Tinytopia: A big solution to Bowie’s lack of available place to rent

Local News

BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — Tinytopia is not just a fun name. It’s a string of tiny homes in Bowie that’s really providing for a community with a lack of renting opportunity.

Tinytopia currently has a population of 10 humans and 4 animals. It was the brainchild of Decatur couple Anna and Chad Coker.

“Well, Chad and I had been watching HGTV, and we saw the tiny home movement,” Anna Coker said. “We thought they were super cute, and we thought it might be a good retirement for us.”

First, they had to find a community in need, and Bowie fit that for a couple of reasons.

Thanks to Mayor Gaylynn Burris and the city, Bowie was re-zoned with tiny houses in mind, paving the way for a diverse set of residents looking for a place to rent.

“We have oilfield guys that travel, and they’re only here a couple weeks a month. We have single women, we have single men, we have older gentlemen, so it kind of appeals to all ages,” Coker said.

That ties in with the second reason Bowie was the right place: availability.

“I looked for a place to live in Bowie, an apartment, and I couldn’t find anything that I liked so I spent some time in a motel,” Jack McDonald said.

But now, an 81-year old, affectionately known in Tinytopia as “Mr. Jack,” has found his home sweet home.

“You might look at the Boston ferns I’ve hung up,” McDonald said. “I’ve added a screen door which made it a little more homey.”

McDonald was one of the first residents. During his search for a place, he spotted the construction. Once it opened up, no time was wasted.

“Chad was here so I said ‘can we do it today?’ And we did it, and one day it all came together at one time. I moved in with a recliner and a bed ’cause it’s equipped with all the major appliances which is great. I had everything I really needed,” McDonald said.

Which is exactly what the Cokers were going for.

“I wanted your grandmother to feel comfortable here. I wanted your mother to feel like she could move here, and I’m really proud of what we’ve done. We didn’t buy the cheapest stuff. We made them as nice as we could, made them so people feel like they’re living in a custom home, only it’s a small footprint,” Anna Coker said.

And the plan is to keep going. The Cokers still have more space and more plans for the future.

“I was talking to the mayor this morning, thanking her for fixing our street, and she had made the comment that this couple would be an asset to Bowie, and they are,” McDonald said.

An asset to the city with a little slice of Tinytopia.

Believe it or not, they still have one left to rent. You can find all Tinytopia info by clicking here.

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