‘Wow’-Worthy Amenities Make Winning Communities

Concord Riverwalk

Concord Riverwalk
Concord Riverwalk

Not everyone wants golf and gates for their community, but instead, features that bring neighbors together, provide accessible transit and protect the environment. So meet some of our Best in American Living Awards 2013 Winners for cool communities.

Sustainable. Friendly. Amenities galore: these are just some of the many reasons we selected Concord Riverwalk (West Concord, Mass.) as Community of the Year.

The multi-family cottage community includes common space, community gardens and access to the riverfront. The community shares a screened pavilion with a fire pit, community gardens and a nature preserve along the river. Concord Riverwalk’s site plan focuses on stormwater management, solar energy and protected open space. Each home within the village has natural interior light and views, while also maintaining homeowner privacy. The project follows NAHB Green Home Guidelines and Building America benchmarks, and has earned an Energy Star® rating.

Sheridan Station
Sheridan Station

Meanwhile, the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC’s Sheridan Station was not always so friendly. Now, this redevelopment of a failed public housing development is the first multifamily development in the DC to be awarded the LEED Platinum designation. All structures have Energy Star® lighting and appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures and low VOC paint. The exterior design creates a walkable streetscape while providing direct access to public transportation. What used to be a reminder of the city’s worst times is now a vibrant community—and a Silver Award winner for Green Community.

A fire pit at Walden.
A fire pit at Walden.

“Neighborhood” Silver Award winner Walden, in Enola, Pa., is the first new village built on Harrisburg’s West Shore in more than 100 years, recapturing the simplicity of local village life. The neighborhood features a TerraPark® and the area’s first all-natural playground, featuring rock walls, sandboxes and a slide built into a hillside. Walden also includes walking trails and tree-lined streets, modeled after classic tree-lined parks found in iconic cities. Walden Crossroads is the center of the village experience, containing mixed-use space of businesses and homes.

Station 361
Station 361

Finally, Station 361 in Mountain View, Calif., is a Platinum Award Winner for Neighborhood. The 65-home infill community recalls the romantic character of the early California 1920s and 1930s eclectic neighborhoods. The community replaced outdated, single-story, concrete office buildings and surface parking with affordable and modern homes. At the center of this community is a neighborhood park providing a comfortable gathering place and recreational area for residents. It is GreenPoint rated and Energy Star® Certified.

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