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BoneFish

Looking For TND's in the GR area

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Looking For TND / New Urban Neighborhoods in the GR area .... any links or help would be great

Thank You

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Perhaps a stretch for Grand Rapids Area but Holland has one.

It was developed less for new development, more for making existing downtown neighborhoods less "non-conforming" to the suburban zoning it was once controlled by.

I am not sure if some of the newer Traditional Neighborhoods, such as by Bosgraph, were done using this zoning or as PRDs.

You are looking for Chapter 39, Article VII, Division 7.1 R-TRN Traditional Residential Neighborhood District.

Here

Looking For TND / New Urban Neighborhoods in the GR area .... any links or help would be great

Thank You

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zen, TND stands for Traditional Neighborhood Development, or is a close cousin to New Urbanism: small lots, rear-entry garages serviced by an alley, large front porches, usually a "community green" or central park(s).

Bosgraaf is the only builder in the area doing them right now as far as I know. They have Cobblestone in Holland, Cobblestone at the Ravines in Kentwood on 44th Street, Cobblestone Corners in Byron Center, and Prairie Winds in Zeeland. A couple of years ago they had one planned for Jamestown Twp as well.

http://www.bosgraaf.com/index.html

The new townhomes at Uptown Village, Broadway & 1st, Park Row or 920 Cherry could probably fall under that classification too, even though they may be zoned PUD or PRD.

edit: oh, and there are a couple in the Saugatuck/Douglas area South of town and West of Blue Star Highway.

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There's a development of victorian-esque homes in Spring Lake that fits the bill as well.

I don't recall the name of the neighborhood but if you drive into Spring Lake from I-96 on M-104 you cannot miss it (north side of the road, right in town).

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zen, TND stands for Traditional Neighborhood Development, or is a close cousin to New Urbanism: small lots, rear-entry garages serviced by an alley, large front porches, usually a "community green" or central park(s).

Bosgraaf is the only builder in the area doing them right now as far as I know. They have Cobblestone in Holland, Cobblestone at the Ravines in Kentwood on 44th Street, Cobblestone Corners in Byron Center, and Prairie Winds in Zeeland. A couple of years ago they had one planned for Jamestown Twp as well.

http://www.bosgraaf.com/index.html

The new townhomes at Uptown Village, Broadway & 1st, Park Row or 920 Cherry could probably fall under that classification too, even though they may be zoned PUD or PRD.

edit: oh, and there are a couple in the Saugatuck/Douglas area South of town and West of Blue Star Highway.

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I think that you would be hard pressed to find a real TND in this region. Most of these developments that promote themselves as TNDs have co-opted some of the concepts of New Urbanism and manifested it into their suburban developments.

The concepts that are typical of these "hybrids" are:

1. Heavily stylized traditional architecture (that is actually beginning to make me sick).

2. Front porches (because that is what the manual said to include). These front porches are, in many cases obligatory because of the way that they engage the public realm - see Knollwood KNOLLWOOD, and this gem that I just recently came across: LIGHTHOUSE.

This lighthouse village has a tag line of "if the world had a front porch". These are atrocious and I would venture that a grouping of snout houses would be no different.

3. Sidewalks (because if you have them, then it must be walkable).

4. A boulevard, especially at the entrance (nothing says traditional community like a boulevard - they are historic aren't they!!)

5. Some well placed gazebos.

6. Some nice traditional street lights (again, if the lights are traditional then it must be a TND).

7. If you really want to cap it off, put in a round-about, they look really sweet in plan and will certainly wow the planning commission into thinking they are getting something different, and different is good right!?

What these lack is true urbanism, and maybe that is the desire. They lack a true mix of uses and in most cases even a mix of housing types. They lack any kind of organic feel to the architecture (ie- it looks like it was all done by the same person - because it was!). They also miss out on the details. The details that make places into places. Not everything everywhere needs an alley or high back curbs (although never use rolled curbs!!) or even every house requiring a front porch is absolutely not necessary - look at Morris Ave in Heritage Hill. It is all about the details. The build to lines, the lot sizes, the garage placement, the window proportion, the composition and massing of the houses, how big the parkway is, the type and location of street trees, etc, etc. And sadly these places are missing it. Including most of the ones that I have been involved with.

I would encourage a walk through of the one on 44th. Cobblestone at the Ravines or some such thing. It has the boulevard and some obligatory termination at the end of the boulevard. But it does have a mix of housing types. The townhouses are selling well. But look at the urban details. The single family homes are sited closer to the street than the townhouses, which seems to give it this "not quite right feeling". In addition, when you walk adjacent to the single family homes, what does the cadence feel like? The houses are too big, the lots are too big and the space between the houses is too wide -this all makes it feel surreal and not correct. Contrast that with a walk through Heritage Hill. Note that these homes do have an alley, but it does not make it feel any better to a pedestrian.

Look at Cherry Hill Village, near Ann Arbor. I still think it is one of the better executed examples in Michigan.

There are a lot of things that tout themselves as "TNDs" locally, but be wary for the obvious reasons.

Also check out a project in Empire. It is an extension of the town grid, and has no architectural control. The developer simply built the streets and alleys and platted it and then sold lots. While the homes that have been built, have a big range in quality, they seem to have a much better feel to them, like this could be a real place. The urban details are correct - for instance they have NO curbs here, because the historic town did not and so it seems like less of a foreign intrusion. The setbacks / build to lines are correct. The lot sizes seem correct. The porches do not tower 6 feet above the sidewalk.

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All architectural comments aside, the main reason these new TND's don't work is because they are exactly the same as a normal subdivision that we all hate with a different street layout. These things are built in greenfields in the suburbs or exurbs, so any mixing of uses is impossible because one little subdivision of 50 or 100 homes can't support any retail ventures, and office or other uses are simply unrealistic. Yes, the homes look a little better, are arranged better and are built at a higher density, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares? You still gotta hop in your car and drive to everything. Even if everyone started building these things, it still wouldn't feel right because a lot of these only have the ability to connect to a future development through one or two streets. I suppose they are better than a "conventional" subdivision, but TNDs have been marketed (at least to some degree) as a solution to sprawl, which is misguided at best.

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I think the worst ones are the "genetically engineered" TND neighborhoods, that have the big front porches jacked way up, and then put a garage on the side or toward the front. Worst of both worlds. It doesn't appeal to traditionalists and it doesn't appeal to suburbanists. There's one in Grandville and another one in Allendale.

You're right GRTP, I was just giving some of the closest examples in this area.

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How about walking through the SE side and NW side, where we have authentic neighborhoods with alleys, garages in the back, small lot sizes and a real neighborhood feel...

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All architectural comments aside, the main reason these new TND's don't work is because they are exactly the same as a normal subdivision that we all hate with a different street layout. These things are built in greenfields in the suburbs or exurbs, so any mixing of uses is impossible because one little subdivision of 50 or 100 homes can't support any retail ventures, and office or other uses are simply unrealistic. Yes, the homes look a little better, are arranged better and are built at a higher density, but in the grand scheme of things, who cares? You still gotta hop in your car and drive to everything. Even if everyone started building these things, it still wouldn't feel right because a lot of these only have the ability to connect to a future development through one or two streets. I suppose they are better than a "conventional" subdivision, but TNDs have been marketed (at least to some degree) as a solution to sprawl, which is misguided at best.

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I agree, the issue that you bring up is a far bigger one. So my question is, are there any traditional neighborhoods or new urban projects that you have seen that work. Qualifier is, they must be greenfield sites.

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How about walking through the SE side and NW side, where we have authentic neighborhoods with alleys, garages in the back, small lot sizes and a real neighborhood feel...

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Now you are getting picky....I don't have kids, so I can't fully comment on the GR School Sysytem, but I know there have been other threads about that (let's not turn this into a school rant, please). Conventional wisdom would be East GR system (close to the SE side area I was referring to) is good and low crime. The other areas, sorry, can't comment. :P

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Not a TND, but a neighborhood that I really like is Balsam Hill. The street is small, the houses are close together (with garages in the back) and all of the houses have a unique look.

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Hathaway Properties here in Greenville is going to be building some TND - although I can agree it's more like a "suburban" version of TND. They just completed a 4 condo-unit building (they'll have more of these) with garages on the front and side - kind of a turnoff IMO - and they're going for $299,000 a piece...

Maybe sometime on a clear day I can snap some photos - camera is back and running! woohoo!

Edit: Nevermind - they FINALLY got a new website with a little picture of it

parkside_feature.jpg

Although you're thinking GRR this is not TND - I don't really think this part of the development was structured for that, because these will all be going down a road and the back of these buildings are all decks where they can view a future pond/lake that will be put in.

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Hathaway Properties here in Greenville is going to be building some TND - although I can agree it's more like a "suburban" version of TND. They just completed a 4 condo-unit building (they'll have more of these) with garages on the front and side - kind of a turnoff IMO - and they're going for $299,000 a piece...

Maybe sometime on a clear day I can snap some photos - camera is back and running! woohoo!

Edit: Nevermind - they FINALLY got a new website with a little picture of it

parkside_feature.jpg

Although you're thinking GRR this is not TND - I don't really think this part of the development was structured for that, because these will all be going down a road and the back of these buildings are all decks where they can view a future pond/lake that will be put in.

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Yeah like I said that part of the development is not really TND - they consider them to be a sort of a "Mansion Condo" units - this is what they have planned for their TND which will be connected with the condos (this is all part of a 100 million dollar development in town):

hp1.jpg

hp2.jpg

hp4.jpg

hp7.jpg

hp6.jpg

hp3.jpg

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Wow, does Greenville have a market for such a development? I like Greenville, it just seems a bit ambitious.

Joe

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how about a project like the Wealthy and Jefferson Initiative? Would this qualify as TND or New Urbanism? (I know this is little more than a pipe dream, but ICCF has been buying up property and positioning for this for a while know. They've got quite a bit invested in this dream...)

Or what about Newberry Place? That seems like New Urbanism if I ever saw it.

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how about a project like the Wealthy and Jefferson Initiative? Would this qualify as TND or New Urbanism? (I know this is little more than a pipe dream, but ICCF has been buying up property and positioning for this for a while know. They've got quite a bit invested in this dream...)

Or what about Newberry Place? That seems like New Urbanism if I ever saw it.

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i doubt that could go in greenville...i saw a BK closing (when does that happen!!!)..... people need money/jobs to buy new houses

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The BK on Fuller closed a while back. I'm not too broken up about it though. The last time I went there I had to wait for a long time only to get half-cooked sandwich. It's rather gross taking a bite of something warm and hitting a cold part.

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i doubt that could go in greenville...i saw a BK closing (when does that happen!!!)..... people need money/jobs to buy new houses

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