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Open House Designing for Density by Richard M. Miller, FAIA Project Mt. Vernon Townhomes, Houston   Client Decardi Development Group Architect Collaborative Designworks   Design Team James M. Evans, AIA; Alexis Franco Photographer Benjamin Hill Photography N estled in Houston’s trendy Montrose district, Mt. Vernon Street is another neighborhood experiencing urban renewal. Over the last 20 years, small single-family homes built in the early 1960s have given way to higher-density, upscale townhomes attractive to educated young professionals in search of easy access to downtown, the arts, and the proposed light rail extension. Fueled by neighborhoods unencumbered by strict zoning restraints and deed restrictions, developers and speculators are buying properties ripe The Mt. Vernon project offered a chance to implement a unique site strategy. for renewal and contributing to an architectural renaissance in the area. The City of Houston’s regulations for subdividing property allow housing developments a maximum of 27 units per acre: On a standard lot of 5,000 sf, developers are able to build three units for every single-family house. Thus multifamily projects can contain four times the square footage of a single-family home. designed by Houston-based Collaborative Designworks, maximizes the city’s denser-development possibilities. Well-versed in designing successful high-density townhomes, the firm seized the opportunity to create a project that further advanced the neighborhood’s development and sense of community. Occupying a lot measuring 55 ft by 120 ft, the Mt. Vernon project offered a chance to implement a unique Mt. Vernon Townhomes, 34 Texas Architect 7/8 2014

(Preview) Texas Architect July/August 2014: Art & Architecture

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