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New Urbanism

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We are one of the last areas in the country to adopt this form of housing development. It is estimated that over 20% of new developments in the U.S. are planned this way now. Most of this was started by Duany Plater Zyberg in a couple of Disney-Financed Developments (one was featured on the Truman Show). I think you can find them at www.dpz.com.

There are also many online New Urbanism magazines online.

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GRDad -

20% is an astounding number. Did you have an article with that statistic in it, or is that hearsay?

All -

The website for the Congress for New Urbanism is http://www.cnu.org . . . many tasty site plans and pdfs there.

Here is page with a pretty good list of projects:

http://www.tndtownpaper.com/neighborhoods.htm

The book that gave NU many of its ideas is called "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs. It is ingenius.

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wow.. I had no idea this was happening around the country. Take a look around this site:

http://www.ionvillage.com/

It's a great neighborhood. Getting back to the way neighborhoods used to be planned out is such a great idea. It's like the Easttown area or any other immediate suburb, only with brand new houses.

I love this quote: "The porches on Ion are 8 feet deep and more. Why? To allow room for rocking chairs to rock; for people to put their feet up; and for dogs to be dogs."

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GRDad -

20% is an astounding number. Did you have an article with that statistic in it, or is that hearsay?

All -

The website for the Congress for New Urbanism is http://www.cnu.org . . . many tasty site plans and pdfs there.

Here is page with a pretty good list of projects:

http://www.tndtownpaper.com/neighborhoods.htm

The book that gave NU many of its ideas is called "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs. It is ingenius.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That 20% came from a conference that was held for the local HBA regarding TND's and New Urbanism. There was some skepticism about that number by some of the attendees, but that is what the Congress of New Urbanism claims.

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DP Fox tried to build an 800 home New Urbanist community in Ada 4 or 5 years ago. People just didn't get the high-density living. I for one love the idea and plan to go out of my way to visit this development on the Parade of Homes. I love the idea of alleys and Garages in the back.

Joe

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DP Fox tried to build an 800 home New Urbanist community in Ada 4 or 5 years ago. People just didn't get the high-density living. I for one love the idea and plan to go out of my way to visit this development on the Parade of Homes. I love the idea of alleys and Garages in the back.

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's the link to the site: http://www.windingcreekcircle.com/index.html.. I personally think they could have done without that culdesac.

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I hate to put in a plug for my old employer (we parted on good terms), but Bosgraaf Homes locally has a number of TND communities around West Michigan, with The Ravines currently under construction in Kentwood on 44th. Say Hi to Marv when you stop in here :thumbsup:

Oh, and the Bosgraaf Family is Dutch and Christian :P

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I've got a decent friend who works for Bosgraff and those homes are getting picked up quick (he's in sales, so he'd know) I really like the idea, but from the research I've done it's a big deal to get the zoning ordinances that have been in place for years to be changed. Either way, I would love to live in one of these "mixed use/walking" communities..

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"DP Fox tried to build an 800 home New Urbanist community in Ada 4 or 5 years ago. People just didn't get the high-density living. I for one love the idea and plan to go out of my way to visit this development on the Parade of Homes. I love the idea of alleys and Garages in the back.

Joe "

I think this didn't catch on out in the exoburbs, because people live so far out in a town like Ada to get away from all the closeness, the social part of a high-density 'hood. People I know say they would move out of the city to get away from their neighbors and have them where they are a mile down the road.

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I was just saying how much I used to want to own "a house with some land" with nobody around :D . But after looking at how much these communities offer, i'm more inclined to live in one. I think the key is that it be a "walking" neighborhood much like EGR/GasLight Village. Again, it's more likely a personal mentality thing as much as an acceptance thing.

As far as location, i'll agree it has to be the right place at the right time. I grew up in the Caledonia, Middleville area, which is now just begining the urban sprawl (which I don't see as necessarily a good thing). I think if someone were to build one of these communities between say M-6 and 108th street off M-37 it would go well. The area is full of people who in my opnion are trying to escape the City life, and congestion, but still would like the Smallville/Truman show style living. I say that judging on the number of Sub-Developments (not true TNDs).

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I was just saying how much I used to want to own "a house with some land" with nobody around  :D  .  But after looking at how much these communities offer, i'm more inclined to live in one.  I think the key is that it be a "walking" neighborhood much like EGR/GasLight Village.  Again, it's more likely a personal mentality thing as much as an acceptance thing. 

As far as location, i'll agree it has to be the right place at the right time.  I grew up in the Caledonia, Middleville area, which is now just begining the urban sprawl (which I don't see as necessarily a good thing).  I think if someone were to build one of these communities between say M-6 and 108th street off M-37 it would go well.  The area is full of people who in my opnion are trying to escape the City life, and congestion, but still would like the Smallville/Truman show style living.  I say that judging on the number of Sub-Developments (not true TNDs).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You should get into development! There is a new community like this going in at 100th and M-37/Kinsey area, called the Crossroads of Caledonia. It will incorporate a neo-traditional neighborhood with retail/commercial on M-37. I tried finding some info on it on-line, but struck out so far. There is also one in Sparta, called Bedford Falls, one being proposed for Pine Island Drive in Comstock Park, one by Bosgraaf being proposed for 84th and Eastern (about 300 homes), one in Jamestown Township (with over 600 homes), and another in Zeeland in the proposal stage. There are probably more, but I can't think of them off of the top of my head.

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You should get into development!  There is a new community like this going in at 100th and M-37/Kinsey area, called the Crossroads of Caledonia.  It will incorporate a neo-traditional neighborhood with retail/commercial on M-37.  I tried finding some info on it on-line, but struck out so far.  There is also one in Sparta, called Bedford Falls, one being proposed for Pine Island Drive in Comstock Park, one by Bosgraaf being proposed for 84th and Eastern (about 300 homes), one in Jamestown Township (with over 600 homes), and another in Zeeland in the proposal stage.  There are probably more, but I can't think of them off of the top of my head.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Trust me if I had the funds, and new where to get started I would :D !!!! Something tells me my Sys Engineering salary won't cut it :rofl: ! I knew one was going in at 100th, I just hadn't seen any recent drawings or information on it. I know Paul Getty had one going out in middleville, I'm not sure how closely it followed the TND trend but it was a mixed use style development. There's Bailey's grove in Kentwood, that sort of follows the guidelines as well. I like the Bosgraaf stuff I've seen, I hope they continue the trend. I've been looking at them a lot online, there are some BEAUTIFUL communities going in around the Charlotte area in NC.

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I drive by the one at M37 and 100th every day. I'm not sure what their actual site plan is. I'll have to double check, but I think the sign says something about retail/condo/apt.. no single family stuff. I'll do some looking around too and see what else we can find out about it.

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Trust me if I had the funds, and new where to get started I would :D !!!!  Something tells me my Sys Engineering salary won't cut it  :rofl: ! I knew one was going in at 100th, I just hadn't seen any recent drawings or information on it.  I know Paul Getty had one going out in middleville, I'm not sure how closely it followed the TND trend but it was a mixed use style development.  There's Bailey's grove in Kentwood, that sort of follows the guidelines as well.  I like the Bosgraaf stuff I've seen, I hope they continue the trend.  I've been looking at them a lot online, there are some BEAUTIFUL communities going in around the Charlotte area in NC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You would be surprised at how little most developers start with. In fact, most of the suburban developers in this area were once FARMERS who couldn't make money farming anymore and were trying to parcel their land, and learned a lot about zoning and city/township planning in the process.

Since I work for a local builder (I will leave out the name), I know that money is relatively easy to get these days (with good credit), and interest rates are still unbelievably low, that scraping a few dollars together can get you a piece of land or a number of rental properties (you have to start somewhere). And having the analytical skills of a Systems Engineer to undestand real estate law doesn't hurt. If I didn't have 4 mouths to feed, I would be all over it. I will just have to wait until my kids are grown and out of school :thumbsup:

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GRDad,

This is the one I want to check out on the parade. It looks interesting. I also heard that with this and another development, Kentwood will FINALLY be above the 50% level for single family homes vs. apartments. A very encouraging sign for what used to be known as "Rentwood".

Joe

I hate to put in a plug for my old employer (we parted on good terms), but Bosgraaf Homes locally has a number of TND communities around West Michigan, with The Ravines currently under construction in Kentwood on 44th.  Say Hi to Marv when you stop in here :thumbsup:

Oh, and the Bosgraaf Family is Dutch and Christian :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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You should get into development!  There is a new community like this going in at 100th and M-37/Kinsey area, called the Crossroads of Caledonia.  It will incorporate a neo-traditional neighborhood with retail/commercial on M-37.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ok, I took note today when I drove by. It looks like its a Kamminga Development project with sales by Grand Realty. It makes no mention of single family homes on the signage, just Retail, Banks, Condo's, and Apartments.

So that's what we know up till now :)

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Ok, I took note today when I drove by.  It looks like its a Kamminga Development project with sales by Grand Realty.  It makes no mention of single family homes on the signage, just Retail, Banks, Condo's, and Apartments. 

So that's what we know up till now  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's right. I think the original plan years ago was called Garden Grove, and was supposed to include homes. Now it is just condos and apartments for residential.

This community, called Balsam Hill is probably one of the best I have seen in the area with side and rear-entry garages, and a walkable site plan. It is mucho expensive though, with homes starting in the $400's and monthly assocation fees of $350 - $400/month (on Hall Street near Cascade Road).

gallery.balsamhill4.jpg

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I've seen that development. It looks very nice, very upscale. The houses looked huge when I drove by. I think I'll take a drive by the ravines in kentwood tonight after work and take a look at them.

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Balsam Hill is beautiful. The houses seem small from the front but are very deep (and very expensive). What I really like is that they all have their own very unique design, but look as if they were built in the early 20's.

I have been in a couple of the houses, and while they are big, they aren't nearly as nice on the inside (the ones I saw were very sterile, but I guess this all depends on the owner).

I still plan to check out the Bosgraaf development soon. Got my parade tickets tonight actually.

Joe

I've seen that development.

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Balsam Hill is beautiful. The houses seem small from the front but are very deep (and very expensive). What I really like is that they all have their own very unique design, but look as if they were built in the early 20's.

I have been in a couple of the houses, and while they are big, they aren't nearly as nice on the outside (the ones I saw were very sterile, but I guess this all depends on the owner).

I still plan to check out the Bosgraaf development soon. Got my parade tickets tonight actually.

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I like the oil lamps (faux) everywhere, especially hanging from the arched iron entryway. Has that "Hobbit-Town" feel.

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I drove through the Ravines and I can't make up my mind. The houses have an awful lot of vinyl. Vinyl decks and pillars and siding, etc. It looks very fake, almost modular. I am definately not saying I don't like it, but I think the finishing touches (landscaping and top coat on the roads) will make all the difference in the world. Someone else drive through there and tell me what you think.

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I drove through the Ravines and I can't make up my mind.  The houses have an awful lot of vinyl.  Vinyl decks and pillars and siding, etc.  It looks very fake, almost modular.  I am definately not saying I don't like it, but I think the finishing touches (landscaping and top coat on the roads) will make all the difference in the world.  Someone else drive through there and tell me what you think.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Give it time. It will look totally different when landscaping goes in and the park is in. It is quite costly and would price a lot of people out of the market if they did "cement board" or cedar siding and trim. Plus the maintenance on cedar siding would kill most homeowners. It can cost $3000 - $4000 to have a cedar home re-stained every 2 - 3 years :wacko:

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Anyone like me think this is just more sprawl and bandaids to a growing problem of catering to urban flight? Check out what I just read on an editorial of this new urbanism concept:

Balance needed on new urbanism

Thanks Grand Rapids Press! The two-page advertisement for developers called "new urbanism" has us in rural America very excited.

Why was there no balance in this May 22 article, "New Urbanism: 2005 spring parade of homes showcases neighborhoods as well as houses" with respect to what problems these dense developments create when they are plopped haphazardly in agricultural or just plain rural communities?

They add traffic, which creates a need for road widening. They add students, which creates overcrowded schools and the need for larger schools. Natural resources are destroyed to create these intimate communities. Trees are bulldozed over, wetlands filled.

How do we know this?

We currently have an "intimate community" of l9 single family condos complete with a narrow private road being developed right next door on a narrow, less-than-l0-acre parcel.

I would respectfully suggest to these "new urbanites" to consider what is already built in downtown areas.

They should put their money in those communities that desperately need it.

Their intimate neighborhoods with convenient commercial areas nearby are already there and waiting, hopefully, for people to come.

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Anyone like me think this is just more sprawl and bandaids to a growing problem of catering to urban flight? Check out what I just read on an editorial of this new urbanism concept:

Balance needed on new urbanism

Thanks Grand Rapids Press! The two-page advertisement for developers called "new urbanism" has us in rural America very excited. 

   

Why was there no balance in this May 22 article, "New Urbanism: 2005 spring parade of homes showcases neighborhoods as well as houses" with respect to what problems these dense developments create when they are plopped haphazardly in agricultural or just plain rural communities?

They add traffic, which creates a need for road widening. They add students, which creates overcrowded schools and the need for larger schools. Natural resources are destroyed to create these intimate communities. Trees are bulldozed over, wetlands filled.

We currently have an "intimate community" of l9 single family condos complete with a narrow private road being developed right next door on a narrow, less-than-l0-acre parcel.

I would respectfully suggest to these "new urbanites" to consider what is already built in downtown areas.

They should put their money in those communities that desperately need it.

Their intimate neighborhoods with convenient commercial areas nearby are already there and waiting, hopefully, for people to come.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A lot of people like the benefits of new construction: the latest technology in construction materials, energy efficiency, better safety codes, hot-wired smoke detectors, a two-car garage, no "toe nails in the carpet" of an existing home, lower maintenance, etc.. If you know of any large swaths of land in the city of Grand Rapids that can handle 200 - 300 homes without tearing down existing homes, please post those. BTW, brownfield areas are tough for single family homes.

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