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Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

by Splatgirl last modified May 19, 2005 08:54 PM
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Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Splatgirl at May 12. 2005

Just spied this over at apartmenttherapy.com and wonder:
Is anyone planning to see this firsthand? I'd love to see what the five dwellings are like.
Is Christoper Deam the partner of Lara Deam of Dwell?
Is the prefab factor here just Target's practical, mobile means of product display or a secondary element that's actually being marketed? I'm having visions of the Target (or IKEA) of 2020 where you can buy a prefab house to coordinate with your Isaac Mizrahi bed linens and Michael Graves toaster...


PRESS INFO:
A Target PREFABULOUS OPEN HOUSE:
The future of housing has arrived. Be among the first to experience five prefab dwellings, each with a fabulous style all of its own. Target has brought five complete prefab homes to downtown New York, and outfitted each with the latest and most stunning in design and home interiors. May 14th-17th. Grand St. btwn Sixth Ave. Varick St. Sat., May 14th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., May 15th-Tues., May 17th, 10 a.m.-8 p.m

VISUAL:

•Five prefab dwellings erected in a SoHo parking lot! The installation was created by architect Christopher C. Deam in collaboration with Target

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at May 12. 2005

Christopher Deam is the husband of the founder of Dwell.

I think this is just a medium for showing off house wares, but keep talking about it - maybe they will get the message.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Ed at May 13. 2005

Thanks for the heads-up! That's a pretty bizarre location... it's right outside of the Holland Tunnel where there is already tons of street traffic. Anyway, I'll ride my bike down there and check it out. I'll take pictures and post them too!

Between ICFF and this, I will be totally over-designed this weekend!8)

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Nate Koehler at May 13. 2005

Pardon me for rambling but I had these spare thoughts rattling around my head since I saw the modern park trailer over on fabprefab. $45k seems like a great price for a place to live that has all the basics and appeals to my need for light if nothing else. But is this disposable housing? Could I buy one, live in it for 10+/- years with little or no mortgage payment and when it starts to show its age, or a newer/better model comes along, upgrade? Sell my used one on ebay?
Maybe I am really off. To me it is a different way of thinking of housing. Find an area/lot you really like, want to live at for a while, and just upgrade as you need without needing permits or having to move to a new location if you need to expand or want something different. Of course you have HOA to deal with, but if the quality is there maybe not such a hard sell in certain locations. $45k place to live does make me question the quality considering the price of Glidehouse/Flatpak etc.

It feels more like the mindset of buying a car than a house. You know you will eventually have to replace it.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Mark Meyer at May 13. 2005

Remember that you are paying $45K for 400 s.f. That isn't exactly a screaming bargain, especially when you factor in the rent you'll be paying on the location, and the fact that you get NO tax breaks, as the trailers aren't Real proporty.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Zachary Anderson at May 13. 2005

"...is this disposable housing? Could I buy one, live in it for 10+/- years with little or no mortgage payment and when it starts to show its age, or a newer/better model comes along, upgrade? Sell my used one on ebay?
Maybe I am really off. To me it is a different way of thinking of housing. Find an area/lot you really like, want to live at for a while, and just upgrade as you need without needing permits or having to move to a new location if you need to expand or want something different."

-Nak

disposable housing, now there's a green concept ;(

the problems arise when hurricane season comes, and your house is completely gone when you come back from the mandatory evacuation.

but, i do understand the ease of owning a trailer. i guess it's just a matter of getting real prefab to the point where people think about it like that...it's quick and painless to get a house brought to your lot and set in place (although site work will always be harder with a real home)

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Roy Rede at May 14. 2005

You can deduct the interest on a trailer loan, same as a traditional mortgage loan, if you live in it.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Nate Koehler at May 14. 2005

So why not a modern trailer park? The spots designed for a wall of glass looking out one side of your home. Walls, fences, bamboo, smart site design could have you living in your own private garden. The $/sqft may not be the best but the total $ is still extremely affordable. You wouldn't be any closer that if you were in an apt/condo and even many highend homes that are stacked on top of one another. With the low price of the trailer you could have a deck/patio that was the same sqft for a few dollars more, and in a nice climate you could spend much of you time outside.
I realize that this would not appeal to everyone nor even a majority. But for a single/couple with not a lot of money but a desire for modernism it could be great. Instead of spending on your house that you probably won't live in for 5+ years, you could have that extra money left over to live your life.
I guess I am trying to think of it not as an equity building machine but as another type of renting. Instead of a 1940's small house you could live in a nice modern place that looks like a designers sketch up or a pic out of a magazine. And then after a few years you could move on. You wouldn't have the equity of a house but you also would not have had the payments.

I feel like there is something I am not getting about this. It seems to be a good idea so I am wondering where my blindspot is. Why this hasn't been done already. I feel that part of why this seems so interesting to me is that I have a HUGE stereotype and preconception about trailers/trailerparks/trailerliving anything whatsoever to do with trailers. But put a new face on it and I keep thinking to myself I'm in! Lets go!

So please anyone, enlighten me!

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at May 14. 2005

A link:

http://www.cdeam.com/

I think its a great idea. The big picture is that it represents design invading another consumer product category. This puts more pressure on regular housing to change and that is something we all want to see.

But it is not a substitute for a regular house. The bottom line is its a mobile home. 112$/sqft sounds good for a prefab, but it needs to be compared to other mobile home products. My guess is the nice siding, the aluminum glazed wall, and the structure to make a box that is wide open like that will price it well above other mobile home products. Again the relationship of modern to the rest of the market is not much improved by this effort. But I'll bet it opens eyes and brings new people into the fold of wanting and seeking a modern home.

What is really fascinating here is that Chris Deam has come at it from the other end. He began with interior designs for Airstream, and now this mobile home product. I can't wait to see him do a true prefab.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Adam Tibbs at May 17. 2005

I just returned from seeing the exhibit, and I have to say I was very disappointed. Even granting the fact that they must have been put together quickly for the event (sloppy painting, bowed walls), I think the materials choices and construction could/should have been significantly better, though the design was nice, if not inspired.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Gregory La Vardera at May 17. 2005

What exactly was there? Did they have several prototypes of this modern trailer home?

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Adam Tibbs at May 18. 2005

They had five prototypes of the same home. Two sets of two, back to back, and one on it it's own. The trailer home was the version on the website referenced above. Each home was decorated with some interesting furniture of different styles (casual, global, contemporary, classic, modern) that was not from Target, with housewares that are from Target. I went at around 4:00 and the place was a ghost town, though I don't know if it was more successful over the weekend.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by darrel at May 18. 2005

AFAIK, Target does not have a single Manhattan location (rent is to high). As such, they do these publicity stunts in manhattan. I believe they have the 'Target Ship' dock in Manhattan every year before xmas. I assume this is one of those events and is geared more towards promoting target products than the prefab structures themselves.

I'm all for the modern trailer park idea. Living small, high density, tighly knit neigborhood. I've had grand ideas about an all shipping-container vacation trailer park. Affordable modern summer 'cabins'. ;o)

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Walter Crigler at May 19. 2005

Does any have pics other than the trailer on the cdeam site? I would like to see what the other structures look like. Same siding and windows in the trailer home?

If you like trailers I can post plenty of pics for you. I am way down south. The problem with it, is that there is no appreciation in value and thus no pride of ownership. The stigma has become so embedded, that no matter how cool I think it would be to have a modern tailer park, no-one would buy there (no financing available) and the quality of renters would be low (no pride of residence). Ironically, probably the nicest trailer park around is a a few hundred yards down from the Super Target!

Property is so cheap here that the 45k for the trailer plus 15-20k for a lot (60k) would get a decent little fixer-upper (that will appreciate).

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by darrel at May 19. 2005

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landfall

while not modern, this is an interesting trailer park. It's actually a very small city completely surrounded by St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs of the Twin Cities. It's amazingly clean, well kept up. We need more of these IMHO.

Re: Is Target jumping on the prefab bandwagon?

Posted by Splatgirl at May 19. 2005

There is a [url href=http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/gallery/slideshow.php?set_albumName=album147]link here[/url] that shows the stuff they were selling, but zero of the structures. Dissapointing.

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