As the housing industry flounders, New Urbanist developers are using the flexibility inherent in their community plans to their advantage.
New Urbanists joined together at their annual Congress in early April, and came away with some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, as Chico, California based John Anderson observes, "We're in it with everbody else ... If there is a monsoon, everybody's roof leaks."
But there is good news: nonresidential investment is up, demand far outweighs supply for Traditional Neighborhood Developments, and New Urban quality stands out in a tough market. "Long-term demographic trends favor urbanism -- offering hope to developers that if they survive the next year or two, better times are coming."
"At New Town at St. Charles, a 755-acre TND, Whittaker Builders has quickly shifted housing away from slower-selling rowhouses while reducing field employees and overhead, Busse says. The developer created four new affordable housing types - mostly aimed at the $110,000 to $225,000 market - in the last 18 months."