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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 5:32 AM
Berwyn Berwyn is offline
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Examples of high quality developments

I'm thinking this thread can serve as a repository for all the for high quality urban developments out there. Think of it as eye candy (or skyscraper porn) I'm thinking Stapleton in Denver or and others like the below:

Rowhouse development in Chattanooga, TN

Photo curtsy of http://www.whispercreekatwindstone.com

Condos/Townhomes in the Georgetown neighborhood of Atlanta

Curtsy of myatlantacondo.net

It would be nice to have a collection of the developers and cities which are taking the right steps in urban planning. Plus the discussions on what makes these communities attractive over others could be interesting.

My pet peeve is excessive greenspace requirements. Planners always try and preserve massive amounts of greenspaces. I argue there is such a thing as too much greenspace as it makes a community seems very suburban and unwalkable. I hate it!

The difference between the two below are greenspace requirements!
....

Images curtsy of http://www.galen-frysinger.us and http://www.pcvst.com
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 5:47 AM
mhays mhays is offline
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Do any highrise zones have green space requirements these days?

In my city, there aren't many highrise zones, and the ones that exist are in urban districts where buildings rise directly from the streets.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 6:01 AM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Are those first two pics supposed to be high-quality developements?

To me, these examples are hideous. They look like typical suburban townhouses in the Southeast. Looks like Loudoun County, VA or Alpharetta, GA.

I also disagree with the point for the next two. "Towers in a park" can be done poorly and done well, just like traditional street-fronting buildings can be done poorly and done well.

Architectural beauty and good design are both in the eye of the beholder, I guess...
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  #4  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 6:08 AM
Berwyn Berwyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Are those first two pics supposed to be high-quality developements?

To me, these examples are hideous. They look like typical suburban townhouses in the Southeast.
If you're going to criticize, then post some examples of what you consider high-quality developments.

They look like suburban townhomes in the Southeast because they are! But believe me, there is far greater evil out there being marketed under the guise of "New Urbanism." I also don't believe they are typical. My examples aren't bad considering the alternatives. Plus it's the best I could find using Google Images for 5 minutes.
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  #5  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 6:11 AM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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I like old stuff and modern stuff, so basically anything older than the 1970's, and anything new that isn't knockoff retro.

I don't like faux-colonial, or whatever that neo-Williamsburg stuff is. It's not unique to the Southeast by any means, but it seems to dominate in these metros.
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 6:13 AM
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^ Examples, please!

I'm not too familiar with architectural styles.
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 6:33 AM
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 8:21 AM
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It's not quite finished yet, but The Infinity (by Arquitectonica) in San Francisco is IMHO a stunner:





Above 2 photos by Downtown Dave as posted at http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=67546&page=36


Photo by peanut gallery at http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=67546&page=36


Photo by peanut gallery at http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=67546&page=37
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 4:47 PM
Dan Denson Dan Denson is offline
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It's not quite finished yet, but The Infinity (by Arquitectonica) in San Francisco is IMHO a stunner:
You aren't kidding! That really is a stunner. I wish more buildings in this country were that good looking.
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 5:08 PM
Berwyn Berwyn is offline
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Very nice! Again, the lack of greenspace allows it to fit right in the urban fabric IMHO. Other cities would require that 40% of the lot be reserved for greenspace and the building should be set x amount of feet back from the street. Ones that don't and have enough sense to let a downtown area be urban tend to be so much more exciting.

Let's see all types of development sizes and styles. Everything from townhomes to 150-storey spires!

Still waiting on those pics. If you're going to step in the thread and call something "hideous," it's the classy thing to do.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 5:20 PM
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1521 Second Avenue:

(Pinched from Vashon118 in the Seattle Comp thread)

"Reasonably priced" for rich folks, but street interaction is pretty nice
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 6:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Are those first two pics supposed to be high-quality developements?

To me, these examples are hideous. They look like typical suburban townhouses in the Southeast. Looks like Loudoun County, VA or Alpharetta, GA.

I also disagree with the point for the next two. "Towers in a park" can be done poorly and done well, just like traditional street-fronting buildings can be done poorly and done well.

Architectural beauty and good design are both in the eye of the beholder, I guess...
You may think they are hideous, but you are not the general public that obviously thinks otherwise. This stuff is going up EVERYWHERE around here, and they are popular. Would you prefer more of the sprawly SFH crap, or this?
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 8:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berwyn View Post
If you're going to criticize, then post some examples of what you consider high-quality developments.

They look like suburban townhomes in the Southeast because they are! But believe me, there is far greater evil out there being marketed under the guise of "New Urbanism." I also don't believe they are typical. My examples aren't bad considering the alternatives. Plus it's the best I could find using Google Images for 5 minutes.
Regarding the first two images, of the townhomes/rowhouses:

First of all, no residential development that doesn't actually have sidewalks should be considered "good design" from an urban or even want-to-be-new-urban suburban development standpoint. From a visual standpoint, it's just weird, because you have the narrow lots with buildings close to the street that are part of rowhouses historically, but the reason for rowhouses to be close together is as much about achieving walkable density as it is to save money - but there's no place to walk but the street. The paths to the doors are straight to the street, and what "lawn" there is, is completely unusable and looks out of place in the context of the rowhouses.

Second of all, mixed wood and brick row-houses just seem like a terrible idea for practical reasons, regardless of aesthetics. Sound transference is a big reason, but there are also fire issues and durability issues around having every other unit be a different material. Not insurmountable, just not ideal in my opinion. All wood is okay, all brick is okay, and mixing both for every unit is okay, but mixing them between units seems like an odd choice with everything is physically connected.

You want examples of alternatives?

Here's a famous scene. Look at what you have. It looks very urban at first glance, especially since you may already know that it's in San Francisco. But look more closely. First, the homes are very close, but not actually connected. Second, the homes all have garages right on the curb, which is usually an urbanism no-no, but these houses are still considered an American classic. Applying similar principles in an auto-oriented suburb could yield nice results.

Photo by Dan Heller

Or if you're going to skip on sidewalks because you don't think anyone will use them, how about at least preserving the front yard to be usable? Here's an example of how that can be done. Again, not perfectly ideal from an urban standpoint, but it makes a more interesting and usable use of existing space:

Image from Silver Oak Construction
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  #14  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 8:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantaguy View Post
You may think they are hideous, but you are not the general public that obviously thinks otherwise. This stuff is going up EVERYWHERE around here, and they are popular. Would you prefer more of the sprawly SFH crap, or this?
To answer your last question, I might actually prefer a SFH, personally. "Rowhouses" like those look a lot more like you get the worst of both worlds, rather than a mix of the best.
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 9:22 PM
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Well, it's also an affordability issue. The second pic shown is in the Perimeter Center edge city area of North Atlanta. The SFH prices in that area are not affordable to anyone under the executive level, but these townhouses are to a person that otherwise would have to commute upwards of an hour away to afford their own place.

It's a trade off, but I see them as an overall positive thing. Oh, and that architectural style is very popular in large areas of the region from D.C. to Birmingham.
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 10:44 PM
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One of the best in Atlanta right now is Glenwood Park. The community has a mix of townhome, condo, apartment live/work and single family homes along with office and retail. The quality of construction and design is, for the most part, far superior to Atlantic Station, another of the city's new urban developments.

http://glenwoodpark.com/

http://www.atlanticstation.com/home.php
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  #17  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 10:45 PM
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glenwood park, atlanta's highest quality "traditional" new development. if only atlantic station had been more like this...


source: http://glenwoodpark.com/core/item/at...8509.0.78.6078

(edit: wow, 404 - great minds think alike eh?)
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 10:58 PM
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(edit: wow, 404 - great minds think alike eh?)

Its all in the timing, Cabasse!

On the northside of town, Vickery in Cumming GA gets a lot of publicity but since its way the hell out, I haven't had a chance to check it out myself.

http://www.hedgewoodhomes.com/neighb...ile.aspx?cid=2

On the south side, there's Serenbe. Again, too far for me to have ventured to yet.

http://www.serenbe.com/

A highrise that's recieved a lot of attention is 3344 Peachtree with the Sovereign condos above. This is the only picture I have of mine that's readily postable:



http://www.sovereignbuckhead.com/
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Last edited by (four 0 four); Dec 8, 2008 at 11:13 PM.
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 11:05 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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Originally Posted by cabasse View Post
glenwood park, atlanta's highest quality "traditional" new development.
Looking at the map, it appears conveniently located next to I-20 so the residents can drive everywhere (presumably in the BMWs I see parked in the photos), but not so convenient to MARTA.

By the way, I looked for prices. The one I saw--$380K for a townhome which is what I think we are seeing in the pictures--seems pretty darned "affordable" to me.
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2008, 11:44 PM
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i didn't say it wasn't expensive! there are condos available for half as much, though. king memorial and inman park stations are less than a 2 mile bike away, which isn't great... but then again, gp was brownfield redevelopment. one can't fault the developer for not being able to relocate marta. additionally, glenwood park is mixed use; there is a small town square with retail to serve residents.

in the future, the beltline as planned will pass through on a bordering street.
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