For those who care about designing the best communities possible, this may be the most educational 30 minutes of the year. Dean Wehrli interviews Ken Perlman, our Consulting Principal who logs the most airline miles each year. Ken gives great examples supporting the four most successful trends he is seeing around the country.
- Social interaction, with the young buyers especially appreciating opportunities for spontaneous, unplanned events and the older buyers valuing proximity to their friends and families possibly more than ever before
- Health, in food and activity
- Food, which relates to both healthy eating and spontaneous social interaction
Ken says that today’s must-haves are “make my life easier” and “give me control, flexibility, and choice.”
Healthy living example
- Trails: Multiple types of trails, designed for the local terrain, work great. Tehaleh has a series of themed parks, including a Forest Park with walking trails and Yonder, which ventures off into the nearby woods.
- The Gardens at Daybreak, Hillwood’s Harvest (“a perfect community to put down roots”), and Willowsford’s The Willowsford Conservancy and Farm are great examples of fresh food.
- Mueller’s food truck event every week or The Willowsford Kitchen with an in-house chef are two examples of eating together.
- “Fitness on demand” is also a popular trend.
Rough Hollow west of Austin has great family activities, including a Splash Pad and Lazy River for Kids.
Tehaleh’s The Post, doubles as an information center for the community and a coffee shop with a great sitting area and spectacular views.
Lakewood Ranch, one of four communities to exceed 1000 home sales last year, has a dizzying array of activities including cornhole and sand volleyball courts with huge clubs to play each.
Pets are also a catalyst for social interaction. Cane Island in Katy, TX, has a Golden Retriever named Hub who greets residents, and the Hallsley masterplan in VA has a great dog park, as does the South Paw Dog Park in Rancho Mission Viejo in Orange County.
Two great examples of active adults wanting to live near their kids are Regency by Toll Brothers inside the Summerlin masterplan in Las Vegas and Auberge in San Diego with their 10,000 square foot clubhouse with niches to accommodate the on-demand lifestyle Ken describes in the podcast.
Amenities that are still popular, but which are becoming less important:
- Golf courses
- Big, contrived, and over-programmed clubhouses
Ken also lists some of his favorite amenities:
- Rancho Mission Viejo’s Hilltop Club for socializing, which includes an outdoor garden with a rentable farm table for a party and a game room for the kids. They also have a farm with community volunteers and The Campout, where residents can camp inside the community.
- Eastmark in Phoenix’s Bus Stop amenity and their Orange Monster, which include a huge play structure and Big Bus for the kids.
- Charter Homes’ Walden Crossroads in Mechanicsburg, PA, a mix of great street-level retail with homes above. The Clubhouse Redefined. Brew pub. Ice cream shop. They activated the street to get people interacting.
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