There Grows the Neighborhood

By Lori Pace
Realtor and Resident

Central Park has it all from affordable to affluent housing. How does a community allow you to leverage and live your best life now and, in the future, and pay it forward and back again and again? The answer lies in living in a sustainable neighborhood.  And it so happens, that I bought my home in Central Park, and I sell the homes there as well. I feel I have the best of both worlds.

When asked “is Central Park a sustainable neighborhood?” the answer is complicated, yet simple.

You can’t have a sustainable neighborhood without a good mix of architecture, diverse people, activities and places that are easy to get to, which is the core of the community. Sustainability and diversity must coexist because you can’t have one without the other. It also reflects today’s emphasis on walkability, multiple transportation options, open space and the incorporation of eco-friendly and energy-efficient features both inside and outside the home. Most importantly, a sustainable community can’t be considered diverse without a varied mixed of housing price points and options.

Sustainability has different meanings; however, all the definitions have something in the common, which is the balance between social, environmental and economic factors. Ironically, those are the same three components needed to achieve diversity and inclusion, and to create a healthy and sustainable neighborhood.

People thrive when they feel healthy, happy and included. Happy homes create happy people. Your home is intrinsically connected to your neighborhood. So, as a happy, sustainable community, it’s no wonder that what was once an airport, is now a sustainable community that continues to attract people from all walks of life – from millennials, baby boomers, empty nesters and all stages in between. There’s no one type of Central Park resident.

We all want to feel welcome and included even if we have a difference of opinion or background. For example, builders can’t just build homes and facilities and hope that people will come. The cornerstones of the entire neighborhood must be defined and nurtured. Just like seeds planted in soil and nurtured to grow, neighborhoods must be nurtured and given opportunities to be enriched and grow under many different circumstances with hopes spreading its roots and growing stronger.

Each builder in Central Park represents different values that their buyers can identify within living out their lives. Take for example the affordability of the home. The materials of the home are just as important as the structure of the home. All homes are not created equal.

Some homes use recycled materials, whereas other homes have engineered materials to be more efficient. When your home performs more efficiently, you save more and can reinvest in the things in life that make you happy and healthy.

Take, for example, Conservatory Green, Central Park’s eighth great neighborhood. Homeowners were drawn to the area because of the diversity of housing options there, but (also) by the strategic installation of edible landscapes, urban garden options for single-family homes, and an emphasis on eco-friendly construction methods, materials, energy-efficient home amenities, and a celebration of trails/green spaces.

As a Conservatory Green resident, my neighbors and I also enjoy living on a courtyard where we not only get green space, we have the opportunity to actively build relationships with the neighbors right next to and across from us. We share responsibilities that encourage us to also  share each other’s lives (e.g., collectively paying for maintaining our environment and sharing amenities like our beautiful pool and visual aesthetics like Lilac Lane). This ultimately gives us more time to spend doing the things we love with our families and each other.

Additionally, there are bike trails throughout the community, concerts, farmer’s markets, pools and light rail availability throughout. Not only does this provide an abundance of activities and transportation options, but the environment benefits from having options that allow commuters to get around without having to drive everywhere.

What drives me as a realtor is being able to understand a person’s long-term goals and dreams and create solutions and using real estate to eliminate barriers to those goals. And it’s easy to customized and reconcile those goals almost anywhere in Central Park.

It would only make sense that I would choose to live in Central Park where I can live, play, and work. So, as you can see, there is no simple way to describe sustainability in Central Park because it consists of different people in different houses, from different backgrounds, different values, different places, different experiences, and different generations. And it is within those differences that we realize we’re not so different after all in the ways that truly matter – the very essence of a sustainable, and growing community.

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