HOUSTON, LAGUNA BEACH, Calif., & SAUSALITO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SWA Group, one of the world’s leading landscape architecture, planning and urban design firms, announced today its work on 7,250 homes in six innovative master-planned housing communities integrating home design with the natural settings, in some cases using “workhorse” natural systems to cleanse polluted run-off, enhance storm protection and expand native plant and animal habitat while creating amenities for residents. These developments -- in two cases already fast-sellers in their regions -- are evidence that home buyers are seeking out sensitively-designed master-planned communities with greenspace trails, meandering creeks, wetland-laced lakes and similar features.
* Mission Viejo, CA. Currently the largest new-home community underway in Orange County, Mission Viejo’s eight phases of planned housing will encompass 6,000 acres of the 23,000 acre site, the remainder of which will remain as open space, native habitat and the working ranch now operating there. According to SWA Principal Sean O’Malley in Laguna Beach, CA, SWA is designing for the Rancho Mission Viejo Company a phase two community of 3,000 homes on 850 acres, blending into the natural surroundings and topology. The project is also setting itself apart in creating a “town center” component to complement the housing so that residents have a place to gather, shop and relax.
* Cross Creek, Fulshear, TX. One of the fastest-sellers in greater Houston averaging 11 sales per week in 2013, Cross Creek Ranch is underway with three additional communities this year. A master planned community of Johnson Development Company, the project’s centerpiece is the restored and enhanced Flewellen Creek, now a popular trail-side amenity for residents and a thriving ecosystem for native plants and animals, according to SWA Principal Tim Peterson, Houston. In total, over 1,100 homes have been completed or are under construction by several home builders.
* River Islands, Lathrop, CA. SWA’s Sausalito office is now designing River Islands’ 500-home first phase of a master plan completed by SWA-Laguna Beach in 2002 for a community that will eventually include a downtown, an employment center and 11,000 homes. Working on behalf of developer Cambay Group LLC, SWA’s phase one community starting construction this fall also includes a 5 acre main park, a series of pocket parks, two lakes, and a levee trail along the San Joaquin River, according to SWA Principal Cinda Gilliland in Sausalito.
* Davis Cannery, Davis, CA. In this growing university town near Sacramento, SWA Group is designing Davis Cannery, a 90-acre, 550-unit walkable mixed-use neighborhood that includes an urban farm and an all-age living strategy with 12 different housing types and densities, according to Sausalito Principal Joe Runco. The project sponsor is Con-Agra and developer is The New Home Company.
* Butternut Creek, South Hillsboro, OR. SWA is designing a 187-acre, 1,300-home community within the 1,400-acre Butternut Creek development outside Portland, expanding housing opportunities for the area’s growing employment base, said O’Malley. Located within the city’s designated growth corridor, the community will include elements of mixed-use retail and support services.
* Los Angeles, CA. Just southeast of Los Angeles, SWA has been engaged by a major home builder in designing an 800-home community centered around parks and a village center.
About SWA Group
SWA Group (www.swagroup.com) established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm. SWA has offices in Sausalito, CA, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, CA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Shanghai and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, SWA Group has worked in over 60 countries, and its projects have garnered more than 700 awards.