Power in Partnership

As it so often happens, a few builders gather together, share a few stories and in the telling of their tales from the business front, all develop a new understanding or a new approach to the age-old business of providing shelter. Sometimes, something more develops, as this month's cover story illustrates.

July 01, 2005

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Correction

As it so often happens, a few builders gather together, share a few stories and in the telling of their tales from the business front, all develop a new understanding or a new approach to the age-old business of providing shelter.

Sometimes, something more develops, as this month's cover story illustrates. A coalition of custom builders — James Gray of StellarGray Fine Homes and Tom Wuelpern and Jeff Scheffman of Rammed Earth Development — came together around a single vision to create a new business opportunity for both companies. Street Scene Development is a new company devised to do what comes naturally to both companies — creating special, one-of-a-kind places, just on a much bigger scale than a single home.

In Tucson, Street Scene, working with master developer Rio Development Group will create the Mercado District of Menlo Park, a sustainable community built around innovative building concepts in an urban environment. Believing in the value of authentic architecture and the opportunity that comes from blending these elements creatively, Street Scene's concept is fashioned in a "traditional Mexican/European urban streetscape and inspired by the small town of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico."

The neighborhood, built on classic urban design principles, is to be built around three plazas. Much of the housing will be two-story row houses with wrought iron balconies that overlook the plazas. Lots are deliberately small (widths from 16 feet to 36 feet) and garages will be accessed from back alleys. In some cases, houses will be designed to accommodate first floor retail and/or office space and will be zoned to permit the mixed use of residential, retail and office.

Think the level of detail that went into planning such a one-of-a-kind community necessitated a business plan as complex? In today's modern age of contracts to cover every contingency and clauses to cloud the question of liability, the principals of StellarGray and Rammed Earth united around an idea — creating sustainable homes in the urban core that delivered on a sense of place — and kept the legalities to a minimum. "We agreed on the idea and never wavered," says Gray. "We've known each other for years, watched the work of each other's company and trusted the strength of our vision and our ability to work together to fulfill it."

The men see Street Scene Development as a vehicle to replicate this opportunity — for their businesses and for their buyers — in the future. Find the vision, alone or with a partner, to build a different future, for your company and for your customers.

630-288-8190 [email protected]

 

Correction

In the May story, "Royal Treatment," Christopher Phelps and Associates was incorrectly identified. Christopher Phelps and Associates was the residential designer, not the architect. We regret the error.

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