Cherry Creek Perspective

Welcome to Cherry Creek Perspective – monthly news of mobility-related and affordable housing real estate throughout the Denver-metro area, and news of real estate, public sector and economic developments in the southeast Denver – Glendale area, relying in part on articles published in Real Estate Perspective.

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Each business day for Real Estate Perspective, the JRES staff reviews all Denver metro area wide and local newspapers, trade journals, government websites, blogs and other sources for commercial and residential real estate and economic news. News items are condensed into easily readable summaries providing all of the essential facts for the Real Estate Perspective newsletter. And Apartment Perspective, provides a detailed update of Denver metro area apartment rental, vacancy and development/construction activity including proposed projects.

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Accessory Dwelling Units

Denver city planners are working with community members to look at how the Denver Zoning Code regulates Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s). This project will not rezone any properties. It will look at how ADUs are designed, how they fit in with different types of neighborhoods and block patterns, and how updates to the zoning code may reduce barriers to creating ADUs. Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are self-contained, smaller living spaces that are an extension of an existing property. They are often called mother-in-law suites, granny flats, casitas, backyard cottages, garage apartments or basement apartments. An ADU has its own kitchen, bath and sleeping area, but is not considered a separate property that could be sold on its own. Planners encourage comments on draft recommendations at:

Global Real Estate and Real Estate Federal Tax Tips

The Global Real Estate Project is a program of the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, directed by Dr. Mark Lee Levine, Professor and Endowed Chair. Dr. Levine also provides weekly updates of federal tax related real estate Tips, new publications and general updates to students, investors, and the general public for research of real estate opportunities both domestic and abroad.

Southeast Denver Elected Officials Online Town Halls

Join Denver city council members, state representatives, school board representatives, and RTD board members for a Virtual Town Hall.

Bi-weekly on Thursdays  – 4:00-5:00 PM

Work From Home Resources

Offering employees more choices for how and when they work can be key to ensuring business continuity and emergency preparedness for your workplace. We have compiled some resources for you to help quickly start or refine work from home options for your workforce. Transportation Solutions is a transportation management association that makes things happen.

Denver Cherry Creek Rotary Open Golf Event

Plan to attend the 27th Annual Denver Cherry Creek Rotary Open golf event.  Over the past thirty-five years, Denver Cherry Creek Rotary has raised and donated more than $850,000 to support local and international charitable programs and projects plus over $2.5 million of free dental care to more than 8,000 of the poorest of the poor in Central and South America.

July 25 – 8:00 AM T-time

Bear Dance Golf Course – Larkspur


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Proposed Land Value Tax Plan in Detroit

The proposal, dubbed the Land Value Tax Plan, would increase taxes on land while reducing taxes on homes and structures by an expected 30 percent, or roughly $38 million total. This would apply to every neighborhood in Michigan’s largest city, require, no application, and never expire. If approved by the Michigan Legislature and later by Detroit voters, Duggan said, the plan would provide relief to homeowners who have been struggling under the burden of high taxes, encourage further neighborhood growth and hold land speculators accountable. Duggan laid out his plan Wednesday during an annual address at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Currently, private owners own roughly 30,000 neglected lots that Duggan on Wednesday described as “cheap lottery tickets” that bet on an increase in land value with no actual investment in the property. The city is forced to cut grass in the lots and remove garbage to spare surrounding neighbors while the property owners pay about $25-30 a year in taxes.

Artificial Intelligence: Real Estate Revolution or Evolution?

• AI has enormous potential to reshape real estate, with near and long-term impacts ranging from the emergence of new markets and asset types to innovations in investment and revenue models.
• A rapidly expanding AI ecosystem and its supporting infrastructure will drive demand for real estate in different markets across the globe.
• PropTech adoption has laid a solid foundation for AI integration in real estate. Organizations will need to consider how they can harness AI strategically and ethically, piloting applications before scaling to deliver value.

Office-to-Life Science Conversions: High Demand, Lower Cost, Faster Delivery

Given a marked flight-to-quality and declining demand for office space overall, older office assets are increasingly being converted to other uses. And of the 125 office conversion projects currently underway, half are being adapted for life-science use, according to Jessica Morin, CBRE Americas head of office research. The high percentage of office conversions to life science compared with other product types is understandable considering the overlap in these two uses, suggests Devin Bertsch, project director for San Francisco-based Project Management Advisors. Bertsch, who specializes in life science development and construction management, notes that the amount of floor space converted to lab use is usually 50 percent or less of the project, but conversions generate rents comparable to new ground-up life science projects.



RTD Zero Fare for Better Air

Throughout the months of July and August, RTD will provide services – bus, rail, Access-a-Ride and FlexRide– at zero cost. Zero Fare for Better Air, which takes place during Colorado’s highest ozone months, is supported through a grant program created by Colorado Senate Bill 22-180 in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office. Governor Polis and RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A Johnson, along with other community leaders, marked the kickoff for media, elected officials and community members in attendance by ceremonially covering a farebox. The two-month initiative provides an opportunity for individuals to take advantage of RTD services for daily commutes, leisurely activities or everyday errands. New customers can build commuting habits by learning what regular customers already know – riding transit is easy, convenient and better for the air. “The Zero Fare for Better Air initiative was a success in 2022, as evidenced by positive customer and employee feedback and minimal disruptions to day-to-day operations,” said General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson.

RTD Is Free in July and August: Here’s What You Need to Know

While it is designed to help eliminate tailpipe emissions of ozone precursors and decrease the number of Ozone Action Alert Days that Colorado experiences (there were 46 in 2022), the program also has a goal of encouraging more public transit. “So much of this is how do we fill up those trains and buses and take better advantage of the system we already have?” says Danny Katz, executive director of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization. According to RTD’s Zero-Fare August Impact Analysis released in November, people definitely took advantage of the program last year. Overall ridership increased 22 percent from July to August, and 36 percent from August 2021. Once people had to pay again in September, much of the increase in weekday ridership stayed, but commuter rail on Saturdays dropped, with a 17.8 percent decline from the August numbers. According to RTD, that decline could have been the result of fewer sports events near light-rail stops.

Filling in the Street Grid: Considerations for Private Streets in Redevelopment

As intensification, densification, mixed land uses, and pedestrian priority gain prominence in many cities, there is a need for new infrastructure to service these lands, often taking the form of a fine-grained and walkable street grid throughout most sites. Through conversations with staff from City of Vaughan, City of Pickering, both in Ontario, Canada, ULI, and City of Lakewood (Colorado), considerations, preferences, and outcomes were explored to better understand the opportunities that come along with the challenge of creating new places with new access.

Denver Speed Limit Reduction

Denver City Council member Paul Kashmann reports the City and County of Denver is updating Denver’s default speed limit from 25mph to 20mph. This change applies to Denver’s local streets — primarily the roads with no stripes that go through residential blocks. Additionally, wherever speed limit signs are not posted, the default speed limit will be 20 mph, per city ordinance. Lowering the speed limit on local streets is part of a broader effort Denver is taking to address safety on our streets citywide. In 2017, the City and County of Denver set an ambitious goal of zero traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Congestion Pricing Could Be Coming to L.A.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the region’s transit agency, is exploring a congestion pricing scheme for some of the city’s freeways and roads. The plan so far lacks solid details, but Metro expects to release a full study of the potential program in the next few months. “The transit agency has zeroed in on three locations for a possible test program: a nearly 16-mile stretch of the 10 Freeway between downtown and Santa Monica, arterial streets and freeways around downtown and the canyon streets and freeways that connect the San Fernando Valley to the L.A. Basin.”

Self-Driving Trucks Becoming Common on North Texas Roads

Texas is attractive to these companies because of its limited regulation, and because a lot of freight is already moving on its highways. Texas does not require autonomous trucks to have a safety driver, but Kinne said most companies still use one to “promote safety in the remote chance an issue occurs.” Kinne said safety is the first thing many of the autonomous trucking companies talk about. And, he said, wide-scale adoption of autonomous driving will be a gradual process. While some states have different rules on testing and deploying autonomous trucks, Texas is very hands-off on regulation, experts say. Texas’ regulatory environment means we could see more of these trucks on our roads. But that’s concerning to Philip Koopman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been working on self-driving car safety for more than 25 years. Autonomous trucking companies decide for themselves when they think their vehicles are safe enough to operate on public roads, Koopman said. “The government probably made that decision for jobs and economic growth,” Koopman said. “But the cost of that decision is you’re potentially putting other road users at risk, and there’s no way to figure out how safe it is. That’s the trade-off that’s been made.”

California Moves to Limit Autonomous Trucks

The bill is supported by truck drivers, who fear the loss of jobs to autonomous vehicles. “Supporters say the regulation would help protect people traveling on California roadways and support the livelihoods of truck drivers across the state.” The move was criticized by industry leaders, who say the state should wait for federal guidance before deploying its own regulations on self-driving trucks.

Electric kickscooters have come of age. Regulators have taken notice

Shared e-kickscooters provide some answers to the first- and last-mile challenges many cities face as they try to shift to a more ecologically friendly operating mode. However, our research suggests the regulatory trend in many of the top 100 cities globally is toward more control of these providers, and in China, the outright banning of them. Consequently, shared-service providers can focus on relationship building with city authorities and infrastructure providers to define an environment that meets the city’s mobility needs and performs up to the expectations of residents. Also, more regulation could result in opportunities for IoT players to provide micromobility infrastructure.

Remember those 56,000 U.S. bridges that were classified as structurally unsound? They are about to be rebuilt

The bipartisan infrastructure bill provided $5 billion per year until 2026 just for bridges. That funding is encouraging state and local officials to reimagine how they deliver bridge projects. In 2021, it was reported that U.S. bridges had accrued a $125 billion backlog of critical maintenance needs. That was because 42 percent of them had been in service for more than 50 years. The same report found that it could possibly take 50 years to complete the backlog of critical bridge maintenance projects that would be required. That sobering news most likely encouraged elected officials to prioritize expediency related to repairing or replacing bridges in America. State transportation departments are now promoting design/build approaches to rehabilitating and replacing bridges because of delivery speed.

Amtrak Calls for Expansion, Citing Close to 100 Requests for New Lines

In an oversight hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner told committee members that his agency has received over 90 applications for new intercity passenger rail routes, signaling a strong demand for new regional rail service. Dan Zukowski describes the scene in Smart Cities Dive, writing that “While some House members used the hearing to advocate for new service in their communities, others grilled Gardner on the railroad’s finances, service, safety and security.” Amtrak received $66 billion in federal funding through the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law aimed at “new trains, tunnel and bridge improvements, repairs and maintenance and a program to add new routes and more service along existing intercity lines.” According to Gardner, Amtrak has seen service rebound to 89 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

San Francisco may soon get 24/7 driverless cabs. City leaders are fuming

San Francisco’s windy, hilly and dense streets have been a prominent testing ground for new autonomous technologies, providing a glimpse into what a driverless future could look like in cities around the country as such vehicles become more widespread. But leaders here are fed up with the idea of being a guinea pig, saying the companies need to dramatically improve their AI-operated machines before rolling the technology out to the broader public. Now the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is weighing whether to allow Waymo and Cruise to expand their operations to 24/7 paid passenger pickup anywhere in the city, from the current restrictions set by the state around payment and areas and hours of operation. If state regulators on July 13 approve the companies’ permit requests, as has been widely expected, both companies will essentially operate as Uber and Lyft currently do in San Francisco — just without the drivers.

Robotaxis are here. It’s time to decide what to do about them

I spent the past year covering robotaxis for the San Francisco Examiner and have taken nearly a dozen rides in Cruise driverless cars over the past few months. During my reporting, I’ve been struck by the lack of urgency in the public discourse about robotaxis. I’ve come to believe that most people, including many powerful decision makers, are not aware of how quickly this industry is advancing, or how severe the near-term labor and transportation impacts could be. Hugely important decisions about robotaxis are being made in relative obscurity by appointed agencies like the California Public Utilities Commission. Legal frameworks remain woefully inadequate: in the Golden State, cities have no regulatory authority over the robotaxis that ply their streets, and police legally cannot cite them for moving violations. French first as city brings in parking charges linked to car’s weight

Congestion Pricing Plan in New York City Clears Final Federal Hurdle

Final approval was granted by the Federal Highway Administration, a spokeswoman said Monday, and a local panel appointed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority can now decide on final toll rates, including any discounts, exemptions and other allowances. The M.T.A., which runs the city’s subways and buses and the metropolitan area’s commuter railroads and is overseeing the tolling program, hasn’t set a fee scale yet. But a report that it released in August showed that one proposal under review would charge $23 for a rush-hour trip into Midtown and $17 during off-peak hours. The authority says the program could begin as soon as spring 2024.



S. Fla.’s Fastest Rising Home Values? Near Rail Stations

In Fort Lauderdale, home values for residences within the ZIP Code near the station have appreciated by 67% from 2018 to last year, compared with a 33% median price increase for the Broward County area over that period. In Miami, property values near the station were up 83% in price over that period, compared with a 38% median increase for the Miami area. Rent has also increased at a higher rate near the Brightline train stops. In Fort Lauderdale, rental premiums are up most – 28% higher than the market average, according to Green Street.

Park Meadows owner looks to construct apartments on east side of mall

Plans submitted to the suburb south of Denver call for the construction of a seven-story, 454-unit apartment building on the east side of the mall, directly outside the food court and shops like Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel and L.L. Bean. That’s the side of the mall closest to Interstate 25, as well as RTD’s County Line light rail station. – Apartments are increasingly being eyed as a way to add vibrancy to the nation’s malls, which are often surrounded by a sea of parking lots. Locally, apartments have also been proposed at Littleton’s Aspen Grove mall, which is owned by California-based Gerrity Group, although there has been pushback from some city residents. And in Cherry Creek, parking lots and largely vacant big-box stores on the western end of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center are poised to be turned into “Cherry Creek West,” a seven-building project that will include office, retail and residential space. That project is being developed by East West Partners, which reached a deal in 2021 with Michigan-based mall owner Taubman, a subsidiary of Simon Property Group.

New renderings of Cherry Creek West show plans for interior ‘shared street’

“The goal is still to be pedestrian-prioritized, and you’ll see some renderings coming out pretty soon that will reflect that,” she said. “It’s still pavers, and a very much an at-grade roll-across pedestrian environment. But now when we’re loading in the farmers market, it’ll be a little more obvious where the cars and trucks go and where they don’t.” The change will give the project more of a street grid feel than originally planned. “For some, there are these intangible cues that a street tells you you’re welcome in a place, and this cue of this street, even if it’s not open to cars, will suggest that it’s a place for everyone,” Cara said. “Ultimately we’re liking where it’s evolving, we still get that pedestrian-centric opportunity, but it will have a car feel on occasion.”

As More Cities Eliminate Parking Minimums, What Happens Next?

Every municipality has unique geographical, historical, cultural and economic factors that influence parking requirements. This is why parking is probably the most varied aspect of municipal zoning codes. Additionally, parking codes often conflict with policy goals that promote mixed-use, dense and walkable areas. Despite that, there is strong evidence that eliminating minimum parking requirements can help reduce costs for developers. For example, Rob McConnell, a vice president at engineering firm WGI, told the New York Times in March that creating a single spot in a basic, stand-alone parking structure can cost up to $28,000. Getting rid of parking minimums can also help streamline the entitlement process by reducing the amount of time and resources required to secure approvals. In addition to reducing costs, the absence of parking minimums can give developers more design flexibility and allow space to be used more efficiently. This lets developers redefine their parking needs for today and into the future.

Wonking Out: Zooming and the Future of Cities – Paul Krugman

Americans probably aren’t going back to the office full time. But they will continue to work together, maybe even more than before. And some of this work will still need to be done face-to-face, which will mean that people will still want to live in or near big cities. In fact, there’s some preliminary evidence that working from home is, in some ways, actually making urban life more attractive: People who don’t have to commute to the office every day spend more time frequenting local shops, restaurants and so on, improving the quality of their neighborhoods. That said, remote work will surely shift metropolitan areas’ centers of gravity away from their central business districts.

Car-Free Cities Are the Future, Biometrics Reveal

Our research group at Tufts University has conducted a number of facial analysis and eye-tracking studies, and sifting through these data we see that people do not like looking at cars. Conventional urban design and planning practice relies on people’s subjective assessments of places they spend time in through surveys or interviews. This new kind of information and other examinations of how people perceive their environments could revolutionize the way we design urban developments because we believe we can better take into account people’s preferences before we start planning how they will use and navigate them. This research builds on previous work establishing the social and health benefits of car-free urban spaces, but employs a biometric lens; by measuring unconsious reactions to different scenes, we now have empirical evidence of the harm caused just by seeing cars. These results reinforce other research that likewise demonstrates the value of using eye-tracking and facial expression analysis to guide urban design and planning.

This neighborhood is ‘banning’ cars for all residents — but it’s offering them a thought-provoking deal in return

A real estate development in Tempe, Arizona, is touting itself as “the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch in the U.S.” The development, called Culdesac Tempe, broke ground in 2019 and appears to be chugging along, with the first batch of apartments close to being finished, according to its official blog. Once the first residents arrive, they will be banned from bringing their own cars (or, at least, from parking them onsite or in the surrounding area). The community will still make ample use of cars but in the form of rideshares via Lyft and car sharing via Envoy, a community-based electric car-sharing service and platform. Both companies are official partners of the project.

French first as city brings in parking charges linked to car’s weight

The charges in Lyon – scheduled for 2024 – are aimed at encouraging people to use public transport or use smaller and less-polluting cars.
The plans are part of a wider set of new parking rules that will aim to:
• Address climate change concerns and reduce air pollution
• Make parking simpler
• Improve city-centre access easier for all users.
People driving vehicles for professional reasons will also benefit from a simpler charging system, said the Ville de Lyon.
The new tariffs will also take residents’ household income into account.



Denver just made it easier for residents to build ADUs

Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development said Monday that 30% of the city currently has zoning that allows ADUs. Since 2010, the city has issued only 450 ADU permits, a number CPD hopes will increase with these new changes. After more than a year of research and meeting with various Denver residents, CPD brought its recommendations to Denver City Council last night for a vote. The discussion centered around ADUs as a way to increase the housing supply and affordable housing in Denver, and council members were overall supportive of finding ways to help residents build more of them. Denver is keeping the requirement that ADUs can only be built on owner-occupied property, which has been a point of contention.

Colorado governor vetoes bill that would have given local governments right of first refusal to buy multifamily housing

“I support local governments’ ability to buy these properties on the open market and preserve low-cost housing opportunities, but am not supportive of a required right of refusal that adds costs and time to transactions,” Polis wrote in a letter explaining his veto. “Additional incentives or policy levers such as a notice requirement or financing mechanisms for cities could be used to further encourage local governments, and I would be supportive of this kind of approach.” The governor said, however, that he is “wary of placing more pressure on the market that could raise housing costs with this approach.” The veto of House Bill 1190, announced as the Colorado political community was focused Tuesday night on the outcome of Denver’s mayoral race, represents another big failure at the Colorado Capitol this year for affordable housing advocates. Democrats declared the state’s 2023 lawmaking term the year of affordable housing, but many of their priority measures failed, including a rewrite of Colorado’s land-use policies and an eviction protections bill. All four of the bill’s prime sponsors — Democratic Sens. Faith Winter and Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Democratic Reps. Andrew Boesenecker and Emily Sirota — released a remarkably fiery statement Tuesday night lambasting the governor.

Office-to-Residential Conversions Are Not the Magic Bullet Many Think They Are

Developers and investors are repurposing these buildings into residential units to reignite downtown city centers but the conversion process is not easy. Even with the success stories of new multifamily buildings being carved out of the carcusses of unused offices, conversion will not be enough to reinvigorate downtowns across the country. In the end, we will have to either tear down and rebuild empty buildings, or find ways to bring workers back to the office—on their terms of course.

Unaffordable Housing Is a Threat to the Property Industry

This overly simplistic understanding of the relationship between property value and housing accessibility is what the general public has come to understand. Property owners are seen as not only benefiting from the affordability crisis but also to blame for it. Landlord has become a derogatory term online; “the landlord special” the captions says every time someone posts a picture of shoddy workmanship done in their rental. Property owners are decried for their compassionless greed and anti-affordability protectionism. But the real relationship between housing affordability and property value is much more complicated. If housing becomes prohibitively unaffordable to the population it serves, it creates a number of unwanted consequences like mass relocation, social unrest, and economic stagnation. So what is the actual relationship between property prices and housing scarcity? Does the property industry benefit from the unaffordable conditions of our cities? And if so, how do we realign the idea of property ownership with sustainable, equitable development?

The Path for Converting Office to Residential Is Narrow

Given the current state of the market, the office-to-multifamily conversion narrative holds intuitive appeal. But the reality is that, while transformative for the neighborhoods in which they occur, conversions will probably be relatively rare. At this scale, they are unlikely to impact market fundamentals on either the office or the multifamily side, let alone solve the housing shortage.

Homeownership is now $1,000+ per month more expensive than renting.

Interestingly, the monthly homeownership premium is below the national average of $1,030 in 15 of the 20 most popular markets for single-family rental investment, primarily because homes in these markets can be purchased at prices where the rents achieve a good yield for the landlord. In the most expensive markets in the country, such as San Francisco and New York, where the homeownership premium is substantial, single-family rental landlords have not been able to grow their businesses.

Affordability Crisis: United States Needs 4.3 Million More Homes

Some steps in the right direction include zoning reforms to allow for more housing units as opposed to just single family detached homes. This alone would create millions of critically needed new housing units and surveys show most residents would support such changes in their own neighborhoods to increase supply. More steps, such as eliminating or reducing parking requirements, minimizing building permit approval delays, establishing and expanding affordable housing trust funds should also be explored. Ultimately, developers need to be at the forefront of new home construction in order to meet the demand that exists in every part of the housing market.

Housing has become so unaffordable that over 75% of homes on the market are too expensive for middle-income buyers

The US housing market is so unaffordable, over 75% of homes on the market are too expensive for middle class buyers, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors and That’s largely due to the shortage of housing supply, which has hit middle income buyers the hardest. Thanks to elevated mortgage rates, the housing market is missing around 320,000 homes priced at or below $256,000 – the maximum price a middle-income buyer earning up to $75,000 can afford.

Can architecture impact outcomes for people who have experienced trauma?

Architectural Principles In The Service Of Trauma Informed Design: This pamphlet focuses on ways to design a building to help regulate the body and support therapeutic approaches. Since trauma lives and works through the body, and the body reacts to physical space before we cognitively process it, the built environment is integral to how one experiences trauma. This document presents a brief primer on the body-space-trauma relationship, organizing principles for trauma-informed architecture, some examples of built work, and narratives that inform what amenities residents and staff may need.

How an algorithm helps convert empty offices into housing

Many cities in this country are suffering from a serious lack of housing. But thanks to remote work, cities also have a lot of empty office space. Converting one into the other seems like the obvious solution, but it’s not always simple to accomplish. Many office buildings just aren’t suitable for residential use. The cost of figuring out which ones are, can be prohibitive for developers. That’s where artificial intelligence comes in, says Steven Paynter, a Toronto-based studio director for the design firm Gensler. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke to Paynter about an algorithm he created to identify the best conversion prospects.

How building more backyard homes, granny flats and in-law suites can help alleviate the housing crisis

Los Angeles has had a unique approach to encourage ADUs. The city recently launched its Accessory Dwelling Unit Standard Plan Program, which offers homeowners and developers the option to select from 20 preapproved ADU models for construction. Plans range from a studio structure of less than 400 square feet to a 1,200-square-foot house with three bedrooms. Since construction or conversion is still relatively expensive and out of reach for many homeowners, the state of California also offers homeowners a $40,000 subsidy to encourage the construction of ADUs to make them more affordable. Meanwhile, CityLAB, a university-affiliated research center at UCLA, designed a guidebook for homeowners looking to build one of these small homes.