Saturday, September 11, 2010

Salemtown's Brownstones at 5&G: "Development with a Respectful Approach"

In 2006, developer Jim Creason did not have to build three art-inspired detached single family homes in Salemtown on 6th Avenue, North. Most of the neighborhood is zoned for duplexes, and he could have chosen to do what lots of conventional, recalcitrant developers do here: build attached townhomes that few families could or would choose to live in.

But Jim seemed to subscribe to the idea of a dwelling concept as an ideal. And then he involved neighborhood leaders in the realization of that ideal. And then the next year Jim became the first and, as far as I know, the only developer building in Salemtown to win a Distinctive Preservation Award from the Mayor for the new homes on 6th. When he accepted the award, Jim expressed his commitment, which is more than one-dimensional, to Salemtown's quality of life:
Salemtown is a great neighborhood and we are excited to be a part of the positive transformation taking shape in the area. This award comes at a time when developers in the neighborhood have a choice between quality-oriented development or "hoe-hum" projects that put profit before all else.
Jim carried through on that commitment by holding a community meeting to announce his plans for a new residential development at Salemtown's most important intersection, 5th and Garfield. However, Jim did not just have a community meeting to introduce the concept, he also asked us for our feedback on the what we thought should go into the new development. While it is not rare for developers to show Salemtown residents their plans in order to leverage support, what is rare is developers soliciting our feedback.

Now that the new development is starting to be marketed, I can see that Jim incorporated the community feedback that the development provide a mix of detached and attached homes. At a recent neighborhood association meeting Jim expressed an interest to attract more families with children to Salemtown to live, and thus he planned The Brownstones at 5&G to include a diversity of stock, including detached homes large enough to be family-friendly.

Comprised of 2 single family residences facing 5th Avenue North and 3 units with 2 units per structure; one facing 5th Avenue North giving it a single family appearance and the remaining 5 units facing Garfield Street. The project has a total of 8 units ranging in square feet from 1,610 to 2,285.

Jim's demonstrated commitment to Salemtown and his mission to develop "with a respectful approach" motivate me to write this encouragement to others who are looking to buy quality real estate. Jim is not paying me to post this and I will not benefit any more than anyone else in the neighborhood does when our quality of life is enhanced with diverse offerings. Nonetheless, The Brownstones at 5&G are a development Salemtown needs. I have no doubt when it is built, Jim will continue to receive the accolades and the recognition he deserves.

For more info, check out the 5&G website.

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