Suburbia: It has been a panacea and an expletive. Touted for affordability and maligned for automobile dependence, suburbia is a fact of life in the U.S.
Make No Mistake, Neo-traditionalDesign Is Finding Wide Acceptance
Professional Builder has long covered the birth and growth of the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) concept in new home community planning.
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Professional Builder has long covered the birth and growth of the Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) concept in new home community planning. So, during recent travels, it came as no surprise to see the broad acceptance for TND-style communities in diverse markets across the country.
In late March I had the opportunity to put together a housing tour in the Orlando, Florida, market for the first annual NAHB Management Team Conference, of which PB was a co-sponsor. Virtually every new community scouted, and each project selected, for the tour was a TND, including:
In April, I was fortunate to receive a guided tour of the latest new home developments West and Southwest of Philadelphia - out beyond the Main Line. One of the most talked about and most successful of these was Eagleview, a major TND community by The Hankin Group. And, in Raleigh, N.C., I was told that more than a third of the new communities opening there are now TNDs.
Of course, not all of these communities follow strict neo-traditional guidelines. Virtually all attempt to de-emphasize the automobile and include village greens and extensive pedestrian walkways. But less than half feature alleys.
Alleys generally add about a 15 percent cost premium. (Although alley widths at Avalon Park are only 10 feet and, at Celebration, just 8 feet). So, instead, many new TND designs place front-loaded garages at the rear of the lot accessed by a side drive or through a porte cochere.
Alleys or no, the thing for builders to remember is that consumers love the TND concept because they see it as a way to provide an environment for their new home that offers the look and feel of an established, timeless, and nostalgic neighborhood. Equally important is the fact that many city planning departments love the concept as well.
Roy Diez is Associate Publisher & Director of Editorial for Professional Builder. Please e-mail him with questions of comments on his column.