A Look at How Infill Projects are Remaking Development
There are lots of different trends and influences recasting the way developments are built in the 21st century, but one of the biggest impacts comes from an unlikely source: our feet.
New-style infill projects respond to new priorities for both suburban and urban residents.
Access to public transportation, walkable neighborhoods, mixed-used facilities: Those are the preferences that the homeowners of today gravitate toward, according to the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey.
Millennials in particular want to drive less, which means they’ll give up an expansive yard in favor of a shorter commute found research by the National Association of Realtors.
For developers and architects, that’s translated into identifying and transforming pockets of space, previously ignored, in a new style of land planning that emphasizes conversion and connectivity. Five BSB projects across the country best exemplify that trend.
Five Creative (and Highly Successful) Infill Projects
Meritage Solavera: A Hip Enclave in Austin’s South Side
Locals know it as SoLa: The South Lamar that’s an eclectic mix of groovy shops, new restaurants, and locally owned businesses—just the kind of attractions and extras that everyone from new college grads to empty nesters find attractive.
Meritage Homes created Solavera, a pocket neighborhood development in SoLa, with just 15 contemporary-minded homes that emphasize a livable yet lovable square footage. Elevations stretch up and box-like forms cantilever over one another—but still include space for 2-car garages and up to 2,800 square feet.
The Reserve Glenview: The Best Of Chicago, The Best of The Suburbs
There’s a lot to attract residents to large metropolitan areas—sporting and cultural events, diversity. But there’s a lot that is detrimental to quality of life, even with a move to the suburbs—namely, traffic. In an infill project in Glenview, Illinois, the best of urban and suburban come together in The Reserve Glenview.
The land planning project re-made the spot of an old Avon facility to create a multi-family housing community on just over 6 acres.
Even better: The Reserve is steps away from a rail line connection to Chicago, as well as walkable to the community’s own collection of pedestrian-friendly shops and restaurants.
Victoria Place: A New Approach to Downtown Living
Historically sensitive details help to integrate the building with the low-key yet charming village.
If residents are going to focus on maximizing walkability, then they’ve also decided that they want to focus on having needs and wants at hand. That equals shops for essentials and extras as well as a variety of recreation options.
What’s unusual about the Victoria Place development in the historic town of Dunedin, Florida, is that the developers chose a downtown location on a vacant yet minuscule lot—just 1.27 acres.
The Artisan: Mixed-Use on the Upswing
At The Artisan, also located in historic Dunedin, Florida, residents can hop on a nearby 42-mile network of trails. There are parks (and of course ocean access), and on the ground floor of the building itself retail options, too.In housing, trends and priorities tend to be cyclical. Decades ago, people didn’t focus so much on driving to retail, then driving home again to residences. But shifting priorities have made infill projects a natural focus for developers, especially as they eye vibrant mixes of retail, community, and living areas. That’s the case with
That’s the case with The Artisan, a more contemporary minded complement to the nearby Victoria Place development.
Riverside Plaza: The New Face of Corner Living
If there’s one thing the current crop of infill projects proves, it’s that you can do a lot with a little. Inventive land planning is certainly on view in the Riverside Plaza development in Algonquin, Illinois.
Riverside demonstrates a number of present-day infill characteristics that are slowly spreading nationwide. For starters, the units aren’t that big—a maximum of 1,150 square feet. Secondly, the development took advantage of a busy corner, but to keep that from acting as a deterrent to residents, residential units were pushed to the back of the building. This, in turn, opened up a welcome plaza that helps to create approachable, walkable scale.