Parks as a Business Model - Briar Chapel

Everything is a business model.  This is a recurring mantra at one of the financial blogs I read.  Looking at the local real estate market it’s apparent that while many developments have gone belly up others are meeting the needs of the market and doing quite well.  While significant concentrations of capital certainly help weather the storm of the tentative housing market, other factors help to separate the successful developments from the foreclosed ones.  
For example, homes are selling fairly briskly in Briar Chapel; clearly it’s a desirable place to live for many.  Much of the appeal is due to the investment in parks and recreational amenities, planned from the outset.  By full build out they’ll have 21 neighborhood parks, around 900 acres of open space and greenways with 24 miles of planned interpretive trails, boardwalks and paved paths.  The resident’s club has a number of pools, a fitness facility, planned tennis courts, etc.  A natural amphitheater is planned.  A new dog park and community gardens were just created to meet the desires of residents.
Cycling at Briar Chapel - photo credit link
I called Briar Chapel’s offices last week to find out if the new Pooch Park is public.  While on the phone I asked how much of a factor the recreational amenities were a draw for potential residents, and the response was that it was not only very important, but the fact that many of the recreational facilities were built long before the first houses were constructed really set the development apart from others.  This is a business model which is working--investing in parks in anticipation of growth, not skimping on the details, in order to attract residents who can freely choose to live in other equally desirable locales.  
Conscientious place-making doesn’t just make better places, it’s very good for the bottom line as well.  
Briar Chapel's Pool - photo credit link
Unfortunately, Briar Chapel’s awesome looking Pooch Park is not open to the public (and what a great name), but their extensive trail network is, and their mountain bike trails attract visitors from throughout the Triangle.  Additionally a 66 acre County park is being developed on Andrew’s Store Road, with football, soccer and baseball fields available for public use.   
Kids biking at Briar Chapel - photo credit link
If you’re looking for a new home or just want to get a better look at Briar Chapel, you may consider attending their Earthday Event on April 16th from 9 AM to 4 PM.  It will feature a 5K run, culinary tour and other festivities. 


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