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Welcome to our home! We just finished building it in June (2013). It is one of the coolest houses in Northwest Michigan. We live on the 2nd and 3rd floors with an amazing view of West Grand Traverse Bay. It is a passive and active solar home. We are 2 blocks west of downtown Traverse City - on West Bay across from the West End Beach. Our guest suite is on the first floor of our home AND it has a private entry off the front door. It includes a living room, bedroom (with a Queen size bed) and a full bath with a tub. The living area has a sofa bed (with a memory foam mattress), TV with cable, WIFI, and a kitchenette. The kitchenette has a full size refrigerator, hot plate, microwave, sink and a coffee maker.
Most Importantly......you are downtown across from West Bay within walking distance of everything that Traverse City has to offer. Park Your Car!
Walk, bike or drive to our many restaurants, wineries, breweries, bars and food trucks:
Come for all our festivals, for the Great Lakes, for family and new friends. Use our place as a hub for all your explorations to the surrounding counties!
You can connect to miles of paved trials just across the street. Mountain bikers and cross country skiers will enjoy 3-25k loops at the Vasa trail system. Bike, kayak and stand-up paddleboards can be rented at the Bayfront Park, approximately 1/4 mile away. Hiking and fly fishing are superb on the Boardman River, a blue-ribbon trout stream. Just 30 minutes to the north, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was recently named the most beautiful place in America.
There are museums - the north's only children's museum and Dennos Museum, which holds the world's largest collection of Inuit art. There are numerous art galleries. Our downtown is one of the most vibrant in the state - unique shops abound.
Named a top five Foodie Town by Bon Appetit, we love our local restaurants and will point you in the right direction. The best bakery in town is a half block away and you can often smell fresh bread and cinnamon rolls baking at night. There are a number of wineries on both our peninsulas and microbreweries abound.
Traverse City is home to the State Theatre, just named the top small theater in the country - you can walk to the State and its new sister theater, Bijou by the Bay. Art and first run films are shown at the theater, along with kid's 25-cent matinees and classic films on Wednesday mornings. Traverse City's Film Festival takes place the first week of August - it is in its ninth year, attracting film makers, actors and producers from around the world.
Policy available by contacting owner when booking.
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About the owner: I am retired Special Education Teacher and builder and Becky is manager at a local foundation. We are avid runners, bikers and skiers. I have biked all over the world and love biking here the best. We have lived here for decades and love Traverse City!
Why the Owner Chose Traverse City: The ‘Rock Shop 2’ started 3 years ago when my wife and I were looking for a new home. We stumbled onto an old storefront with a house attached. The “Davidson Rock Shop” had been polishing Petoskey stones and selling them to tourists for over 50 years. The building was part of Traverse City’s original downtown and was built just after the Civil War. It sits across the street from the public beach on West Bay - an awesome location, just 2 blocks away from downtown.
We decided to tear down the commercial side and sell the small house to some friends. The design was particularly difficult due to the fact that the commercial infill lot that was left was 25’ wide and 117’ deep AND we needed a ‘one hour fire rated wall’ on the long sides. That means no windows on the long sides. A big challenge was bringing light into a ‘shotgun’ style house.
The other big design consideration was that I wanted to build the most energy efficient building in Traverse City. The building follows a German design standard called Passiv House. This design standard has four main criteria 1) Super-insulation 2) Very tight envelope 3) an Energy Recovery Ventilator to bring in fresh air and is 4)Solar heated.
I retired last June from teaching and started tearing down the old building the next day. The final design (I went through 4 major design changes) has a small apartment and a garage on the first floor. The second floor has the main living space and has a ‘clear story’ that goes up to the third floor and the decks, flooding the house with light. The floors and the domestic hot water are heated by the solar panels on the roof. Last week we got a courtesy call from DTE saying that we would not be getting a bill for the month of May because they do not send out bills less than $ 30.00.
The Unique Benefits at this Apartment: We are so very happy with our new home, it is nothing short of amazing! It has turned out better than we expected. Look out your front window on one of the most pristine bays in the world!
CAUTION: A sign has gone up on the bank across the street. Apparently, a developer has purchased the building and is planning on razing the building and constructing condos in its place. We are not sure of his timeline, but he may start this summer (2015). Fortunately, we'll still keep our view, AND due to the fact that our house is super insulated; we don't think the noise should be a problem.