How does Missing Middle Housing integrate into blocks?

Missing Middle Housing types typically have a footprint not larger than a large detached single-family home, making it easy to integrate them into existing neighborhoods, and 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

Missing Middle Housing types are spread throughout the block and stand side-by-side with detached single-family homes. This blended pattern of detached single-family homes and Missing Middle Housing types, with densities up to 40 dwelling units per acre, works well because the forms of these types are never larger than a large house.

Placed on the end-grain of a block

Missing Middle Housing types are placed on the end-grain of a block with detached single-family homes, facing the primary street, which is often a slightly busier corridor than the streets to which the detached single-family homes are oriented. 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, and transit.

This configuration allows for the use of slightly larger buildings because the Missing Middle housing types are not sitting next to detached 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 detached 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.

Transitioning to a commercial corridor

Missing Middle Housing is excellent 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.

Transitioning to higher-density housing

Smaller-scale Missing Middle Housing types are placed on a few of the lots that transition from 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.

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

Learn more about Missing Middle Housing