Missing middle housing
can work in master planned
communities beyond city limits.
above suburban rents because people in Omaha won’t
pay the same premium to live close in as they do in more
Another reason is that Reimer keeps management costs
for his missing middle housing on par with that of his
suburban apartments. Many developers — especially
large production developers — shun missing middle infill
because of the logistics of managing small numbers of
units scattered here and there, Parolek said, but Reimer
has an answer to that. He clusters all of his units within
a six-block radius.
While missing middle housing is usually pictured as infill
development, it can also work in master planned communities beyond the city limits where land is more available.
Reimer owns 54 acres outside of Omaha where he hopes
to build 500-750 units of missing middle housing together
with some commercial development. “I want it to feel
like you’re in a walkable city neighborhood, not an
apartment complex,” Reimer said.
Habersham in South Carolina, East Beach in Virginia and Daybreak in Utah are master planned
communities where large production developers are
successfully mixing missing middle housing with traditional single-family homes, Parolek said. His firm
designed a collection of townhomes in Daybreak for
developer Holmes Homes. They start at an affordable
$182,000 for a 927-square-foot home with two bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths and go to $218,900
for a 1,284-square-foot home with three bedrooms and
2. 5 baths. “They were initially afraid of building the
smaller units, but all of the units are selling really well,”
One drawback to building new missing middle housing on the outskirts is that the urban amenities of a
new community rarely match those found in established city neighborhoods. On the other hand, attempts
to add missing middle infill to established neighborhoods can cause a backlash from residents fearful of
An Opticos Design diagram, which illustrates missing middle housing distributed throughout a block with single-family homes.
Photos courtesy of Opticos Design