Multifamily Evolution: From 'Train Wreck' to Urban
In the 1990s, U.S. multifamily developers offered all the disadvantages of density without the advantages of urbanism.
The so-called "garden" apartments had parking in place of gardens — due to drive-only locations and minimum parking requirements. Some even featured "train wreck" design along the lines of an Amtrak derailment.
While the apartments themselves may have been nice, the outside consisted of a parking lot leading to a collector road and arterial thoroughfare built for cars and trucks.
With the rising demand for walkable places, such conventional suburban multifamily is no longer in style, according to Keat Foong, executive editor of Multi-Housing News.