Look Book to Inspire Development Execution
by Shannon Powell, Assistant City Manager and Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority
I often tell people that zoning codes can protect a community from the worst development, but they don’t inspire good projects. Yet, the developments that are built today are likely to be around for another 100 years or more and will continue to shape our community’s future. You don’t have to look past the Tudor Village to see a long-lasting development that has impacted the community. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is taking important steps to inspire and bring future development that enhances the sense of place in downtown Avondale Estates.
One way in which cities influence development is by owning the property and selecting development teams who buy the property, build the desired architecture, and deliver the types of uses in keeping with the city’s vision. The DDA is doing just that with the property it owns fronting the Town Green where the DDA board is partnering with Fabric Development to build a high-quality retail, restaurant, entertainment and office project.
It is hard enough to influence quality design when you own the property but even more difficult when you don’t. That’s the situation in the rest of downtown. As is often said, a picture is worth 1,000 words. So, to inspire the development consistent with the downtown masterplan and the zoning code, the DDA with the help from Lord Aeck and Sargent has created what we affectionately call the Avondale Estates Look Book. This document illustrates the development process and critical design criteria required in the zoning code through diagrams and photos.
The Look Book is designed in two different formats. One is a high-quality print piece for developers and architects. The other is a digital version that is easy to read online or print from your computer and has links regarding permits and other pertinent pieces of information.