Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

emerging.me

TND Spotlight: Baxter Village

Recommended Posts

Here's a favorite traditionally designed neighborhood (live/work/play development) of mine... It's Baxter Village in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The residential is mostly completed. Some of the restaurants and shops in the town center are open, but it's still under construction I believe there's an elementary school, a really nice libarary, and a YMCA is currently being built. The Clear Springs Development Company has really set a good example with this project.

Here are some links and pics about Baxter...

Village of Baxter

Master Plan - Village of Baxter

Location Map

areamap.gif

Town Center

aboutTownPict1.jpg

Some Homes

aboutArchPict1.jpg

The pics are kinda sparse on the site... here are some virtual tours...

Virtual Tours - Village of Baxter

My wife and I have visited some TNDs that had really great websites that turned out to be really crappy. Baxter's site isn't bad, but it really doesn't do the place justice. Very much worth checking out if you're in the area and into that kinda thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


More from the design firm's website...

Baxter, the first village of a 6200 acre development being undertaken by the Clear Springs Development Company in Fort Mill, South Carolina, embodies a remarkable concept for how to make a great place to live, work, raise children, enjoy the natural environment, and participate in building a community. The village is designed in the tradition of South Carolina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks like a really nice community! I had no idea it existed! These things always look better with the stock photos they have though...only way to find out what it really looks like is to drive through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha! Exactly!! *But* Baxter is the exception to that. It honestly is way more impressive in reality than virtually.

My wife and I were down in Florida visiting her folks and we decided to drive about 45 minutes to check out a TND we had seen on the web... it was the crappiest thing I've ever seen. The developer had run out of money and just left it sort of half finished and the parts that were completed were cheese. It's true that you can never tell with these places -- people have big ideas, but they're not always translated well.

Baxter really is excellent though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are definitely some *very* high-end homes that we were drooling over. But there are some smaller homes and neat rows of townhouses that I think are probably more accessible. I think you can do a search somewhere on their site to see what's available...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to see more pictures. The downtown area and the residential ares look very "authentically Southern." The downtown area expecially looks like it could be the Main st of any town in SC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to see more pictures. The downtown area and the residential ares look very "authentically Southern." The downtown area expecially looks like it could be the Main st of any town in SC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree. It does seem to have a very small southern town appeal. I would really like to visit this area and see more of it but it looks really neat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was back up in Baxter last week. It really is a neat little place. An example of great planning and good stewardship. Sprawly areas in the Greater Columbia Area could take some lessons!

The designers intentionally modeled buildings in Baxter against the historical architecture of the area, so that explains the Southern motif. There's a blurb about this on the website.

Also, the town center area is still very much under construction. The pictures you see above are pretty much all that is there at this point. The website has a list of the restaurants, merchants and buisness there. There is much more to come though and it's building out pretty fast. The YMCA is coming along. Shouldn't be too much longer before it's up.

There are a number of master-planned TNDs in South Carolina, but I think Baxter is my favorite. I'On in Beaufort is a close second. Harborside in Lake Carolina in NE Richland Co. just doesn't do it for me (great concept, less than great follow-through). Maybe I will do another TND spotlight about one of those places when I can get some free time. Good stuff.

I'd still choose legit urban revitalization over a master-planned TND any day, but they are pretty cool and a solid alternative to sprawl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of, but it's kind of a "faux TND"... Here's a message about it that I recieved from a writer for TNDTownPaper.com...

Based on the renderings, Village at Sandhill will have two pleasant retail

streets.  However, the plan is so dominated by surface parking that I wonder

whether its character will be closer to Houston than historic Beaufort or

Charleston.  Additional photographs might help clarify this.

The street grid has good internal connectivity, but even so, most of the

residential buildings appear to be isolated in pods and surrounded by

parking, rather than being integrated in a walkable network with the rest of

the development.  (There is one village green in the residential area, a

very welcome feature.)  Several of the outlying big boxes are surrounded by

berms float in parking.  The overall orientation to the automobile is

typified by the 45-foot-high entry sign.

In summary, Village at Sandhill appears to be a hybrid between traditional

patterns, suburban multifamily development, a power center and a lifestyle

center.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't the Village at Sandhill supposed to be sorta like Baxter?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not much housing there. Lake Carolina is "supposed" to be more of the new-urbanist model. Its Harborside Village was designed by the new-ubanist god himself, Andreas Duany. Too bad it's in the middle of nowhere and Hardscrabble Road is an absolute nightmare!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be interested to see more pictures. The downtown area and the residential ares look very "authentically Southern." The downtown area expecially looks like it could be the Main st of any town in SC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I know it's kind of late to post these, but I'm just getting started with my blog. I just added photo's of our visit to Baxter last fall. I really like how the townhomes show how you can have a small structure and still satisfy the desires of Southerners to stay detached.

http://www.columbiadevelopment.blogspot.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my wife and I were looking for a new house about 7 years ago, we looked at Kentlands in suburban Maryland, because I had heard a lot about it. While I'm sure that Kentlands stands head and shoulders about many other suburban housing developments, it was basically a development with several different types of housing with a standard strip mall tacked onto one corner of it. You could walk from the housing to the strip mall easily, but you were just walking to a strip mall, not a real neighborhood.

Plus the development was out in the middle of nowhere and surround by horrid suburban blight.

We ended up buying in Cleveland Park, an old in-town neighborhood in DC, and we love, love, love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looking at The map of baxter is a bit disappointing. The downtown, far from being in the "heart of Baxter" seems to be pressed on the edge. And though it keeps a somewhat grid based treet pattern in the area directly beside the center, this quickly degenerates into an extremly sprawling development pattern -- complete with cul de sacs and roads to nowhere.

Though the images of the downtown make it seem like they were successfull in avoiding the disneyworld feel that many such projects have, it seems to me that in overall layout this is a pretty standard suburban development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove through the Baxter community. It's nice and all, colorful, attempting to recreate that small-town feel.. and much better than sprawly development... however it seemed very disconnected from the town of Fort Mill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove through the Baxter community. It's nice and all, colorful, attempting to recreate that small-town feel.. and much better than sprawly development... however it seemed very disconnected from the town of Fort Mill.

Baxter is a nice development and I luv some of the houses in there, alas you still would pretty much be facing a decent commute to work....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to move to Baxter, but I'm looking for a job in the area. I currently live in the Orlando burbs, but I lived in Celebration for two years. My background is in technology.

I actually wrote an essay called "Walking the Village of Baxter" The essay kind of goes into a compassion between Celebration and Baxter. In my opinion, Baxter is a sister community to Celebration. Many of the early Imagineers that worked on Celebration also worked on Baxter as consultants with a group called Celebration Associates, LLC.

You can never truly appreciate the quality and diversity of greenfield projects like Baxter, Celebration, Seaside, and the such until you hit the sidewalks and explore the residential areas. If you find public spaces that delight then you have found a gem. Baxter for example has many hidden public spaces. I even found a pedestrian tunnel in Baxter that allows one to bypass a rather busy pre-exisiting road (cool).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.