Londonderry Development - Woodmont Commons

MonopolyBag

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Patrick.

Here

Is this what you were referring too? It is happening now.

So is the only public one on Sept. 11 at 1-3?
 
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Patrick

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Thanks for posting that link. The firm that has been hired to design the project, DPZ, is internationally renowned, and is led by Andres Duany and his Wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, arguably the most respected individuals in the "New Urbanist" movement. I don't think Londonderry will be disappointed with their plans. http://www.dpz.com/projects.aspx
 
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Patrick

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additional renderings



And here is a bird's eye view of the three concepts


 

FrankLloydMike

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Great images--thanks for finding those. I meant to mention this earlier, but your comparison of Londonderry to Scarborough is right on. While most New England suburbs that grew from a farming village have some sort of semblance of a town center or village, both of those towns are nearly devoid of this.

I agree that it's interesting to see Portland used as an example, too. It's often said that new urbanism is really old urbanism, and there's some truth to that, but there are key differences that make the comparison to Portland a little misleading. New urbanism tends to look and feel much more homogenous than traditional cities, even if it's built in phases as is proposed in Londonderry.

It also lacks the history and serendipity of older towns (except when fake history is added, which is even worse), and a part of this is because it is so often divorced from organic development. Londonderry, for instance, has the slightest hint of a town center a little ways west of this site. It's not very special and does not have enough developable land for something like this to take root, but my biggest concern with this project is that it's not really located along major roads, except the highway the Market Basket faces. The proposed new interchange and the sheer size of this development could change that, but it's in a bit of an awkward location to become a natural "town center".

I think this project, overall, is extremely promising and infinitely better land use than typical suburban sprawl. Having a few dense satellite villages surrounding Manchester would make both Manchester and the surrounding towns much nicer places. I just think it's also important to note that new urbanism often oversells itself, and that the best Woodmont Commons will never feel like Portland. All that having been said, I think it will definitely turn into a very nice neighborhood to live in, work or visit; and unlike most suburban developments, it will be an actual neighborhood.
 
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Patrick

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Good points, Mike. New Urbanism is in many ways striving to be like the old urbanism. However, this cannot be done. But, this is a better and more admirable aim than continuing the status quo. Very tricky to align developments like this with traditional town centers and other surrounding development without making them feel like an island subdivision or fake urbanity.
 
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Patrick

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Oh, and I want to add that, for anyone interested in this stuff, if you are in NH, I would make it a point to speak with Mr. Duany, he is known all over the world and is a pretty big urban planning figure. if I had the money for gas, I would have driven down already.
 

MonopolyBag

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Where are you located Patrick?

But yeah, those concepts are very nice how they left lots of trees, nice ponds, and lots of green while still having near street structures, dense housing, nice planned are and use of land rather than the standard stuff. I think this is a great plan if it does go through. I just hope they stick with the plan and have some nice "green" areas as well. That's a must.

BTW, who does pay for this? Someone bought the land, then do private people build the buildings? How does this work?

And talk to who? I am interested in this stuff, but why you say talk to him? I know I AM missing something.
 

MonopolyBag

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Dayumn, just looking at the pictures again, more developers should think this way.
 
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Patrick

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Where are you located Patrick?

But yeah, those concepts are very nice how they left lots of trees, nice ponds, and lots of green while still having near street structures, dense housing, nice planned are and use of land rather than the standard stuff. I think this is a great plan if it does go through. I just hope they stick with the plan and have some nice "green" areas as well. That's a must.

BTW, who does pay for this? Someone bought the land, then do private people build the buildings? How does this work?

And talk to who? I am interested in this stuff, but why you say talk to him? I know I AM missing something.
Im in Portland Maine. The developer bought the property and is going to finance the construction of the structures too. The plan for the property's design has been drafted by the urban planning firm DPZ, the head of which is Andres Duany, the person I suggested you speak to (he is leading the design review meetings in Londonderry).
 

BostonUrbEx

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Now if they would just branch the Haverhill Line at Lawrence and run up to Derry.
 

MonopolyBag

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Well... Here But it is very old website and little activity. Even though it should be a very important priority IMO.

Also I read there is talk about the Haverhill T line to continue up into Plaistow, which again, I think is important.
 

MonopolyBag

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All very nice. But we all know that pictures and concepts for these products are easier said than done.
 
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Patrick

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These pictures represent a final build out, not something that is planned for overnight construction, so I guess it is meant more to give a sense of what the developers are aiming for than an actual picture of what the site is going to look like in fact.
 

Corey

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I just saw that this was designed by the firm that Andres Duany and his wife run. I think that adds some real legitimacy to this project. They have a good track record. Have they done any projects in New England yet that are similar to this?
 

MonopolyBag

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They say over 20 years. I see it more happening just when it does. If the economy gets better and booms, then obviously it will grow faster. If this project starts and for some reason gets popular, again it will grow faster, but I also see it taking longer than 20 years or not at all if the economy stays bad and this project does not get the hype they are hoping for.
 

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