Once a favorable parcel of land has been identified, planning for development begins. The planning effort follows a careful process that Crown has evolved over 25 years of successful involvement in residential, commercial, and industrial projects. The first step is to tailor a specific design concept for the property, based on its unique location, its character and natural features, and its potential. During this pre-planning stage, numerous consultants are brought in to assess existing conditions and make specific recommendations. These consultants cover a wide range of disciplines, including arborists, wetland consultants, conservationists, soil specialists, and civil engineers and planners adept in evaluating and designing appropriate infrastructures and preserving the natural features of the site. This extensive research provides Crown with the necessary information to assess the suitability of the site and the viability of the project. If the decision is made to go forward, it also offers a solid basis for the orderly development of the community.
Once land is secured, the market need is identified, and local governmental approvals are obtained, the community development process begins in earnest. Engineering plans are generated to define community infrastructure – roadways, utility lines, and drainage patterns – as well as to lay out the specific lot sizes and quantities as approved by local authorities. These plans then move to the first stage of implementation, which involves underground utility work, road construction and building-pad development.
Long before the first house is completed, Crown applies many touches that give the new community an established look and feel. For example, substantial brick and stone entry monuments are positioned at the main entry of the community. Extensive landscaping helps frame these entries and adds character and strength to the open space with lush trees, shrubs and flowers. Trees are planted along every parkway, often with double plantings along major boulevards; and “street furniture” such as park benches, antique-style street lamps, and street signs of uniform and coordinated design are added.
Open space is given comparable attention. Parks with active play equipment for children and leisure-time gazebos and pergolas are professionally designed and installed. Other greenspace activities are created, from bike and walking paths to large parks donated to local recreation departments. Natural areas are preserved, and in some cases restored, when farming has intruded on original wetland, prairie and flood plain areas.
Why such attention to detail? From Crown’s point of view, it is the key to establishing a memorable, high-quality community identity that will endure for years, remain timeless in appearance, and become a point of pride to all residents.
Each Crown master-planned community boasts a number of different housing products, styles and price ranges to meet the tastes and needs of the homebuyers in that market.
Typically, this mix includes residences ranging from neatly ordered townhomes for young professionals and empty-nesters, to single-family homes designed especially for first-time buyers and young families, to larger and more luxurious custom estate homes.
To ensure the integrity and visual variety of its neighborhoods, Crown has developed a framework of design guidelines that all participating builders are required to follow. Far more than a simple monotony code, these guidelines detail quality standards covering everything from exterior building materials to landscape components.
All too often, large-scale residential developments are too big, too monotonous, and too lacking in character to really feel like home. Crown is determined to avoid such aesthetic problems in every community the company builds. That is why living in a large-scale Crown residential development offers so many advantages for homeowners who value real character in the community they call home.
Experience has shown that while homebuyers value the recreational amenities and other advantages of living in a large community, they also cherish the intimacy of residing in a smaller neighborhood. With that in mind, every Crown community is designed with a series of tightly knit neighborhoods, typically of 100 homes or less, interconnected with pedestrian-friendly sidewalks for leisurely strolls and hopscotch. Each of these neighborhoods is given its own name and an identifying entry monument off the main boulevard. Homes within each neighborhood are of compatible style, size and price, with monotony codes to ensure architectural variety from block to block.
The neighborhoods also serve as a basic organizing point for the community-wide Homeowner’s Association, which Crown creates to manage and preserve the quality and character of the community for the long term, after all of the homeowners have moved in.