to be grouped and operated as a sort of hotel compound, with guests staying in individual, detached units rather than a single building.

Guests will use various technologies come and go independent of any staff—not unlike the intended independent, tech-based experience at the newly opened Arrive East Austin—although there will be common areas available to guests as well.

Their new website indicates that the company intends to expand beyond the first hotel in Austin to San Antonio, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; Bentonville, Arkansas; and San Diego, California.

The old Kasita is dead, long live the new Kasita.

Gary Fleisher (the Modcoach) is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker/consultant.


2morrow Studio said...

Sort of a pity. We all wring our hands about the housing crisis here and there; the "missing middle" and the need for density. But whenever a product like Kasita's affordable single bedroom/ADU comes along, there's always another market segment that will support a bigger this case hotels and motels. So the work of creating affordable, accessible, vibrant neighborhoods is once again backlisted.
Ah well, I guess our school teachers, firemen, nurses and construction workers can always rent a unit from the "hospitality industry".

Anonymous said...

Actually, this product wasn't affordable. It was based on a dumpster and sold for $140,000 at the factory. Now add the site costs and land and this was going to be sold for over $200,000 landed on a building site with just over 300 sq ft of "living space". Because it was modern and had some private equity funding it got some press. But, this wasn't real middle class modular. Middle class modular isn't sexy so it doesn't get a second look from the press or investors. Oh, well.