Hoping to revolutionize homeownership in pricey downtown cores around the country, a Tucson startup — with a dream five years in the making — is ready to build.
Stackhouse is a mobile assembly of container homes that can be moved in and out of slot structures and transported on flatbeds from one location to another.
Founded by Janelle Briggs and her partner, Ryan Egan, Stackhouse offers 320 square feet of interior space for about $45,000 for the container home.
The duo first tried to build their tower near Euclid Avenue and Broadway in 2017, but zoning height restrictions prevented the proposed 75-foot structure.
In 2019, they proposed to build on Stone Avenue, south of Speedway, but never got past the city’s regulators, Briggs said.
While Stackhouse has yet to land a home in Tucson, the startup has set up a prototype house in partnership with the University of Arizona Center for Innovation before launching a development in Colorado.
“We always meant to be in multiple sites across the country,” she said. “We just couldn’t wait for the city of Tucson to figure it out.”
They sought business development support from the UACI and got help with a business plan and identifying a target market.
Their prototype house was set up at the Solar Zone in UA Tech Park off Rita Road.
“We are thrilled to showcase Stackhouse at UA Tech Park, but our vision does not stop there” Briggs said. “After showcasing our container home here in Tucson, we will journey to Denver, Colorado, where we will create our first 62-unit development to prove the Stackhouse model.
“This will be the first development and community of its kind, and we are proud to share that folks in Denver are excited about our concept and we look forward to seeing where the UACI launchpad continues to take us.”
Their hope is to have Stackhouse projects in different parts of the country so owners can move their home from city to city as they travel or relocate.
The first development will be built near Empower Field at Mile High Stadium and is close to schools, a rail line and a lake.
There are more than 1,000 people on the wait list for the project.
“We’re bummed about leaving Tucson but very excited about going to Denver,” Briggs said.
Aside from the cost of the container, rents in the Denver Stackhouse will be between $1,500 and $3,500 a month.
Construction is expected to start in 2022.
Briggs said the help from the university included advice on how to incorporate and the nuances between a pitch to investors and a pitch to potential customers.
“It was wonderful to have people, and their cellphones, in our corner whenever we needed help,” Briggs said.
UACI is an incubator network that is part of Tech Parks Arizona, where more than 65 companies have started.
“I’m almost in tears whenever some asks me how we’re doing, out of joy,” Briggs said. “It’s turned out exactly how I imagined.”
Visit stackhouse.life for more information.
Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at email@example.com