Have you ever heard of a woonerf? No, it isn’t a character in a Dr. Seuss book or an alien race in the next big budget space opera movie. The term woonerf has Dutch origins and is a concept that is quite prevalent in Europe, and its about to become at least a little bit more popular here in the United States. Grandfather Homes, a Charlotte-based home builder, will feature a woonerf in a new 18-home housing development, known as The Towers, reports Bizjournals.com.
Think of a woonerf as a street, bike path, patio, and sidewalk all rolled into one. It is a shared street without any sort of demarcation saying ‘this is where the people walk and this is where the bikes go and this is where the cars drive.’ Traditionally, cars are limited to the speed of walking traffic while driving on the woonerf. By eliminating the traditional street, the amount of space for people is increased considerably.
It is all a part of the growing embrace of urbanism, where shared experiences and proximity to local conveniences are preferred over larger homes with unnecessary amenities.
The woonerf won’t be the only modern touch implemented into the homes in The Towers. Some of the homes, which will range from 2,200 square feet and 2,800 square feet, will be built with Airbnb guest suites included in the design, making it easier for the homeowners to get a little extra income, if they so desire, without any added expenses or hassle.
The homes are expected to start in the low $600,000s and each one will be connected to the woonerf.