In spring 2021, house designer and designer company ESCAPE opened a tiny home village in Tampa Bay, Florida. As far as affordable housing goes in that area, these homes were a new alternative to living in an apartment. A wave of interest in tiny homes and remote living sold out the units in this village.
“Little did we know we’d experience such demand so quickly,” says ESCAPE founder Dan Dobrowolski. “The opportunity to work remotely, reduce the carbon footprint, and still live in a beautiful home for a fraction of the cost has energized people to consider tiny living.”
A Tiny Home in a Lush Village
While the village is remote, it still offers easy access to the Tampa Bay region through highway 301. Grocery stores, restaurants, and even gyms are within walking distance, while downtown Tampa is only 12 miles away, and the drive to Orlando and Sarasota take less than an hour.
The village is designed like a suburban neighborhood. The homes range in size and can accommodate two to four people accordingly. Each lot includes a manicured lawn and other perks of suburban living, such as a community, privacy, security, and a parking spot. The village also has its own garbage and recycling service. In the center, there are communal spaces to work and relax.
The tiny homes themselves utilize open floor plans, new appliances, LED lights that save energy, USB outlets, windows that insulate well, and sometimes even solar panels. Outside the front door is a 13-foot porch leading to the walkway surrounded by the green lawn. Moving here is easy since each home comes fully furnished.
As a result, millennials and retirees flocked to the village, like Tim Mastic, 31, who works remotely as a software implementation manager, and Judie Clark, 82, who retired after working as a tour bus director for 20 years.
Clark moved from a 1,700 square foot home to 400 square feet. She believed the village allowed her to downsize without diminishing the quality of living. “The upkeep is simple, and everything is sort of at your fingertips,” she says.
The homes were able to be rented or bought. Either way, the monthly cost is around $1,200 on average. After a down payment, half the cost would go towards paying the residence, while the other half is to rent the lot the tiny home is on. 
The New and Upcoming Village
ESCAPE Tampa Bay Village began with ten tiny homes that got snapped up. But the company is planning on expanding the neighborhood with 23 new lots. They call it ESCAPE Tampa Bay Village The Oaks and it is now under construction with new tiny home designs. In the center of it all is a huge park preservation, inspiring the name of the neighborhood. According to their website, the central park is as big as the original village. There will also be units that offer more seclusion as well as beautiful palm trees.
However, ESCAPE is not allowing tours or sales until the units are ready. So there will be no pre-selling or advance deposits, and the date of the grand opening is yet to be determined. But for these new homes, pricing will start around $120,000 and monthly rentals will “start at $500 and include parking, garbage, water, septic, landscaping, ground maintenance & private deck,” according to the ESCAPE website. However, because of the expected high demand, there won’t be a renting option available at first, but owners will be able to choose long-term leases.