No Community Is An Island: Tributary and the Young & the Restless

<p>A new approach to urbanism in suburban Atlanta, the Tributary community is based on a mixed-use master plan integrating and interconnecting a range of residential neighborhoods, a village center, a town center, and more.</p>
January 14, 2008, 5am PST | sbuntin
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People who can't find what they want in an urban setting look to the suburbs. But there, new development has largely adhered to timeworn design themes: auto-oriented neighborhoods with beige-box homes and predictable, centrally located amenities. The few suburban Atlanta communities that have embraced live/shop/play ideals and traditional neighborhood development are located far beyond the gravitational pull of the center city's business districts and entertainment attractions. And even some of these sport starting prices of $600,000, well above what most Atlantans would term "affordable."

By 2003, the growing importance of Gen X buyers and the apparent lack of a community meeting their affordability and lifestyle requirements had revealed an opportunity in Atlanta's housing market that has since become Tributary, a new community with a small town atmosphere and a variety of housing and neighborhood choices designed especially for Gen X individuals, couples, and families. Launching Tributary required developers to answer four questions:

1. Can New Urbanism principles be applied to a popularly priced community in a suburban setting?
2. Which specific attributes would Gen X buyers demand of an intown neighborhood in the suburbs?
3. Could the particular 1,475-acre site that we had identified in Atlanta's close-in, underdeveloped westside suburbs be transformed into such a community?
4. How would such a community be marketed to a Gen X audience?

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Published on Thursday, January 10, 2008 in Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments
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