Unlike Kentlands, which was built twenty years ago on a farm at the suburban fringe, the Courts of Woodside occupies an infill lot in an area dating to the turn of the 20th century that's now increasingly urban. It presents an not-so-unusual challenge to the architects (whom I worked for briefly one summer many years ago): how can you build something without disrupting the historic character of the neighborhood?
The answer, it turned out, was literally to move the past. Three old, decaying houses on site were fully restored and shifted elsewhere, making room for twenty new townhouses. Here's one of those three houses in 2007 . . .
Of course, the developers could have built this entire project with single-family homes. But it'd be a waste of a site blocks from Downtown Silver Spring and on top of the Red Line and several Metrobus routes that stop at the corner of Georgia and Noyes - a place where new housing wouldn't automatically mean more car trips because residents would have alternative ways to get around. It would also prevent them from providing small pocket parks within the development, offering residents and visitors alike places to sit and enjoy the scenery.
There aren't many places where you can lie in a hammock on a porch and see a city skyline. Building up our urban centers is important, but so is taking advantage of underutilized land in our residential neighborhoods as well. After all, not everyone wants to live downtown. And with projects like the Courts of Woodside, we can provide more choices for people who'd like a little city in their suburb - or vice versa.
Check out this slideshow of the Courts of Woodside.
Would be interesting to see infill development like this that wasn't neo-traditional in style. But at least, as in the Kentlands, the typical cookie-cutter, everything-on-the-cheap, McMansion new development typical of the area was avoided. Count that as a victory of taste over pure profit.
What of the big announcement promised yesterday? Certainly this wasn't it?
I've enjoyed watching the Courts go up. I actually had a friend that had lived in one of those historic houses that were moved (not a big coincidence, I lived just a few blocks away), so it was a particularly interesting process for me. I'll have to see if there's an open house I can attend some day when life is throwing a few less things at me.
Hey Dan, thanks for the kind words; you captured the real essence of the community. I am marketing the Courts of Woodside for GTM and it has been just a terrific experience. Innovative planning, superb design and quality far beyond expectations at this price point. We have 16 units sold and occupied, two more under contract and the community has a buzz and a glow.
We finally have an inventory unit to show (we have been selling as fast as we can build) and I will be having my first open house in many, many months this Sunday from 1-4.
Complete community and sales information can be found at www.courtsofwoodside.com
Long & Foster Realtors
I just noticed that development for the first time the other day and was delighted that they had built something new that was so attractive. You can't tell they are townhouses from Georgia Avenue. I really like that they are in the style of older homes in the area.
My husband and I moved to the Courts at Woodside late last November and we are so pleased...
the neighborhood is beautiful, access to the Metro and downtown is walkable, and the "pocket community" has a great feel to it.
We are also pleased that our homes "fit" the style of the neighborhood, while also having the updated amenities. Thanks for the good words, Dan!
Post a Comment