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.

By Roy Diez, Associate Publisher and Editorial Director | May 16, 2000
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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:



  • Keene’s Pointe -- an 850 acre golf and waterfront community in Windermere by Castle & Cooke. New models there, by Morrison Homes and David Weekley Homes, sported extensive front porches and set-back, but front-loaded, garages.



  • Avalon Park -- an affordable (prices started at $129,800), 1859-acre neo-traditional community in East Orlando complete with alleys, broad product mix and a Town Center. (See "Tradition at Avalon Park Attracts Buyers").



  • Waterford Chase -- a 550 unit TND by Centex that boasted models with front-loaded garages set back in the lot and reached through a front porte cochere.



  • Celebration -- the much celebrated 5000 acre neo-traditional new town being developed by the Walt Disney Company.

    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.

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