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DULUTH — "I've literally used bigger sinks in my dentist chair."

TikTok user Jonathon Carson described the bathroom of the first market-rate tiny home for sale in Duluth, listed at a price that has spawned local outrage, a parody Facebook account and Carson's TikTok video that's been viewed nearly 400,000 times.

The newly built 205-square-foot home went on the market in June at $195,000 but has since dropped to $182,500. The furnished abode with a sleeping loft is full of light and minimalistic space-saving features to maximize its, well, tininess.

The ultra-petite nature of the house provides plenty of fodder for the parody account, Tighe Niehaus, written from the home's perspective: It recently asked for pizza delivery recommendations for places with narrow boxes.

Realtor Krystina Gillman has shown the Sixth Avenue East property about a dozen times, mostly to people curious from social media coverage.

"I've kind of taken the advertising angle of 'buy yourself a piece of social media history,'" Gillman joked. "I do think the house has a ton of potential."

A tiny home in Duluth on Sixth Avenue East.
A tiny home in Duluth on Sixth Avenue East.

Laura Jean Media Services

Sean Dixon, of Colorado-based Simply Tiny Development, said the project was his first foray into tiny homes, which are smaller than 400 square feet. The pilot project didn't go as planned, he said, with delays and high construction costs during the pandemic.

"Everything that could go wrong did go wrong," Dixon said. "We will sell it at a loss."

Dixon said a Duluth program to address a housing shortage drew him to build here first; the city awarded his company $8,700, the value of the lot. Final construction costs topped $190,000.

The city received complaints about the price, Chief Administrative Officer Noah Schuchman told City Councilors last month, but it can't dictate the market.

Other tiny home projects are planned in Duluth, and a couple have been built for veterans.

The home's internet popularity has had a downside. Negative reviews of Gillman and other vitriol about her have appeared online, she said, "just for doing the job I was hired to do."

Dixon said he's not sure about moving forward with more tiny homes after such poor reception, but he noted the Duluth house, close to the city's two hospitals, would be an ideal rental spot for a traveling nurse or other medical professionals.

"This doesn't have to be a negative thing," he said. "If somebody wants to talk to us and learn from our mistakes, we will gladly tell you what happened and how we think it should be done better."