Monday, July 12, 2010

Transit Oriented Development in Compton

Source: New Condos Online

I wanted to take some time to highlight what the City of Compton has done to reinforce its Blue Line stop and provide affordable homeownership opportunities.

There's a new rowhouse development called Willow Walk. The houses are modest in size, with between 1,172 and 1,485 square feet in four different floor plans all selling for under $300,000. They have two-car garages on the ground floor, integrated into the building footprint, so they don't waste space. Willow Walk is a short walk away from the Compton Blue Line stop, a supermarket and other shopping, a future bus terminal and Compton City Hall.

I love rowhouses, or townhomes, as they're sometimes called. They're a really good compromise between detached houses (the typical residential building blocks of suburbia) and apartment buildings (the typical residential building blocks of cities). Rowhouses usually have more density than detached houses (more people per unit of land area) which means they're doing more to support transit and opportunities for other land uses nearby, and hence walkability. They're also saving a ton of land, and saved land within an existing city means less habitat loss on the fringe of Greater LA.

Willow Walk shows that transit oriented development doesn't have to rupture the scale of an existing community. We shouldn't be afraid to build taller than this, but rowhouses are definitely an important arrow in the smart growth quiver.

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