Thursday, April 06, 2006

New urbanism in Elgin

The Courier reported on March 30th that a New Urbanist project is coming to Elgin. The Herald followed up with their own story on April 4th.

“It’s unlike anything Elgin or the entire metropolitan area has ever seen, with its sheer size, density and sustainable transportation synergy,” Deering said, adding the only comparable project is The Glen in Glenview, a 1,121-acre mixed-use development that replaced the Glenview Naval Air Station.

The project is known as a “town center” concept in planning circles, according to environmental and real estate consultant Charles Lockwood, who wrote an article for the Urban Land Institute, which profiled similar projects in Virginia, Florida and California...

Elgin’s pending town center project includes 176 acres of single-family homes, 130 acres of mixed-use development, 18 acres of commercial development, 93 acres of dense urban center living, 35 acres of row houses and 123 acres of open space, according to plans submitted to the city by The Lannert Group. (source: Daily Herald 4/4/06)
This is great. I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of one cookie-cutter subdivision after another. New Urbanism (or Traditional Neighborhood Design) may or may not be a fad, but at the least it will add variety to the housing stock. The only thing is that these reports make it sound like this is the first such proposed project in Elgin. I had been expecting Shodeen's Pingree Creek project to be a New Urbanist development. It was the only project I was excited about seeing completed. I hope the newspapers just overlooked Pingree Creek and that it is, in fact, a New Urbanist project.

The coolest project in Illinois is probably Prairie Crossing in Grayslake. It would be great to see one or more of these cloned on Elgin's far west side.


Blogger Cedar said...

Because my in-laws farm the land that is being developed as "Elgin West" I'm quite sad about the whole project. I was in Elgin last week taking photos and talking to the people who will be displaced by this development. I saw a lot of shaking of heads.

I'd not heard about the New Urbanist movement until I read the articles. It won't matter to me if it is a pure and highly sucessful utopia, I think it stinks what they are going to do with the farmland.

Was it here I read an article about people being embarrassed by their Elgin addresses? Will "Elgin west"
change that? Who will be able to afford the housing, assuming it is comparable to "The Glen"?

1:03 PM  

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