For(u)m Members Fill In Phoenix
With 517 square miles of land in Phoenix alone, growing out into Arizona’s suburban edges is easy, cheap for developers, and hardly discouraged by local governments, let alone residents. This pattern of outward, low-density development is referred to as “dumb growth” by many due to its inherent waste. Expanding the built environment onto peripheral land when there are opportunities to grow vertically or on land within existing boundaries leads to more and longer automobile trips, decreased sense of community, and requires an expansion of municipal services. While this is the easy route, it’s certainly not the smart or sustainable route. As a counter to this sprawl pattern, smart developers are pursuing infill development. The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission defines infill as the development of vacant parcels within previously built areas already served by public infrastructure, such as transportation, water, wastewater, and other utilities.
While infill is one of many smart growth development methods, it’s one that doesn’t often get its own spotlight. For(u)m’s members are largely focused on this type of development, leading Phoenix to a more attractive, healthy, and vibrant future that is socially, economically, and culturally diverse, and environmentally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond. Here’s a look at what a few of them have been up to…
developed these 10 single-family attached townhomes at the corner of 7th avenue and Camelback. This project maximized density while maintaining context sensitivity to the largely one to two story Historic Pierson Place neighborhood. Uptown Row is just steps away from the light rail station at 7th Avenue and Camelback and a short walk to some of the best restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Phoenix.
took a piece of land that was previously occupied by one single family home and created 8 attached townhomes, increasing the density by 700% in a single project. By creating outdoor space in the front of each unit rather than behind, the residences share a greater sense of community and connectedness versus projects that enclose and completely isolate the “yard” space of each home. This kind of thoughtful design creates a transitional option for families that want to live closer to an urban center without sacrificing the privacy of a single family home.
designed and built the Stella Residences on 12th Street and Campbell Avenue, just between midtown and uptown Phoenix. Similar to Uptown Row, these attached townhomes create context sensitive density while showcasing a unique, modern design. Stella Residences has a relatively high walk score but still accommodates vehicles owned by residents with garages under each unit, allowing for flexible lifestyle decisions. Some homeowners might even create additional housing by converting their garage into living space.
developed one of the more recent mixed use projects in downtown Phoenix - Portland on the Park. With multiple retail spaces and almost 150 units ranging from just over 700 to 2,000+ square feet, this high rise created homeownership opportunities for a wide array of family sizes while maximizing the urban experience. Portland on the Park added much needed density on the northern fringe of downtown while respecting the greenery and existing neighborhood, making it an exemplary infill project.