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Now selling in the Park: Lilac townhomes and Sage single-level homes

Grow Community’s third and final neighborhood is planned to begin construction in early 2016, with homes now for pre-sale in the Lilac and the Sage buildings.

grow-the-lilacThe Lilac townhomes offer two- and three-bedroom floor plans over two levels, with covered front porches and private back patios for entertaining. Generous natural light filters throughout each home with views of the central parkway that gives the neighborhood its name.
grow-the-sageHomes in the Sage feature single-level, open plans with ample kitchen, dining and living spaces. Floor-to-ceiling windows face the namesake greenway, with inviting decks for entertaining or gardening on all levels.

All residences enjoy the convenience of underground parking, as well as Grow Community’s fine appointments and acclaimed energy-efficient construction.

Remember that you can see these features for yourself at our new model home in the Grove neighborhood. Make an appointment today by contacting our sales team: live@growbainbridge.com or 206.452.6755.

Click here for more information, purchase opportunities, and to reserve your new home in the Park neighborhood.

Très bien! French programme Écho-Logis visits Grow Community for television feature

A film crew from the French production house TV Only visited Grow Community last week, shooting a half-hour feature for the magazine show Écho-Logis.

camera2The program features the best examples of sustainable architecture and construction around the globe – so naturally they found their way to Bainbridge Island and Grow.

“We were looking for the greenest places in the U.S.,” says Anthony Da Silva, TV Only journaliste, who admits that while he and the producers had scouted out Grow Community online and were confident it would make a good subject, they were still startled by what they found.

“When we arrived, we were really surprised that it was much more beautiful than the pictures we saw on the web,” Da Silva says, praising Grow for building not just eco-friendly homes but also a whole simpler, low-impact lifestyle.

“It’s not only putting solar panels up and respecting the landscape where you put your house,” he says. “It’s also a feeling. For me, it’s a system, a way to work and to build and to live.”

The four-man production team spent four days on the island after filming an eco-friendly home in Los Angeles the previous week.

interview1Da Silva interviewed Jonathan Davis, architect of Grow Community’s phase one, the Village, along with project manager Greg Lotakis and various residents.

Interviews were conducted inside homes and around the Grow Community grounds and shared P-patch gardens.

A drone-mounted camera buzzed around the neighborhood throughout, zooming down pathways before soaring skyward for dramatic aerial shots of Grow’s solar energy-producing rooftops.

“It was an honor to have the Écho-Logis film crew here,” Lotakis says. “To be able to share a bit of the vision, and have the community’s voice as part of the show, was wonderful. It was a great reminder of how much has been done here that can inspire other communities.”

Écho-Logis presents “beautiful and innovative green projects all around the world by featuring the people who have conceived it, those who live in and interact with it,” producers say, while showing the environmental advantages that come with “an ethical way of building.”

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After returning to France, the team will decamp for Romania and their next feature: a woodland lodge replete with solar power and a system for recycling water.

Now in its fourth season, the Écho-Logis program can be seen on France’s TV5Monde network, available in more than 200 countries.

The Grow Community feature is expected to run late this year as part of the current 40-episode run.

Previous Écho-Logis episodes can be viewed online here.

See Grow on HouseSmarts TV

Grow Community will be featured on HouseSmarts, the “reality show for real homeowners,” Aug. 1 on KONG-TV in the Seattle area.

The HouseSmarts crew and contractor/host Lou Manfredini (NBC’s Today Show, WGN Radio) visited Grow for a day this past spring and really liked what they saw.

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The popular 30-minute weekly home improvement program “answers the questions homeowners really want to know,” the producers say. “Nobody adds on a room in one weekend, or lets their neighbors decorate their living room. HouseSmarts follows the progress of real people and lessons learned.”

HouseSmarts’ Grow Community segment airs at 10 a.m. Aug. 1.

For information see www.housesmartstv.com, and you can find the KONG-TV programming guide here.

 

Urban Land likes Grow’s common spaces

Grow Community got some more great kudos this week in Urban Land, the online magazine of the prestigious Urban Land Institute.

Grow is honored in the feature article “Growing Sociability: Integrating Communal Spaces with Development,” which looks at “agrihoods” (development-supported agriculture), edible landscaping, and other trends in sustainable community design.

“A new day is dawning in residential development that can serve as a foundation for how people will be living for generations to come,” ULI writes, a comment amplified by a leading architect and town planner.

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Community, the planner says, is the next generation’s golf course – an attractive amenity to build a whole neighborhood around — and developments that include a working farm or agricultural activities are creating new healthy, cohesive communities.

Sounds like Grow! Our project manager Greg Lotakis tells ULI how Grow Community’s shared gardens are the axis around which our first phase, the Village, is organized. And what a draw those gardens are for buyers.

“We have microhoods—six or eight homes that face each other and the community gardens between them,” Greg says. “The neighbors work together and decide what they want to plant – and the gardens have really brought neighbors together. When people come to see the community, they see how lush the garden spaces are and the community interaction they create.”

It’s a great article on this exciting trend in urban planning, all the better for highlighting the success of our own Grow Community. Read the whole story here.

 

What’s it like to live at Grow Community?

Our bountiful neighborhood gardens get all the press, but there’s still plenty going on during these chilly indoor months.

YULE FEST: Over the holidays one Grow resident hosted a Weihnacht Evening, a German-themed Christmas get-together with tasty hot mulled wine (and NA cider, for those who don’t imbibe), homemade cookies and spicy bread.

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FETE ’15: Across the way, residents of the new Cooper building threw a neighborhood-wide New Year’s Eve party, a get-acquainted social to introduce Grow’s most recent residents.

BARGAINS & BINS: Our eco-conscious ethos served us well through the holidays, as residents made sure unneeded items found their way to the nearby Bargain Boutique thrift store, and leftover packaging wound up in the appropriate recycling bin.

STAYING SAFE: Grow’s Emergency Preparedness Training got underway with the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, with the goal of “Building and Strengthening Disaster Readiness Among Neighbors.” Emphasis was on “mapping” the neighborhood to know our neighborhood resources and identify residents who might be vulnerable in an emergency. Grow is all about being a self-sustaining community.

PEDALS READY: The new bike barn was finished – and promptly filled up with two-wheeled wonders. One resident donated a small children’s bike community use, for any young visitors who want to get to know Grow by pedaling around the green.

GETTING ON BOARD: For strategically minded gamers, a new neighborhood Chess Group is forming.

Oh — and the 2015 Garden Committee is now looking for new members to plan for the upcoming planting season. You didn’t think we could get through a whole post without mentioning the gardens, did you?

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Grow Community’s first phase, the Village, is at full occupancy, so we’re making more room just for … you. Find out what our next two neighborhoods, the Grove and the Park, have to offer by visiting our sales office at 180 Olympic Drive in Winslow, just up the way from the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal.

Learn more about the Grove on our website here and pay us a visit! We’d like you as a neighbor too.

IT’S SO EASY BEING GREEN

Your closest neighbor at Grow Community? The environment. Healthy, sustainable living has never been more convenient.

Grow puts you close to your community – and closer still to the great outdoors. Residents of the Grove enjoy the quiet company of woodland trees and an orchard right outside their doors; homes in the Park flank the sprawling central green that gives the neighborhood its name.

Altogether, sixty percent of these neighborhoods are dedicated to peaceful and natural open spaces. Parking is underground, reducing impervious surfaces and putting cars out of sight (where they belong).

Not that you’ll really need a car. We’ve got bikes you can borrow, too.

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Summer’s glow warms us still

Even as we slip into a lovely high autumn, we can still take a fond look back to Grow Community’s summer garden party.

Residents of the Village celebrated the rich greenery and edible bounty found throughout the neighborhood with a festive and tasty afternoon get-together.

Flowers in glorious bloom. Vegetables ripe and ready. And neighbors who give the Northwest’s greenest community its amity and spirit. Now that was a day worth celebrating.

We’re already looking ahead to next summer!

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Community spirit bring a bumper harvest at Grow Community

Posted to BioRegional Blog
September 26, 2014

Grow resident Ron Kaplan shares how self-sufficiency and community spirit have come together for a bumper harvest at Grow Community, as edibles sprout up in time for Local & Sustainable Food month.
Grow-gardens

Edibles in the new Bainbridge Island neighborhood are sprouting up in time for Local and Sustainable Food month, even amongst the native landscaping. On one footpath, tomatoes grow side by side with fronded ferns. “Only in the Northwest, huh?” says Ron Kaplan, a resident of the uber-green development now taking shape a short ferry ride across Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. Grow Community’s first neighborhood – dubbed the Village, one of three phases in a planned 8-acre project – was designed to reflect and promote sustainability at every turn. Rooftop solar provides much of the power for each home, while the residents share bicycles to reach merchants and services in nearby Winslow town center.

The One Planet Living principles so foundational to the project encourage the sharing of locally grown, organic food. So the signature stroke for both self-sufficiency and a communitarian spirit may be the neighborhood P-patch gardens that nestle amongst the close-knit, architecturally arresting homes. Autumn finds the first three designated gardens a veritable cornucopia overflowing with onions, pumpkins, spinach, peas, eggplant, kale, chard, exotic herbs and other delectables. Grapes and other vine fruits hang from trellises in the wings.

The neighborhood organized a community potluck in late August to celebrate the bounty — and the shared endeavor it represents. “There was a lot of good food, all based on vegetables from the gardens,” Kaplan says. “And it was another excuse for people to get together.” The gardeners are still finding a certain equilibrium between their own tastes and the collective palate. The recent harvest produced a surfeit of beans and squash, says Kaplan, confessing his own complicity in a bumper crop of fiery hot peppers. But any excess just gets carted up the street to Helpline House, the local food bank.

“It wasn’t the Soviet Union model of centralized planning,” Kaplan says. “One of the lessons is, next year there might be more coordination about what’s planted.” More raised beds are now going in next to a just-completed apartment building at the project’s north end, and new residents there will assume their own stewardship of the soil or fall into other neighborhood roles. At Grow Community, Kaplan says, everyone chips in according to their interests and abilities, but the harvest is open to all. “People contribute to the community in different ways,” he says. “I’m putting my time into the gardens, others are putting their time into something else. But they should all be able to harvest – so they do.”

Building for Generations

grow-grandpaThe neighborhoods at Grow have intergenerational living at their heart – because a true community should be “as welcoming to a 73-year-old as it is to a 3-year-old.”

In our new neighborhoods, the Grove and the Park, sixty percent of the homes offer single-level living with elevator access to front entries, and the community spaces invite interaction and sharing between generations year-round.

And accessibility extends beyond the neighborhood. You’re just 5 minutes from downtown amenities like shops, restaurants and theaters – even ice cream.

If you haven’t visited yet, come find out more about intergenerational living at Grow Community at our sales office, 180 Olympic Drive SE, right next to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. The office is open noon to 5pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Or see www.growbainbridge.com

 

Grow Community Tree Honoring Ceremony

We came together on one of the cooler nights we had seen in a while, a Wednesday. It was calm and comfortable. The type of quiet summer evening you spend walking/reflecting.

So we did. Five of us met at the Welcome Garden in the Village at Grow Community Bainbridge, and set out toward the next phase of Grow, the Grove and the Park. The purpose: to honor the trees that would give way to what was to come.

A light canvas drum was tapped to our slow pace as we skirted the boundary between new and old. We considered the future as each of us glanced from our beautifully prepared program to the soft sway of the tree branches.

Growcommunity - tree ceremonyThe ceremony moved through Japanese prayers for honor, to short poems, to telling short stories of memories filled with trees. We were called to acknowledge that as trees are biologically connected and change with their seasons, they are an example of community and how we can live more healthy lives by being better connected to each other.

Each tree serves a purpose. At Grow, we hold a delicate balance between sculpting a site so anyone can be comfortable moving within it, to creating appropriate density, to allowing for solar production.

As we begin to remove trees for our future development we want to take a moment to give thanks for all they have been, what they will be, and how they have provided for all of us.

To help reduce our impact we are working with a local woodshop to salvage trees for purposeful reuse. We will be working with our site contractor to see that portions of trees and their base (root wad) can be used on future projects for salmon habitat and stream bank restoration. We will use what is left to provide firewood for our workers and mulch to protect our site from erosion and sediment discharge.

While it is always hard to see the taking of trees, we challenge others, as we have, to consider ways in which the impact of development can be reduced by pursuing creative reuse.

As we neared the completion of our ceremony we asked each other to share the story of an experience with a tree. It made me consider what memories will be created with all the new trees to come at Grow.

If you would, share your story/memory of a tree and help us honor those that make way for the new at Grow. My memory is of a scraggly birch in Alaska that was just wide enough to keep me from being charged by a moose. We honor all you provide.

By Greg Lotakis, Grow Team