Holsten Management Corporation
The former “Pacesetter” housing development in Riverdale was in the 1960s “pacesetting” modern architecture applied to affordable housing, and was an initial success. After years of neglect, however, the project was no longer physically attractive, socially safe, or commercially viable, and, as noted in an Urban Land Institute report, the loss of a neighborhood shopping center and the separation from the village were issues that had to be addressed if this situation were to be remedied.
Holsten Management proposed to renovate the two-story townhouses by upgrading the fixtures and furnishings, improving MEP systems, upgrading the building envelopes, and bringing buildings up to code. Other goals were to provide additional parking, achieve LEED certification, and improve the site and landscape design. Also proposed were two new three-story mixed-use buildings, with residential above retail, to provide local retail and be a connection to the nearby arterial street.
The design team was led by Farr Associates with the landscape architect as a subconsultant. Landscape architectural services and responsibilities included landscape inventory and analysis, identification of existing trees to remain or be removed, infill street and private yard tree planting, modest landscaping in front yards, and fencing and planting in private backyards to provide separation between neighbors within an attractive, low maintenance landscape integrated with the on-site stormwater management practices and overland conveyance of water through bio-swales. The two new buildings provide the local retail as well as parking in the front, with resident parking in the back. Between the buildings is a large bio-retention swale that stores the required on-site stormwater. It is not a dry or weedy basin, but an attractively landscaped feature planted with floodplain and similarly adapted species that can withstand alternate flooding and drying and changing soil hydrology. The project was completed in 2007.