Suburban infill development connects with nature
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New Urban Builders, based in Chico, California, had big development plans prior to the housing crash — but those plans were put in indefinite hold. Now the firm is dipping a toe back into single-family housing with a 24-unit suburban infill project called Forest Park.
The project is adjacent to a nature center and Chico’s Bidwell Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the US. The layout, which includes bungalow courts and small lot houses with single-car garages in the back, is designed in a naturalistic style. The single new street meanders around existing live oaks.
There’s not much single-family New Urbanism these days. Where it is happening, it is often small infill projects like this one. John Anderson, of Anderson|Kim Architecture and Urban Design, has mostly worked on attached dwellings and mixed-use of late. “If you told me a little while ago I’d be doing single family in Chico now I’d have said you’re crazy,” he told Better! Cities & Towns.
Prior to the crash, New Urban Builders specialized in nicely designed and constructed production housing in a traditional neighborhood development (TND) format. The firm was about to embark on a 1,500-unit development with a full-scale town center — designed