During her tour of northern Berkshire County Monday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey visited a new construction firm in North Adams that has tapped into the “tiny house” market.
The newest workshop inside of the historic Windsor Mill in North Adams has been run by Mitchell Bresett, Jason Koperniak and Chris St. Cyr since April. They own B&B Micro Manufacturing, and build tiny houses – a trendy take on downsizing that has caught on around the country.
State Attorney General Maura Healey stopped by after speaking with community leaders about the opioid epidemic. The Democrat says she’s going to keep her eye on B&B as a possible housing solution across the state.
“I think it is super exciting – especially exciting that it’s born right here in Massachusetts,” she said.
The company is building a 200-square foot house on wheels. The domiciles have wooden frames giving it a rustic cabin feel.
Inside are quaint living quarters, complete with a small kitchen, bathroom, stainless steel amenities, a high-tech entertainment system, large windows and a full-size bed loft upstairs. Heating and wastewater systems run like a standard recreational vehicle. Jason Koperniak:
“All of the models you have seen today are built to the RVA [travel trailer],” Koperniak says.
The company mainly builds the tiny houses for companies that develop rural vacation retreats in the Northeast. After they’re built, B&B transports the getaway cabins to customers, who pay by the night.
Koperniak says the next direction is permanent housing.
“$70,000 unit and put it in the greater Boston area where the tract of land may not support a large home,” Koperniak says. “We are trying to be that architecturally chic niche where you can have some very nice at a small size at an affordable price point, and relatively fast – you know, we can produce them pretty quickly.”
Healey agrees – affordable housing, especially in the eastern part of the state, is scarce.
“It’s a real problem and it’s increasing,” Healey says.
B&B incorporated in February, and has built more than 50 tiny houses so far. They now employ roughly 40 people.
North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright wonders if tiny houses could solve some of the city’s housing problems. B&B would be interested in building custom Arcadia-style homes in the future, starting at $89,000.
Alcombright says it’s perfect for neighborhoods with non-conforming lots.
“Nothing resonates better in northern Berkshire County than the idea of manufacturing and be it that they are such a cool connection between creativity, this, the creative economy and manufacturing,” Alcombright says, “I think this just really resonates well with the community.”