How does Missing Middle Housing integrate into existing or new blocks?
Missing Middle buildings typically have a footprint not larger than a large single-family home, making it easy to integrate them into existing neighborhoods, as well as serve as a way for the neighborhood to transition to higher-density and main street contexts. There are a number of ways in which this can be accomplished.
Distributed throughout a block with single-family homes: Missing Middle housing types are spread throughout the block and stand side-by-side with single-family detached homes. This blended pattern of single-family homes and Missing Middle types, with densities up to 40 dwelling units per acre, is only possible because the forms of these types are never larger than a large house.
“For us, mixing housing types is important in today’s market. Buyers want choices, the investors and lenders want more flexibility in the projects, and planning officials expect a more thoughtful integration into the existing neighborhoods. The mixing of product provides a diverse community, enhances value, and it helps create the type of place our buyers are looking for today.”
— David Leazenby, Onyx+East
Placed on the end-grain of a single-family block: Missing Middle housing types are placed on the end-grain of a single-family block, facing the primary street, which is often a slightly busier corridor than the streets the single-family homes are oriented to. The most common condition is to have several fourplex units on the end grain lots facing the primary street. This configuration is usually located on the end grain of several continuous blocks adjacent to a neighborhood main street, which increases the blended density to achieve the 16 dwelling units/acre
necessary to support small, locally-serving commercial and service amenities.
This configuration allows for the use of slightly larger buildings because the Missing Middle housing types are not sitting next to single-family homes. In this block type, the alley to the rear of the lots also allows for a good transition in scale to the single-family home lots behind them. Often you will see a similar block configuration with one or two fourplexes on the corners of the end grain lots on the block.
Using a block comprised exclusively of Missing Middle types to transition to a commercial corridor: Creating a block of larger Missing Middle housing types is an excellent way to transition from a neighborhood to a Main Street with commercial and mixed-use buildings. These types are generally more tolerant and better able to effectively mitigate any potential conflicts related to the proximity to commercial/retail buildings or parking lots behind commercial buildings.
Using Missing Middle types to transition from single-family homes to higher-density housing: Smaller-scale Missing Middle types are placed on a few of the lots that transition for the side street to the primary street, providing a transition in scale to the larger buildings on the end grain of the block along the primary street.