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Detroit Quonset Hut Housing Project ‘Caterpillar’ Now Leasing for 2021

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An aerial view of a S-Model steel building and close ups of the windows
Real estate development company Price Concepts is now accepting resident applications for the eight-unit dwelling known as ‘Caterpillar.’

Caterpillar has six special residential units and two live/work units in one large 46’ x 192’ SteelMaster Q-Model hut.

According to Caterpillar’s website, leasing opened on January 1 and there are currently seven available units. Price Concepts says the dwelling is ‘landing’ in February 2021.

“The units will have 23’ tall ceilings, ethereal natural light, calming curves, and a ‘Jetsons’ style genesis chamber that residents will use to transform from ‘just barely awake’ to ‘ready for action,’” Prince Concepts said on their website. “Instead of front yards, the hut will be lifted and have a stoop that will look out onto a heavily planted park/garden.”

Senior Project Manager Greg Broderick worked with Prince Concepts on the project and says while the building is standard in its single radius design, there were a lot of custom details.

The biggest priority of the project was ensuring the design could be made by the engineers at the factory. The windows were the most complicated aspect of the building, and there are a total of 36 openings per side.

“My initial reaction to the building design was I’m going to try my best to bring their vision to life and make it happen,” Greg said. “The customer has an issue and wants a solution. We’re always going to see if we can solve it.”

The Caterpillar is located right down the street from Prince Concepts’ first Quonset hut housing project, True North, in the Core City area of Detroit, Michigan.

Edwin Chan teamed up with Philip Kafka of Prince Concepts to create True North in 2016. It’s the first time in 60 years that Core City has seen a major development.

This team designed True North’s Quonset huts at different angles and in different shapes and sizes to create open, outdoor spaces to enhance the community feel of the area.

There are rental units inside a few of the True North buildings that range from 475 to 1,600 square feet, and an Airbnb called QuonsetHaus, a small coffee shop and a yoga studio.

Translucent and transparent polycarbonate allows natural light to pour inside of the prefabricated Quonset huts, and crews used other affordable materials to keep the cost of the spaces effective.