|In from Sweden on Thursday to learn about community building, we snapped Skanska, UK Residential president Magnus Andersson and Skanska EVP residential development Tor Krusell visiting New England Development HQ in Newton. Skanska Residential wants to ?significantly? increase its $1B year multifamily development activity in the next five years and spent six months traveling the world looking for projects from which they could ?steal ideas with pride,? Tor told us. While multifamily holds great opportunity, Tor says their ?tragic finding? was that there are few developments successful at ?place making?, or building a community, not simply a complex of buildings. Just one caught their fancy: NED and Tony Green?s The Pinehills in Plymouth.
|Pinehills managing partner Tony Green, here with Kulli Marketing president Sandra Kulli, (both were invited to speak to Skanska in Sweden about The Pinehills) tell us the 3,200-acre site is permitted for 3,052 homes—single family, condos, rental apartments—and 1.3M SF of commercial/retail. So far, with 1,411 residences built and occupied (including 101 rental apartments), the assessed value was $725M as of 1/1/09. Under construction: 91 apartments, 20 condos and 25 singles. With 32 new home reservations in the past five weeks, '10 sales will surpass the previous year. Upon completion, total value will be about $2B. Tor says one element that captivated them at Pinehills was the site layout— narrow roads running through wooded rolling hills—?was done scientifically but looks like art.?
|Anna Akerlund, Skanska's manager of global residential innovation says when they entered The Pinehills with its red barn at the side of a narrow road, ?you feel at home.? On the town green, with its offices, bank, cafe and supermarket, small places have been created for people to meet. That nurtures businesses and furthers a sense of community, Anna says. Skanska Residential, already building in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the Czech Republic, will enter Poland and the UK then see where else to go. They don't yet have plans to enter the US market.