We love seeing ground broken for new projects, work moving toward completion, and tenants and owners moving in. The three developments we’re giving a shout-out to this month reflect the reinvigorated building market, efforts to bring together housing at different price points, continued interest in amenity packages, and sustainable materials and systems to help residents live healthier and curtail costs. One development even trends farm-to-table living with a shared garden and agri-learning center.

Brooklyn, mixed-income, mixed-use, townhouses, rental buildings
Courtesy Navy Green Navy Green comprises three rental buildings, 23 townhouses, and a 12-story condo building in Brooklyn's up-and-coming Wallabout neighborhood.

Navy Green, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Navy Green, a sustainable development in Brooklyn’s Wallabout neighborhood, straddling better-known Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, was developed by New York City–based Dunn Development Corp. and L+M Development Partners and designed by another partnership, between FXFowle Architects and Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, also from New York.

The site, almost a full city block in size, was a former Navy brig demolished in 2005 and turned over to New York City, which conducted a charette to award its redevelopment. The total purchase price: just $30.

The winning developers’ goal was a mixed-use, mixed-income project with tenants and owners sharing a large, landscaped courtyard; a playground; and seating. Three rental buildings with 311 units are now fully occupied, and 23 luxury, three-story townhouses are nearing completion. Ten of the townhomes are finished and homeowners started moving in this past March. The remaining 13 homes will be finished by year’s end. The units measure 3,000 square feet each and come with a choice of three or four bedrooms and private yards. Prices range from $1.99 million to $2.195 million.

The remaining piece at Navy Green includes 98 condos in one 12-story building, with 24 market-rate units and 74 affordable; the latter group of owners can take advantage of a 25-year 421-a tax abatement. Some of the one- to three-bedroom condos have terraces and sport the popular open-style layout. The top of the building was landscaped as a roof deck with views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The Wallabout neighborhood continues to undergo a transition and has become a busy activity hub, with residences, retail, shared work spaces, a rehabbed warehouse with light manufacturing, and a rooftop winery, according to Martin Dunn, president of Dunn Development Corp., and Christine Yoon, project manager.

Community amenities at Parkside at The Highlands include a comfortable resident lounge and club room.
Jason Stemple Community amenities at Parkside at The Highlands include a comfortable resident lounge and club room.

Parkside at The Highlands, Savannah, Ga.
This master-planned community is a departure for Charleston, S.C.–based Beach Co., which has traditionally built housing and amenities in urban, infill locations with mixed-use facilities.

Beach acquired the 23 acres along a protected wetland in Savannah’s West Chatham area, 15 minutes from downtown, to build 317 rentals because the developer recognized that the site was located in an area of high growth that would eventually be in “the path of progress due to the I-95 corridor and future development,” says Dan Doyle, vice president of development at Beach.

The company also veered from how developers usually lay out a site for garden apartments. Here, it divided the property in half with a main road and located housing along that street with some parking, placing detached garages at the rear of the buildings.

The development features an array of popular shared amenities, including a sun deck, swimming pool, off-leash dog park, outdoor kitchen, and sports club. The units range from studios renting in the high $700s to three-bedrooms at $1,500. A public bus eliminates the need to drive downtown.

Construction was completed this past May; occupancy is now 86%.

The Ranch House recreation center is the heart of The Cannery community. Designed by Robert Hidey Architects, the building's exterior reflects the agrarian area's farming roots.
Chris Mayer The Ranch House recreation center is the heart of The Cannery community. Designed by Robert Hidey Architects, the building's exterior reflects the agrarian area's farming roots.

The Cannery, Davis, Calif.
Developed by The New Home Co. in Aliso Viejo, Calif., The Cannery was honored as Master Planned Community of the Year under The Nationals Awards at the 2016 International Builders’ Show. The project was also recognized for its clubhouse, logo, and signage designs.

The development features 547 affordable and market-rate, for-sale and for-rent units, as well as live/work lofts and numerous amenities. Ground was broken in spring 2014, and more than 100 homes have sold.

The most novel aspect of The Cannery is its 7.4-acre working farm. The farm-to-table community offers classes for beginning farmers through a partnership with the Center for Land-Based Learning.

Another major draw is the community’s commitment to building homes innovatively and sustainably, with Cool Roof Certified roofing materials, attic insulation, radiant barriers, blower-door testing, windows with high UV values, HERS testing, and electric-vehicle charging stations. Yet another important component of the development is its Ranch House recreation center (pictured), designed by Robert Hidey Architects, which features solar roof panels to power the street lights. The structure was designed to be the centerpiece of the community.

“In every beloved community, whether it’s a village in the European countryside or a township in historic America, there’s a treasured centerpiece. We hope the Ranch House will be that iconic structure for residents of The Cannery,” says Sherman Jones, project director at Robert Hidey.

The architect made the Ranch House accessible via walking and bike trails, and the complex incorporates activities for all ages with a large pool and spa, fireplace, barbecues, lawn and patio, and big community room with exercise space, prep kitchen, sitting areas, and a sliding “snack” window that can be opened during swim meets. The inspiration for the building’s exterior was the area’s American farm and ranch roots.