Tempe: Start Up Real Estate Developer Constructing Car Free Neighborhood
Feature Illustration: Rendering of a community within Culdesac Tempe. Courtesy: Culdesac
by Art Benavidez
Tempe, Arizona (Maricopa County) — A start-up real estate development company is constructing a multifamily neighborhood that attempts to eliminate the automobile, and long term plans include bringing the concept to Dallas, Texas and beyond.
The Tempe based company, Culdesac, is currently constructing a 17-acre lot known as Culdesac Tempe in the western portion of the city.
Once completed the $170 million development will feature 761 apartments, 16,000 square feet of retail and 1,000 residents — who will live in the neighborhood under the caveat that they ditch their cars.
Residents will be contractually forbidden to park a car on site or on nearby streets, a main selling point that the developers negotiated with the local city government, who are concerned with the mounting parking needs in one of America’s fastest growing metros.
The company is also banking on the notion that they will be able to attract residents with the attraction of convenience where people would be able to find fresh produce, locally roasted coffee and dining within a five minute walk of their apartment.
A proposed floor plan for a one bedroom unit.
Arizona natives Ryan Johnson and Jeff Berans started the company in 2018. Johnson wrote a piece for Medium in which he detailed the company’s desire to build “car free neighborhoods from scratch.”
“We’re undergoing the first major shift in transportation since the interstate highway system,” he wrote. “Private car ownership is giving ground to transportation that is on-demand, shared and (on average) more environmentally friendly.”
Units at Culdesac Tempe are going to be situated around what the company calls “vibrant courtyards” that will become the outdoor living rooms and center of the community featuring amenities such as: BBQ grills; water features; fire pits; hammocks and desert landscaping.
According to the company’s website, “Removing parking creates ample open space for a large dog park and pool.”
Johnson said that a chief component of the development will be their detail to landscaping.
“Instead of covering the neighborhood in pavement, more than half of the land area will be covered in landscaping, public courtyards and greenery — an unheard of ratio for an urban development,” he wrote.
Johnson finished his article by stating: “Shoutout to cities like Denver, Dallas and Raleigh-Durham: We are looking at you next.”
The Culdesac Tempe project is expected to have an opening date sometime within the next year.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.