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Justiceham

New Urbanism

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New Urbanism is often described as building traditional neighborhoods that look back to the past with modern conveniences. If done correctly, they add vibrance, a sense of place, more pedestrians and cyclists, and unite people with nature again. There are several new urbanist projects planned or under construction in Murfreesboro. Three Rivers, Marymont Springs, Weston Park, Westlawn, and the 2 million sq ft. mystery project proposed for Manchester Highway. A new project has been announced for New Salem Highway called Indigo. What do you think about these projects and what should they bring to Murfreesboro?

Indigo - http://dnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/.../706150326/1002

Three Rivers - http://www.levittandsonstn.com/HomeBuilder...6E66A5696583%7D

Weston Park - http://www.westonparkliving.com/

Westlawn - http://themurfreesborobuzz.typepad.com/rum...ment/index.html

Marymont Springs - http://marymontsprings.com/Location.htm

Manchester Highway - Article Unavailable

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I think New Urbanism is great... as long as it's free market driven and not government mandated. So far I haven't heard of the city of Murfreesboro mandating New Urbanism projects. I guess my hope would be that the government would totally stay out of the way of the property owners and developers so long as they're not hurting anyone else and allow the free market to deliver a great living experience for the homeowners there.

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I think it's great too as long as traffic studies are done and roads are reworked. I found this website for the Lenox

Village of Smyrna now under construction which I feel falls under New Urbanism.

http://lenoxofsmyrna.com/Concept.php

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I just got back from visiting family in Montgomery, AL. They live in this incredible new Traditional Neighborhood Development called The Waters. It's New Urbanism at its finest. Similar to Seaside, FL, only much larger and more extensive in scope and scale. I would love to see something like that in Murfreesboro.

http://www.thewatersal.com/

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The Montgomery development looks spectacular and I really like the natural element of the lake and the trails. Mostly, every new residential development in Murfreesboro includes street lighting, sidewalks, pocket parks/trails and underground utilities. Now we are only beginning to see the retail and commercial sector pick up steam. One of my close friends stays in the Blackman community and when I visit we usually go for walks or bike rides and see many other people doing the same. People actually take the time to speak and also take pride in where they live. I really enjoy seeing these developed communities versus cold, scattered subdivisions. I think the most similar development in Murfreesboro to the Watersal would be Marymont Springs. This development will be the very first of its kind here and truly anywhere else in Middle Tennessee. The Westlawn development near the proposed theme park is also going to be similar to this one.

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Another nice thing about The Waters is that every home has several porches, and nearly all have a large front porch. The houses are also set back only a few feet from the street. This really creates community. People sit out on their front porches in the evening, and other people walk by. You will see people stopping to chat with friends on the porch all the time.

My only criticism is that it's almost a little Disneyfied. They've essentially created the old idyllic Southern small town, except that everything is brand new and beautiful, and eveyone is rich and white.

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New urbanism is a very attractive concept to many others I see out there. I agree though that some of the examples you see can sometimes be cheesy and rather cheap, but others IMO show the potential and quality that can be achieved with good designs and planning. I guess its like most things constructed; it all depends on the time, effort, designing/planning, and financing that goes into a project/development.

As to what these projects can bring to the City of Murfreesboro I think again it all depends on how they are done. Some may be great additions that we may all agree are great additions to the city's appearance and the quality of the housing stock, others may be lacking, and folks may diverge on which are which. I guess its in the eye of the beholder to a degree, but in general things usually are a grab bag IMO, with some projects being generally seen as good and others lacking. So I would the same will hold true with new urbanism developments in Murfreesboro and others cities in the state, some will be seen good and some not as promising as they could be.

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I went and took a look at Weston Park and Three Rivers last night. I have to say, I wasn't terribly impressed. They were nice houses and attractive subdivisions, but I can't honestly say that they were anything more than that. I guess after being at The Waters, it would take a lot to impress me. I would think that a TND of that scope and scale would do great here, if someone only had the foresight to build it. I guess I have the foresight, but not the money...

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Here is the website for the Westlawn development. There was also a nice front page article on the Nashville Business Journal talking about what the project beholds. Plans so far include a large grocery store, pet supply store, bank, and several restaurants. Retail tenants have not been named, but one will be a large national anchor (think Super Target). The tenants said they would release more information once the Beesley interchange is open.

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There was an article in the Murfreesboro Post about new urbanism. It mentioned the Indigo development.

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I would like to see Murfreesboro adopt a more cohesive parks and recreational plan similar to what Smyrna is doing. Intricate trail systems and better connectivity could easily cut down traffic woes while all of these big roads and overpasses are being constructed. Adding pedestrian crossings and bicycle lanes should be the number one priority in addition to traffic light timing.

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The Westlawn mixed use development has begun construction on the housing portion of the development. With a portion of the New Veterans Parkway scheduled to open with in a few weeks, 840 will have a new exit and acess will be much easier to the western portion of the city. Westlawn will be a true asset to the city and will create many new jobs. Still no word on tenants to the retail component, yet. Does anyone have any new information on any of the new urbanist projects? Have the other projects come to a standstill due to the economy?

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The Westlawn development will soon house a brand new YMCA. Space will be set aside in the mixed use development for a new center. There are already a few McMansions already built. This development will house over 350,000 of retail alone and bring much needed amenities to the developing 840 corridor. Stores should be announced within the coming months.

http://dnj.com/article/20090403/NEWS05/90403038

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Here is the link to the new Gateway Village mixed use development. The website shows a video and really good graphics of what we can expect. The buildings are currently under construction and the finished product will house several new condominums, restaurants, shops, a new greenway trail, and more. Expect to see "new to Murfreesboro" businesses in this upscale complex.

http://www.thegatewayvillage.com/

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Very impressive.

Any updates on Westlawn?

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