EL DORADO HILLS, CALIF. It’s been said that great ideas come about in the shower, but for Kerrin West it happened at the dinner table.
A partner with Bloodgood Sharp Buster Architects and Planners, a national design firm with an office in El Dorado Hills, Calif., West constantly thinks about the housing market and the things buyers and builders want in a property. She was eating a dinner roll when she thought up her company’s newest concept, Pull-A-Part Townhomes, an alternative to multifamily complexes.
“I was having Thanksgiving dinner with my family,” said West. “You know those rolls that you pull apart? They come in squares. I think it’s Hawaiian. They’re sweet.”
These rolls got her thinking once again about the housing market and the challenges it faced three years ago — challenges like city requirements for design and needing a “walk-able community.”
She started thinking about the high cost of land and the interest in getting a number of homes on one property with developments like townhomes and condominiums.
“Well, I was pulling those rolls apart, and I had all these things stirring in my head,” she explained. “I thought, if we could pull these townhomes apart, what would that look like?”
Back to work, she started sketching and Pull-A-Part Townhomes were soon born. These units are considered single-family detached homes that West said are easy to construct, financially viable and in line with most builders’ business models.
According to West, these units are designed in 10-pack or eight-pack cluster configurations, allowing for 15 to 17 units per acre. These variations can be either single story or two stories.
However, like the rolls she was eating, the townhomes are simply pulled away from each other, allowing for a little more yard. The designs leave room for walkways that link homes to parks, club facilities and other amenities at the center of each site.
“These units are for buyers who would normally buy a condominium or a townhome,” she said. “This is a detached solution for those people. This gives us a good buffer between suburbia and downtown hustle and bustle density.”
Thomas Dodson, manager for BSB Design, said the idea has been introduced in the California cities of Elk Grove, Natomas and greater Stockton. Dodson said they’re presently in constructed in Phoenix, Ariz.
And so far, the company has only heard positive feedback, West said. “I think it’s filling a very important and untapped piece of the market,” she said. “I think it’s a pent up demand for so many people. I think we owe it to the community to provide housing for everyone.”
For info on BSB Design and Pull-A-Part Townhomes, visit www.bsbdesign.com.
Author: Jamie Trump