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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

 

How Does Our Garden Grow?

Very nicely, thanks! And it’s only going to get better. The shared gardens at Grow Community promise a bounty for the table and a close-knit neighborhood to share its goodness.

Community gardens and “edible landscaping” — everything from blueberries to tree fruits, with tasty vegetables on the vine — are a key feature at Grow, and a big part of our “One Planet Living” ethos. We want to honor the land by fostering and enjoying its wholesome yield.

grow-gardens

Now as we approach the first harvest season of our completed Village neighborhood, our gardens are really coming into their own. Residents in our new homeowners association (whose ranks include a few master gardeners, wouldn’t you know) have the happy task of divvying up the delicious fare. You gotta love it when a new sign goes up in your neighborhood, and it says, “Pick Me.”

We’re also talking to Friends of the Farms, the local non-profit that manages and promotes Bainbridge Island’s public agricultural land. We’re discussing how that group may be able to manage our orchards and gardens for an even greater yield, creating an urban farm that produces sustainable, locally grown food in volume and forges stronger community connections.

And this is just in the Village in Phase 1. With Grow Community’s next neighborhood, the Grove, which has just broken ground, and the Park neighborhood to follow, our green development will get even greener (if that’s possible). Sixty percent of the new neighborhoods will be devoted to open space including more bountiful trees and gardens.

We call our community “Grow” for a reason.

 

Grow Community modifies development plans – BAINBRIDGE ISLAND REVIEW

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer

August 3, 2013 · Updated 10:41 AM

Joie Olson and Carrie Zech with Asani Development greet islanders during a public meeting to discuss changes to Phase II of the Grow Community on Monday, July 29. - Richard D. Oxley / Bainbridge Island Review

Over the past year, the island has watched the green living-oriented Grow Community sprout up on its small corner in Winslow.

With Phase II of the development on the horizon, Grow officials are looking to take the neighborhood in a whole new direction than previously expected.

“Going forward we know we can’t build the same kinds of homes that we built in Phase I,” Marja Preston with Asani Development told a crowd gathered at the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center Monday evening.

“Our goal for this project is to create a model for intergenerational living,” she said.

Island architect Jim Cutler explained the significant changes to the project; mainly, that while Grow will continue to be Earth- and community friendly, it will come in a much tighter package.

“All the things that were endemic in the first phase will be in the second phase, but with more density,” Cutler said.

The crowd listened intently to Cutler as he explained how he designed 87 dwellings to fit on five acres.

“I’m going to show you a really dense project,” Cutler told the crowd as he stood in front of a site plan for Phase II.

Project officials presented their latest vision of the neighborhood this week at a meeting required under the city’s permitting process
because the project has changed since it was originally proposed. The changes drew a crowd of more than 70 islanders to the lobby of the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center.

It was as much of an informative gathering as it was a sales pitch to the community.

“This project takes this to a whole new level,” said City planner Heather Beckman.

“Typically we have these meetings at city hall and there are no refreshments, and there isn’t this much of a turnout,” she said.

Islanders were welcomed to the event with hors d’oeuvre and lemonade before hearing Cutler’s presentation.

Cutler, of Bainbridge-based Cutler Anderson Architects, walked through a series of slides showcasing the new vision for the development that attaches many of the dwellings, once scattered across the property.

“The old plan, it was like someone took dice and threw them on the ground,” Cutler said. “We’ve gone to attached dwellings that maximize green area. We’ve ended up with, out of five acres, (roughly) three acres that are green space.”

Cutler said he designed the community to be multigenerational, and geared toward community interaction, without sacrificing privacy.

Phase II of the Grow Community will include two apartment buildings off Wyatt Way, two rows of attached townhouses, and single-family buildings.

Between the structures will be two courtyards and a 2,500-square-foot community center.

The community center will house a multipurpose room, meeting room, kitchen and a fireplace on both the inside and outside.

Bordering the property to the south near Shepard Drive will be a 5,000-square-foot commercial building.

Cutler could not comment on what the commercial structure will ultimately be used for, but officials hope that a small school or child-oriented organization will set up shop there.

Phase II will continue to incorporate the aspects seen in Phase I, such as solar panels on the roofs, the ability to capture rainwater, and shared electric cars and bicycles.

Residents’ cars, however, will play a larger role in Phase II than in Phase I.

Parking has been planned for the development that will border the site, though 43 homes will have private garages. Single-family residences will have two-car garages.

Cutler explained his vision for cars in the Grow Community.

“You might notice we are not showing a lot of parking,” he said. “If we build slightly deeper foundations we can build parking underneath (the buildings), so cars are

not going to be very visible. We are basically putting all cars underneath.”

“I don’t think we are promoting car use; we are making sure that cars are not part of your daily life visually,” he added, noting that people need to use a car from time to time, so he designed parking into Grow, with the attitude that the community will be primarily pedestrian
oriented.

“We convince, to some degree, our clients that having a car in your daily experience is not necessarily positive,” Cutler said.

Gardens will also be a primary focus of the new development.

“Probably what’s endemic in almost every culture in the world is gardening. And I don’t mean flower beds or vegetable gardens. I mean a space where you can extend your dwelling, and your living, outside in privacy,” Cutler said. “So you can connect with living systems outside in a private way.”

Apartments will include wall gardens, and many homes will include patio spaces.

A total of 40 residences in Phase II will be wheelchair accessible, and it will be possible to incorporate an elevator in some of the spaces.

Officials expect the Grow residences to be a mixture of rentals, condominiums and privately owned lots.

It is likely that it won’t take long to fill the homes.

“I have had reservations for a product people haven’t even seen for over a year,” said Joie Olson with Asani.

“We hope by the end of 2015 to be into the first half of the five acres, and have people moved in,” she said.

Olson noted that the site will be developed incrementally over time so that the company can make changes in the future if needed.

Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at roxley@bainbridgereview.com or (206) 842-6613.

Exploring Intergenerational Living Options at Grow Community

The concept for Grow Community has always been based on an intergenerational community. We imagine a neighborhood where families, young children, singles, retired couples, and elders all live in homes that suit their needs. But not only that, the community, in it’s physical and social design is intended to encourage interactions amongst all these residents. We imagine a neighborhood where relationships are formed, spontaneously and intentionally, where young and old play together in the garden, share experiences and care for each other.

To explore what this type of community might look like, we held a workshop last month. In our workshop we asked folks to ‘backcast’ – imagining that they were living at Grow already and they sent a postcard to a loved one about the community.  Here is what they wrote.

Ani – you will love my new house/life in Grow.  We have soup night every month and I am a driver volunteer taking people to the ferry, store, etc. in the community electric car.  I babysit for a 6 and 8 year after school they live 2 houses down – so much to do in the neighborhood.  I lead a writing group at our converted “Grow House” every week.  I’m gardening and eat what I grow – finally.  Still live a walkable life like I used to, but best is my carbon footprint is about zero.  Yay!  Mama 

Dear Racheal, Can’t wait to have you visit when we move to our new community in Winslow (growbainbridge.org).  You will really appreciate the very ecological building and the intentional community aspects.  Love Kate  PS – Check out the One Planet Principles – you would love it.

Dear Gabby, We’re looking forward to your visit with Ava (still our only beloved granddaughter).  Ava will meet other kids her age, and we can all spend some time working in the garden.  The families in our immediate neighborhood will come together for a potluck during your visit, so we’ll be cooking together.  There’s usually some music and dancing before the evening is over.  Cheers, Dad

Wow – I’m finally settled into my new home at Grow Community.  Never thought I’d move again – and here I feel a lot more community support as I got older.  I like being with a mixture of ages and family types – and not just people my own age or older.  Happily, there are quiet places where kids don’t hang out.  And my space is very quiet, which is lovely.  Come visit – I have a guest room!

Dear Lisa, I can’t wait for you to come visit pops and me at Grow Community.  We’ll celebrate your birthday in our community room, pick tomatoes in the garden, listen for frogs in the pond, walk to town for a cookie, then take the gerry to Seattle and ride the wheel.  We’ll read books together in our cozy apartment and we’ll check out bikes to ride from our shared bike barn.  Lots to do together.  Love Mama B

Culture & CommunityWe are constantly using words like inclusivity, walkability, visitability and (of course) sustainability in our conversations about how we design, build, and create opportunity for community to take hold in a place.  Considering all these words and all our hopes and dreams to incorporate in one place can be quite a challenge… and one we are thankful to be undertaking. This is made easier with ideas from our community.

The next buildings we construct will be designed to take this intergenerational concept to the next level. The beginning of an idea has taken shape as we’ve listened to your feedback. A building based on Universal Design principles, with one-level flats, accessible spaces, comfortable spaces, spaces designed for people of all ages.

Couldn’t make the workshop, but have some ideas to share?  Please share your thoughts by clicking the comments link above.  No idea is a bad idea!  We look forward to hearing from you.