In American suburbs spawned in the post-war era, sidewalks largely existed for show. Everyone drove everywhere; few would have been caught dead walking. In such a municipality, it was implausible you’d make a new acquaintance on the street, unless you exchanged names, numbers and insurers after being involved in a fender bender.
Like artificial turf, Nehru jackets and eight-track players, that sensibility has been consigned to the dimming memories of aging Baby Boomers and their elders. For years if not decades now, walkability has been among prized amenities touted by developers of upscale communities. Placing schools, shopping, entertainment, work and recreation within walking distance not only enhances residents’ health, fitness and overall quality of life, but can actually boost the value of a property.
A recent Redfin study linked the Walk Score of a property to a direct increase in the price that house was able to fetch. Increasing a Walk Score from 19 to 20 brought average increases of about $180. But an increase in Walk Score from 79 to 80 was associated with a surge of more than $7,000 in property value.
The pandemic only served to hike the popularity of walkable communities, given their tendency to place residents in fresh air, and out of droplet-filled public buses and trains. What follows are sketches of a few newer developments whose creators clearly placed walkability among qualities they fervently wished future residents to savor.
Alina Residences Boca Raton
This wellness-focused development, nestled in downtown Boca Raton, has landscaped promenades that connect right into the energetic hub of that historic city. Royal Palm Place, Mizner Park, al fresco restaurants, high-end galleries and couture boutiques are all strolling distance, while the green scape of the Boca Raton Resort and Club golf course adds another opportunity for residents to accumulate their daily steps.
Pendry Residences West Hollywood by Montage Resorts & Hotels
Mention single-family home living in a secluded setting, and many will conjure up images of a car-centric district.
Not so this community, tucked away at Sunset Blvd. and Olive Street in a location proximate to West Hollywood’s spirited vibe. Bordered by Beverly Hills to the west, the Hollywood Hills north, Hollywood east and Beverly Grove and the Fairfax District south, this enclave is woven into the storied Sunset Strip, priding itself on being steps from buzzworthy bistros, hip pop-up retailers and vibrant nightlife.
Springline, Menlo Park, California
Fully opening next year, this 6.4-acre connected community has been expressly designed to be a walkable city within a city. Situated next to downtown Menlo Park and a short walk from the Caltrain Station, Springline features hospitality-driven homes, creative offices, destination restaurants and outdoor experiences in the heart of the Peninsula.
Bloom on Forty Fifth, New York City
Buyers at this 92-residence condominium in the historic Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood will find everything they need outside their door. Moments away is the luxury shopping of Hudson Yards, the civic meeting place that is The High Line and the bike and running paths of Hudson River Park. Bloom on 45 is also proximate to Bryant Park and office buildings filled with internationally known employers.
Four Seasons Private Residences Nashville
Set right next door to Music City’s legendary, 6.5-acre riverside Cumberland Park, Four Seasons Private Residences Nashville puts residents within an easy walk of country music shrine Ryman Auditorium and the place where Nashville’s hockey team “paints the town Pred,” Bridgestone Arena.
Also near: the watering holes and 365-day-a-year music hotspots that line Broadway, otherwise known as the Honky Tonk Highway.
Anagram Nomad, New York City
This luxury rental development is located in the heart of NoMad, a cultural, commercial and entertainment mecca in the midst of Manhattan. Residents won’t be forced to erode much shoe leather stepping out to prized dining spots that include Scarpetta, ABC Kitchen and Gramercy Tavern.