We’ve recently seen a new trend in the development of master planned communities, where developers are coming up with some creative and different ways to entice owners to their communities.  One trend sweeping the United States is Urban Farming (also known as gardening); with the idea that anyone can grow their own organic food easily.  Developers are listening to the wants and desires of their prospective buyers and building community gardens within their new associations.  These gardens provide a central location where owners can purchase or have access to a garden plot and test out their green-thumb’s, all within walking distance of their home.   In a recent Chicago Tribune article, it was noted that “agriculture is supplanting golf courses as today’s must-have amenity”.  Other creative incentives builders are using include :

  • Offering storage sheds, arbors and greenhouses as options when purchasing homes;
  • Adding restaurants, athletic clubs or hotels to the community (based on the size of the property);
  • Building a trout stream or a large centralized park;
  • Creating a bike share system, as used in TAXI neighborhood in Denver

Another unique idea communities have been trying out is allowing mobile food trucks (more than just an ice cream truck) to park near a community center or athletic field and sell their goods.  People are inherently drawn to food and these meals on wheels provide ample opportunities for residents to gather and get to know each other.

Have you seen any unique ideas posed by developers?  Or has your community jumped on any of these ideas?  If so, please share!

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