New Grand Rapids Neighborhood Grabs Smart Growth Philosophy..Sort of

I was driving down 44th street today. It’s a boulevard that I don’t frequent much. I associate it with condo developments without sidewalks…not a place I want to be. But I almost slammed on my brakes today when I drove past Cobblestone At The Ravine.

Whoa! You look like Seaside!

I did two Michigan left turns so I could go into this new development. The houses/condos were set close to the road with no garages in sight. There was a large grassy median. The houses were actually attractive. Some of them already had residents, though the development was clearly new.  A little girl was riding her bike, watching me press my nose to the window in awe of her living space.

It’s actually happening. Sure, the shared playground has a “private space” sign and this development is in the middle of nowhere and not necessarily affordable to everyone, but something is visually changing about architecture. Planning that makes sense. Finally!

I find the blurb about these non-burbs really funny: “a new neighborhood that blends the best of yesterday with all the benefits and advantages of today! This imaginative and inviting new community offers you a real sense of arrival… of knowing you’re home even before you reach your front door. Conveniently located on the corner of 44th St. and Shaffer Ave., you’ll find that Cobblestone at the Ravines focuses on not only how you live, but where you live. Homeowners and their families will enjoy a casual recreational lifestyle within the community. Stretch out by the pool in summer or splash around in the fabulous spray park. Chat with neighbors while your children enjoy the play areas. Or start your day with a fast-paced walk or an easy jog along one of the quiet streets that wind throughout the community.”

Very interesting!

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