Sunday, February 16, 2014

Marion Green Update - Groundbreaking, Design Changes, and First Sale

Marion Green, our most ambitious courtyard townhouse project to date, broke ground last month.  One of my favorite features was that we designed the project around preserving the original streetscape, re-purposing the original garages as automobile and pedestrian entries to the site.  Partway through the permitting process, we discovered that the zoning code would not allow us to keep the automobile entry, as the existing walls blocked sight lines that allow pedestrians and cars to see each other.  In the first week of earthwork we discovered that there was not enough room on site to get equipment in and out without removing the second garage.  Finally, when it came time to start hauling away demolition debris and soil, we needed the entire front of the site for loading, at which point all of the existing site walls came down.  It was a disappointment, but one of those growing pains that all projects go through as they progress from concept to reality.

Original streetscape with garages and street walls preserved.  The intention was that equipment and materials would come in ant out in the area between the two garages.
Current design.  The only remnant is the blade wall on the north property line that holds up the neighbors yard.  Everything else is new.
This picture gives you an appreciation for the mismatch between my original design intent and the scale of the equipment coming in and off the site.
Now for the good news:  We just sold our first unit!  We got a good price (about $50/sf than the previous best comp for the neighborhood), which is encouraging, as a design like Marion Green is more expensive to build than a conventional project and construction costs in general are rising quickly in the current boomlet.  The way this season is shaping up we expect the units will sell out well in advance of project completion this fall.  For anyone following the project as an interested buyer, I would encourage you to contact the sales team soon to let them know.

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