A New Urbanist Model Community In Montgomery, Alabama

The doorway to the Hampstead Group.

Photograph courtesy of Hampstead

Anna Lowder and her husband Harvi Sahota are the City Founders of Hampstead, and lead the city planning, design, building, advertising, and placemaking of the group. With over 15 years of New Urbanist improvement expertise, Hampstead is the end result of their effort in “Constructing Group By Design.”.

Are you able to describe the challenge briefly?
Hampstead is a New Urbanist TND (Conventional Neighborhood Design) we based in 2008 underneath the course of city planner Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. Hampstead challenges conventional suburban sprawl and presents one thing uniquely completely different. City planning, structure and civic design are important parts of this group. The result’s a group constructed on dwelling, working, preserving, and rising over time right into a multi-generational, mixed-use group the place individuals of various life come collectively. 

The city heart of the Hampstead Group.

Photograph courtesy of Hampstead

What was the motivation to construct this group? 
We began out with a easy query: “Why?” Why had Suburbia turn into the norm in America, and why was it the one choice for individuals searching for a brand new building dwelling on this area?

We knew there are higher methods of planning and constructing that would enhance individuals’s day by day lives. So, we appeared to older cities, new cities, revitalized areas that had been delivered to life. We sought the very best examples of urbanism in the US, at all times asking “why does this work?” We studied the examples of planning, studying particularly how design can drive the tradition, society and financial system of a spot. We discovered from the knowledge of New Urbanists and seasoned builders, studying that there’s at all times a design resolution to any downside.

A Hampstead avenue nook

Photograph courtesy of Grace Images

How did you get began on this challenge? How is that this a New Urbanist group?
We constructed a design staff led by the world’s most skilled city planners, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Firm (DPZ). As planners of Seaside, Rosemary Seashore, Alys Seashore and over 300 communities and cities worldwide, DPZ’s expertise has been invaluable to us. Led by Andrés Duany, we created an intricate, balanced group plan constructed on the elemental city design rules of mixed-use, walkable, cohesive neighborhoods that stand the check of time. 
That “Why?” advanced into “How?” and has taken over a decade of exhausting work. We modified Montgomery’s zoning legal guidelines by getting the SmartCode adopted, then created Montgomery’s first mixed-use city heart. We educated homebuyers and guests how conventional planning and design fosters an unmatched high quality of life. And we battled the Nice Recession. The vast majority of People now see the worth of walkable, mixed-use communities. Whether or not led by millennials or baby-boomers or simply new residents relocating from different cities, Hampstead has been on the forefront of this shift regionally.

One of many streets locally.

Photograph courtesy of Grace Images.

The tenets of New Urbanism are all represented at Hampstead. Civic buildings and public gathering locations require vital websites to strengthen group identification and the tradition of democracy. They deserve distinctive type, as a result of their position is completely different from that of different buildings and locations that represent the material of the city. From a group farm and leisure park areas to a faculty and public library. The stability of jobs, purchasing, college, recreation, civic establishments, housing, meals manufacturing and pure locations all happen at the neighborhood scale, reaffirming the traits of traditional New Urbanist communities. 
When was the group began? What number of phases are actually full?
We started design work in 2005, then website work and infrastructure in 2007 earlier than our opening in 2008. The Nice Recession years slowed our unique projected implementation tempo, however at present we’ve reached our fifth section with over 35% of the group grasp plan developed. Part Six begins in late 2021. We have now accomplished practically 400 properties of all sizes and kinds, in addition to our signature facilities and group options together with a lake, city farm, Montessori college, swimming pools, tennis heart, playgrounds and our central city heart.

There’s a working farm locally.

Photograph courtesy of Josh Whitman

Who’s shifting into this group? Are these leases or gross sales?
Hampstead attracts all kinds of residents searching for a group the place they will join with individuals and with nature. Lots of our owners are shifting to Montgomery from all through the US, and Hampstead presents a group that reminds them of different locations primarily based on conventional planning. We provide properties of assorted varieties on the market from 1,100 sf as much as over 6,000 sf, plus properties and flats for lease. 
Right here individuals can get pleasure from all phases of life inside the identical group, as we concentrate on range of value factors, a mix of residential, retail, work, and civic makes use of, and a group that fosters growing older in place in addition to rising in group.
What are some great benefits of dwelling on this group?
The sense of group right here is actual and tangible. Residents look after one another and take care of one another when somebody is unwell or lonely or new to the group. With so many alternative age teams and life levels right here, there’s every little thing from yoga and farm teams to swimming buddies and wine golf equipment. Neighbors meet day-after-day over a pint of beer on the neighborhood bar or to run across the lake. Youngsters can stroll to high school, or trip bikes or scooters to the playgrounds. All of this creates a spot of connectivity, ease, and vibrancy. 

An aerial view of the lake that runs by way of the group.

Photograph courtesy of Josh Whitman

How did Covid-19 influence the development and gross sales?
As People targeted all of their time and assets into their properties through the pandemic, we noticed unprecedented curiosity and gross sales conversions for our properties at Hampstead. In actual fact it has introduced us our greatest gross sales yr ever with dwelling gross sales 46% increased than the earlier yr. 
With our common dwelling value under the nationwide median record value, we’re a really enticing group for patrons all through the area and the nation who’re keen to buy a house whereas mortgage charges are at historic lows. As a New Urbanist group, we even have benefitted from homebuyers who need to escape bigger metropolis facilities and dwell in a walkable neighborhood the place they will preserve easy accessibility to retail, eating and colleges, whereas additionally having fun with outside facilities similar to parks, pure preserves, inexperienced house, a farm and a lake.

The Group pool

Photograph courtesy of Josh Whitman

How vital had been the inexperienced facets of the group to the patrons?
Whereas our properties characteristic the weather of inexperienced constructing, effectivity, and conservation that some patrons search for at present, we go above constructing a inexperienced construction by providing a holistic method to inexperienced constructing. This begins on the conceptual degree with the New Urbanist grasp plan that focuses on pedestrian scale, avenue community connectivity, a combination of makes use of to ensure range and selection, and guarded civic areas that encourage wellness and inexperienced areas. All collectively, “inexperienced constructing” permeates every little thing from the positioning planning to the house constructing and presents patrons a real environmentally-focused group.

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