Updates to my 3-Story Urban Village concept   Leave a comment

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Hit by inspiration, I sat down earlier this week and sketched a floor plan for what I would like to see in a 3-story apartment complex. Before I show you the inside, it goes without saying it’s not to scale. This picture is the outside. Parking would be on the right (See the next picture) but deliveries or taxis can pull up to the front door. There would be some tables out front  as well. I’ve never been good at aesthetics so my apologies for the lack of detail.

After getting some feedback from various folks including a contractor and an architect, I have updated this post in a few areas. I have also done an adjustment to how much it would cost to build as well.

 

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We’ll start with the ground floor. Parking will be on the right. As for how it would look, it could either be a parking garage or a parking lot. As shown, it would be at least 25 spots. There would be bike racks either in front of the building or in the parking area or both. The mail room would contain mailboxes for all apartments, businesses and services and it would be staffed by two clerks. Large package deliveries that can’t fit in a mailbox would be held by the administrative office until the owner can come for it.

The building would have its own security staff of 4 to 6 personnel. This is in part for the businesses and services in the building but also to help maintain the two layers security. In addition to the closed circuit cameras on all floors, smartcards will be used. All residents and staff woulf use them to access shared areas such as the Fitness Center and Library after hours as well as the rooftop facilities.

Yes, there will be both a laundromat and dry cleaners on the ground floor. They will be free to all residents and staff, eliminating the need for a washer/dryer in apartments on the upper floors. For a small fee, residents can have a pick-up/drop-off service to or from their apartment.

The whole building is wired for free Wi-Fi and it comes in 3 Flavors: Staff, Residents and Visitors/Guests. The library will contain several computers with high-speed internet access.

 

 

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If you thought the laundromat was something else, here’s where things get ground-breaking: A Clinic, Grocery Store, Pharmacy and Library all on the same floor as apartments. Again, this is not to scale. It goes without saying the building would need to be large enough to fit all these things. The area of the Grocery + Pharmacy would be about the size of your average Dollar General. Like the laundromat, a delivery service to apartments can be arranged for a fee.

Get a load of that Urgent Care Center. It will be staffed by 6 people–two doctors, two nurses and 2 CMAs (Cerified Medical Assistant). At least one doctor and nurse will be on call at any given time. The Operating Room will be for emergency or post-op treatment as well as general care. As for why I feel a 3-story apartment complex should have an urgent care center, that was just my idea. Otherwise, I’d put the tennis court on the roof in that spot.

Getting to the actual apartments: Again, they’re not to scale.

I imagine at least 10 apartments on this floor including two for the medical and security staff to make use of. Each apartment contains at least one bedroom and a kitchen + bathroom. There would be temperature control in each apartment as well as a land line included. The apartments would be partially furnished with a refrigerator, a desk + chair and a kitchen table + chair set.

 

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Yes, there’s more.

From here we focus more on amenities for the residents. The fitness center would contain exercise equipment, weights and so on. The Community Room is a function room for events and has a full kitchen included. The fitness center could be replaced with another store or an auditorium though.

 

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Saved the best for last.

By now you’ve noticed there are restrooms, stairs and elevators for all floors. That is intentional. Due to the area of space, there will be both an indoor and outdoor basketball court as well as tennis courts and a playground. There would also be a green house and raised gardening beds for residents who want to grow things.

…Whew.

What can I say other than I have vision?

Anything like this would be expensive to build let alone maintain. In fact, far more expensive than I originally estimated. I now estimate $70 Million will be needed to build this and another $10 Million will needed to outfit everything outlined. That is to say nothing of an allotment for salary for the staff mentioned up to now. It would be state of the art to say the least but I think it would be worth the cost to build. I also estimate construction will take 3 to 4 years from the first ground break to the ribbon cutting.

When I secure the funding, I will have this built in Boston. If proven viable or successful I will take this concept across the U.S. first, then to The Philippines and Guatemala. As for why I would like the first prototype to be built in Boston, I have at least 3 places in mind–Two in Dorchester and one in Hyde Park–for the prototype to be built. Once it’s done I would look at Detroit, West Virginia, Baltimore and Memphis within the US to start. I would then look at Guatemala and The Philippines for the first international locations.

I call it an Urban Village: Housing, commerce and industry all rolled in one.

In addition to everything pictured, there would be solar panels and a water filtration system to help keep costs down. I have a 2-story and single-story concept as well as 5 and 8-story concepts. The number of floors decides what amenities will be inside. When I draw them, I’ll share the 2-story and 5-story concepts. They will be variations of the 3-story model I just shared in this blog post.

It’s not secret Boston is the third most expensive city to live in behind New York (#2) and San Francisco (#1). The Urban Village will solve two problems at once. First, will provide affordable housing so rent will not and should not be high (no higher than $1200 max). Key facilities on-site means all residents have close access to important needs. Here’s hoping I can make these ideas become reality!

 

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