Cherry Hill Village: new urbanism in Canton, Michigan

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#21
Luca said:
Question for the forum, given that 'everyone' in the US drives anyhow (you'd certainly need a car to live there), are nighborhood corner stores at all viable? I wa sthinkign somenthign along the liens of a convenience store but a bit mroeuyspocale with soemd eli / speialty items too. You could even put ins tuff like vids/internet/newspapers/etc. Does the psot office still 'famr out' sub-post office locations? That would create foot traffic, if it worked.
My neighborhood has such amenities, though the markets are a bit specialized so that it makes sense to drive to the Farmer Jack (supermarket chain) for any serious shopping. It still makes zero sense for me to shop in a Costco or Sam's as there are none near me, and even if there was, whats a single guy in an 800 square foot home going to do with 48 rolls of toilet paper (well that does not invovle getting drunk and TP'ing the house around the corner?)
 

BKM

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#22
mendelman said:
Give it some time. It is a brand new development and midwest builders usually don't provide fences. They leave it up to the buyer.

[ot]


My favorite is the neighborhood market grocery store. It is big enough to provide sufficient choice and cost, but is generally no larger than 20,000 sqft, which affords it the ability to locate in more dense urban location that are walkable. I have such a market one block from my apt. and it is great. I actually despise having to drive to the grocery store now. It's actually much more inconvenient.[/ot]
Davis, CA tried to mandate the preservation of this format. Unfortunately, many of the smaller markets (20,000-40,000) are aging, somewhat disgusting old Albertson's/Lucky's stores (a fading chain) or early Safeways. They can't compete with WalMart or the big new format supermarkets, so they're closing them even in a student-oriented bicycle and ecology-driven town like Davis.
 
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#23
BKM said:
They can't compete with WalMart or the big new format supermarkets, so they're closing them even in a student-oriented bicycle and ecology-driven town like Davis.
Its amazing how the market forces you into your car and drive several miles just to buy food in most parts of the U.S. Really makes you wonder whats going to happen in a few years when the first of the baby boomers start driving substantially less due to poor vision, ailments, bad reaction times.
 
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#24

I know that this is not going to help things... but here is the Arial Photo from a few years back. The “A” indicator is Cold Stone, and that intersection is the “Urban” corner.

In this photo, it shows how green field it is. I would not be surprised of they have a problem with driveways sinking because of organic material still in the ground.
The One said:
How much do these places cost to REALLY live in??? I'm sure the immediate appreciation has put them into the stratosphere cost wise.....eh? If not, sign me up
Homes start at $200K and go up to $800K... then there are association fees, property taxes, but it is close to some less expensive areas, so other costs such as food, gas, and such are comparable to the surrounding communities. Canton is one of the best public school districts in the state, so that is a plus.
 

Wannaplan?

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#25
michaelskis said:
Canton is one of the best public school districts in the state, so that is a plus.
And they're getting an Ikea! From the Detroit Free Press:

The 311,000-square-foot store, set to open in June, will need about 400 workers, including managers, salespeople, interior designers, cashiers and stockers. The store, under construction at Haggerty and Ford roads, is the first Michigan location for the home furnishings company that sells ready-to-assemble furniture with a minimalist look at low prices.
Yippee!

If you live at Cherry Hill Village, you only need to drive east five miles toward I-275 to buy your cheap, but fashionable furniture, for your expensive, yet anachronistic home (still fashionable - it's retro!):



I am not trying to be critical of Cherry Hill Village. I am glad that Michigan has an attractive New Urban development that, for all intents and purposes, looks to be successful. But if you look at the Google aerial I've supplied, much of the developed parts of Canton look like other suburban neighborhoods in Michigan.
 
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#26
michaelskis said:

I know that this is not going to help things... but here is the Arial Photo from a few years back. The “A” indicator is Cold Stone, and that intersection is the “Urban” corner.

In this photo, it shows how green field it is. I would not be surprised of they have a problem with driveways sinking because of organic material still in the ground.
Six years ago, the subdivision south of your arrow wasn't even there.:-( I wonder if they kept the cute little church at least?
 
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#27
michaelskis said:
Canton is one of the best public school districts in the state, so that is a plus.
God save Michigan! I can remember my inner-city high school used to be full of kids from Canton because the schools there sucked so badly.
 
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#28
SW MI Planner said:
Six years ago, the subdivision south of your arrow wasn't even there.:-( I wonder if they kept the cute little church at least?
Yes. the church is located on the NW corner and is still in operation.
 

Wannaplan?

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#29
This here is an interesting blog entry mirroring our own discussion:

...looking at the photos of Cherry Hill Village, it seems so artificial and contrived. Granted they have pursued the admirable aims of trying to create a community by rigidly specifying design elements such as front porches, sidewalks and street trees. But where is the architectural imagination and daring?

Turns out it may have to do with the corporate polling methods that were used to determine what potential buyers “like”:

“Before sticking a shovel in the ground, Biltmore Properties used a visual preference survey to help them determine the overall architectural style of the Cherry Hill Development. Traditional Victorian architecture common to southeast Michigan was preferred and is therefore consistent throughout Cherry Hill Village.”

Can you picture where our cities would be if every building, bridge or public sculpture were held up for vote before creation? Imagine if Toll Brothers, the house factory corporation, designed one model called "The Lamont" and another called, "The Lieberman"? Which one might win?

As we seek to modify our city in more humane ways, we might be aware that popularity contests are not always the way to build better and more aesthetic towns. Cherry Hill Village is better than sprawl, but way less engaging, authentic and lovely than old Glencoe, IL, Ridgewood, NJ or Concord, MA.
Good points!
 

mendelman

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#30
But Toll Brothers surely understands what the new house buying public wants or will buy. They may not be actual surveys, but marketing studys probably show that people love their usually supply of bloated, over-sentimentialized dreck.

Although, Cherry Hill Village is 'santiary' and 'uniform' now, that may diminish with age and ownership changes.

Plus, this is really no different than any massed produced housing development. There are seldom more than 4-5 models (with detailing variations) in new subdivisions, and large-scale speculative housing development never has "architectural imagination and daring".

The architecture of the development is fine and actually well done Neo-Victorian. My main beef is the size and design of the lots and it disconnectedness from existing developed areas.
 
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Luca

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#31
I've stated before I like those houses. More diversity could avhe been itnrpoduced by ahving some in a more 'prairie' style (stripped-dpown/cape cod wibut with proch) and soem mroe onrate 'gingerbread' Victorian ones. Alsoa few brick buildings would not have hurt and I'm sure they'd have sold well in Tornado Alley.

I do wish there was more infill development but I guess that's adding another difficulty.Some of the crappy apartment complex strips in many suburbs could be a good cnadidate for a sort of 'instant mixed-use downtown'. I guess for it to be truly mixed-use you'd want one to four 'anchor' employers.
 
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#33
Not too many tornados here, but when they hit.. youch!

I suppose what bothers me most about this development is the fact that it is sucking up prime farmland while other parts of metro Detroit empty out. It makes little sense, but hey its based on the priniple of reducing the risk of your return when you sell your home, not based in creating a real livable area where people will live for years to come. Every five years properties on the fringe turn over like clockwork.
 

Luca

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#34
I suppose what bothers me most about this development is the fact that it is sucking up prime farmland while other parts of metro Detroit empty out. It makes little sense, but hey its based on the priniple of reducing the risk of your return when you sell your home, not based in creating a real livable area where people will live for years to come. Every five years properties on the fringe turn over like clockwork.
...and for that one can hardly blame the developer. It seems to me that it would amke sense to limit greenfield permits until more infill is built.
 
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#35
I suppose what bothers me most about this development is the fact that it is sucking up prime farmland while other parts of metro Detroit empty out. It makes little sense, but hey its based on the priniple of reducing the risk of your return when you sell your home, not based in creating a real livable area where people will live for years to come. Every five years properties on the fringe turn over like clockwork.
If metro Detroit is being outcompeted by empty farmland, then it has a severe institutional problem. It is not the farmer's problem or the developer's problem if metro Detroit can't accumulate capital. Though by now you should know what it is and how to fix it. (Hint: see signature links)

...and for that one can hardly blame the developer. It seems to me that it would amke sense to limit greenfield permits until more infill is built.
Maybe more infill would be built if the established cities welcomed and promoted infill. Outlawing their only source of competition is not going to force them to improve.
 

Luca

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#36
If metro Detroit is being outcompeted by empty farmland, then it has a severe institutional problem.
As indeed is the case. The thing that gets me is that we're not even talking rocket science here. I reckon that if you have passable infrastructure already in place, all you need is low crime (good policing) and decent schools. it';s not liek Detorit doe snot ahve an economy. AFAIK, the metro arrea overall is ok (otherwise you couldn't succesfully build new subdivisions).

Maybe more infill would be built if the established cities welcomed and promoted infill. Outlawing their only source of competition is not going to force them to improve.
A fair point; unfortunately even with competition (which they've been losing since the 1960s) they're still not improving - at least not enough. I think that's one issue with public ownership: short of armageddon, it cannot go entirely bust/disappear so if the political process does not deliver improvement it does not go away, like a bad company. In Italy, really disfunctional municipalities can be taken over and administered (typcially for a limited period) by the central govt. (mixed results, but rarely worse than they were before). In Britain this is sometimes done with specific aspects of a municipality (esp. education, which is provided on a 'council' (municipality/county) basis).
 
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#37
This may come as a shock to many people, but Detroit has doing quite a bit in the way of neighborhood revitalization, and is at the very beginning of what may appear to be a significant turnaround for many of Detroit’s Older Historic districts.

I assure you that more money has been spend in Neighborhood revitalization in Detroit than this development in Canton.

Detroit’s biggest hurdle the reputation and peoples perception of its neighborhoods. It is very true that there are many very bad parts of the city, but it would not be difficult for someone to pick up one of these older homes being used as rentals, rehab it and create a terrific community.

Oh, and just about everyone in Canton has a car and commutes to work.
 
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#38
If metro Detroit is being outcompeted by empty farmland, then it has a severe institutional problem. It is not the farmer's problem or the developer's problem if metro Detroit can't accumulate capital. Though by now you should know what it is and how to fix it. (Hint: see signature links)
You don't have to tell me about that, unfortunately in Michigan there is a strong home rule which helps to fragment the economy. Detroit is leading Michigan in new home permits, there is quite a bit of infil going on here (as M'skis indicated). Unfortunately folks are still moving out and selecting these places (where transit is unavailable and Canton refuses to join a regional transit program). Places such as Canton really stand in the way of implememnting your vision of a libratarian govt by refusing even private transit options. Farmland is irreplacable, once the infrastructure is built, it is there, and it exists for those travelling by car, and only short distances can be done through walking. Incidentally, you are starting to see population decreases in places like Warren, Livonia, and most inner ring suburbs where transit is available.

Economic models work only if people make logical choices as provided by the models path. Those models don't work when the large majority of the local economy is still dependant upon selling autos.
 

Wannaplan?

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#39
This may come as a shock to many people, but Detroit has doing quite a bit in the way of neighborhood revitalization, and is at the very beginning of what may appear to be a significant turnaround for many of Detroit’s Older Historic districts.
You've never really been in Detroit, have you? I like your positive attitude, but it's not enough to overcome Detroit's very real and serious neighborhood blight and continual decline. Sure, there are pockets of improvement, funded both through public and private investments, and yes those areas are rays of hope, but if you've been following the news over the past couple of years, you know the headcounts in Detroit schools are in a massive downward spiral, which can only mean more folks are leaving the City. And recent Census numbers don't help either.
 
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#40
I assure you that more money has been spend in Neighborhood revitalization in Detroit than this development in Canton.
It doesn't matter what you put in, it's what you get out of it that counts. I wouldn't be surprised if Detroit is weighed down by hordes of parasites. It isn't all that different in my hometown. That's what gives suburban development the advantage to new homebuyers, despite the fact that more has to be spent to build infrastructure that is still working perfectly right elsewhere.

Economy means putting little in and getting more out.

You don't have to tell me about that, unfortunately in Michigan there is a strong home rule which helps to fragment the economy. Detroit is leading Michigan in new home permits, there is quite a bit of infil going on here (as M'skis indicated). Unfortunately folks are still moving out and selecting these places (where transit is unavailable and Canton refuses to join a regional transit program). Places such as Canton really stand in the way of implememnting your vision of a libratarian govt by refusing even private transit options.
How so? As long as the city isn't a private property, it won't work efficiently.
Economic models work only if people make logical choices as provided by the models path. Those models don't work when the large majority of the local economy is still dependant upon selling autos.
Choices are always logical to people. If the economic models fail, they need to be adjusted. It's time we rethought the system of political democracy, it is clearly not working.
 
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