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What makes the community at 168th and State Street different?
The community at 168th and State Street is a new community in time-honored style. In fact, it's Omaha's first new traditional neighborhood, offering all the benefits that flow from New Urbanist traditional neighborhood design principles. Among those principles: A conscious attempt to put a broad array of housing and daily destinations, from parks and plazas to retail and entertainment choices, within easy walking distance. The inspiration comes from the places people love the most -- communities rather than subdivisions -- where people find a home and a community, not just a house. Check out our site plan.

Who is behind this project and why is he doing it?
The town founder is Herb Freeman. His firm, Full Circle Ventures, Inc., specializes in New Urban and Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND). You can read about Herb and his vision for Omaha's first new traditional neighborhood clicking here.

Contact Herb here:
Herb Freeman
Full Circle Ventures, Inc.
16510 State Street
Bennington, NE 68007

What's the name of this new community?
We're still open for suggestions. Herb, who'll make the final decision, is even offering a $500 reward if he picks a name suggested by someone not directly connected with his development team. To check out the names submitted so far, go click here.

What is New Urbanism?
New Urbanism is a design movement that promotes the creation and restoration of compact, mixed-use communities. New Urbanist communities are composed of the same components as conventional development but assembled in a more integrated fashion -- like the neighborhoods of the old urbanism, where residents could get to daily needs like the corner grocery, the barber shop, the dry cleaners, and the drug store without first getting in a car. Some 4,000 New Urbanist projects are built, under construction, or in various planning stages. For more information, go to: http://www.cnu.org.

What is Traditional Neighborhood Development?
Traditional Neighborhood Development (also called Neo-Traditional Development or Urban Village Development) is New Urbanism "on the ground" and revisits many features of urban neighborhoods developed before World War II. The single most distinguishing feature of this approach is a continuous fabric of intimately blended and mixed land uses arranged so that travel between them can be made by a variety of methods - including the car, by bike or on foot.

What are the benefits of Traditional Neighborhood Development?
Think of it as having a neighborhood as comfortable as your own finely appointed home. Traditional Neighborhood Development delivers people-oriented design that assures public spaces, such as parks, plazas, civic buildings, and even streets get as much attention as private spaces. It's an approach that designs in community from the beginning, increasing the value of every homeowner's investment as each new family joins the neighborhood and enriches the mix. You may find a presentation on the benefits and principles of new Traditional Neighborhood Development by clicking here.

What happens next?
The PlaceMakers (http://www.PlaceMakers.com) design team, the creators of our neighborhood plan, (read about the team members) will first revise and finalize and then finish and digitize the drawings that were created during the charrette. The site plan drawing will be turned over to the project engineers, Lamp Rynearson and Associates (http://www.lra-inc.com/), to begin the process of designing the infrastructure improvements, such as streets and sewers. The plan will then be submitted to the city planning department for review and comment. Four public hearings will take place before final approval. If all goes well, this last step in the approval process could be accomplished by June of 2007. Then we will begin building the streets, sewers, and other infrastructure. Depending on the weather, this could take a year or more. We should be able to sell our first homes by mid 2008.

Will the new traditional neighborhood be in a Sanitary and Improvement District (SID)?
Probably. But, since the final plans are not yet completed and the engineering studies and resulting financial pro forma have not been complete, we have not yet begun planning for financial underwriting of the SID bonds.

When can I buy a lot?
Our goal is to have lots available by mid 2008. See "What happens next," above, for a description of the process.

What are the sizes of the lots?
We won't know exact lot dimensions until we complete engineering studies. But there will be lots of choices of lot and housing unit sizes. This is one of the principles of Traditional Neighborhood Development.

What are the lot prices?
Prices won't be established until final plans are complete and approved. Since we're planning for a variety of lot and home sizes, we're confident we can offer a broad range of prices.

What are the home styles?
The architectural styles in this community will follow a broad range in the general categories of true colonial, Georgian, Federal, Adam, Greek Revival and neo-classical, Charleston single-house, Colonial Revival, Cape Cod, and southern national styles. This will help create a feeling of place that conventional subdivisions, with their architectural-chaos, lack. To read about our approach to architectural style, click here. The entire charrette final presentation has even more home plan elevations and floor plans. Learn more.

Does the interior floor plan of my house have to be "traditional?"
Absolutely not. Each home will be individually designed. While some residents may choose a traditional interior, it is expected that the approved builders in our builders' guild will mix the best of traditional exterior design with today's open, contemporary floor plans.

What are the home sizes?
Specific home sizes are not yet determined. Because the lots are of various sizes, the homes built upon them will be of a wide range of sizes. So a very wide range of people, regardless of where they are in their life cycle, should be able to find a suitably sized and priced home.

What types of dwellings will be available?
We're stressing a wide variety of dwelling types, reflecting another key element in Traditional Neighborhood Development. These types will include single family houses, from small bungalows to large estate homes. There will likely be row houses, town houses, apartment flats, apartments over retail spaces, live/work units for lease and sale, and ancillary dwelling units over garages. Additionally we have received interest from developers of housing for active seniors. We think there will be housing type to suit just about everyone.

What level of architectural detailing will be expected?
The principles of creating a great Traditional Neighborhood go from greater scale to finer scale. They involve the entire project site, the greenways, the streets, the blocks, and the lots. And they also encompass design of the houses and of houses' architectural details. It is often said, "God is in the details." When the architecture of individual houses and the detailing that makes a house wonderful do not fight, design elements combine synergistically to create a "Best Loved Place." To assure that the architectural details are correct, we are creating a graphic architectural code. This code will explain and illustrate appropriate architectural details and the methods for achieving them.

Will you have house plans for me to build?
Yes. As the community is gaining approval and building out infrastructure, we will be working with some of the country's most renowned traditional residential architects to create a number of home plans. Each of these plans will be available in several exterior elevations. It is our intent to make it easy for each homeowner and home builder to find a plan they love and a plan that will be compatible with our new traditional neighborhood.

Can I have my own architect draw my home plans?
Yes. Your own architect will be able to take the community's graphic architectural code and from that design your home. Of course all custom plans will be reviewed by the town architect, who will be charged with making sure that the built environment is consistent with the graphic architectural code. Once your architect's plans are approved, you will be free to begin construction.

Will home plans provide accessibility for disabled residents?
Yes. Although no specific completed home plans yet exist, there will be plans for homes that meet accessibility standards.

What builders will be building in the community?
While specific builders are not yet identified, those who express a desire to create homes consistent with our architectural code and who are committed to energy efficient, quality construction will form a "builders' guild." Guild members will receive guidance on the benefits and principles of traditional neighborhood development and will get the help they need to become proficient in addressing our architectural code.

What is the school district?
The community is located in the Bennington school district, http://www.benningtonschools.org. Comparative information on the Bennington Schools may be found here.

Is mass transit service nearby?
Not yet. The nearest bus service offered by Metropolitan Transit Authority is at 120th and Maple Streets, 108th and Fort Streets and the Wal-Mart at Highway 133 and Interstate 680.  Find information on routes and schedules and a service map.

What about energy efficiency and green building?
Energy efficient building practices, especially those conforming to the ENERGY STAR program, will be encouraged. ENERGY STAR qualified homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Learn about ENERGY STAR.

Has any considerations been given to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power?
We're investigating renewable energy sources and the financial and engineering feasibility of incorporating them into the community. As the development process continues, there will be time to consider these issues and to determine if some of these ideas can be integrated into our design and construction.

Is there a church?
The designers have created a site for a church or other important civic buildings in the community master plan. We hope that a church will be built there and become an integral part of the neighborhood.

What about community gardens?
There is ample space in the neighborhood for community gardens. These may be located in the green spaces as well as in the Rambles in the alleys. See the community green space network.

Is there a pool?
There is a space for a community pool and pool house. The pool is slated to be along the east side midway along the creek straight west of the community center.

What other walkable destinations are planned?
One of the hallmarks of the new traditional neighborhood is its walkability. A walkable community should have a lot of intriguing, captivating destinations for pedestrian travel; and the new neighborhood at 168th and State Street will have an abundance of them. For a discussion of possible community amenities, look here. The designers have included most of these ideas in the site plan.

How many of the possible community amenities and how much of the site plan will become reality?
Here is the legal "fine print:" The plans, amenities, and facilities described on the WhatsNewonStateStreet.com website are based on current development plans which are subject to change without notice. No guarantee or warranty is made that the plans, amenities, and facilities depicted by artists' renderings or otherwise described herein will be built, or if built, will be of the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described. Some illustrations and photos included in this website are for representational purposes only and are not of actual amenities, buildings, or homes that have been or will be constructed within the new traditional neighborhood at 168th and State Street. In no event shall Full Circle Ventures, Inc., its directors, officers, employees or other representatives be liable for special, indirect, consequential, or punitive damages related to information contained within this site.

Will there be a community center?
Yes. If it's feasible, Herb's personal residence - the Georgian mansion that inspired our architectural approach -- will become the heart of the community center. Central to the neighborhood, literally and figuratively, the community center will be called the Commons. Learn more about the Commons.

Will there be shopping and businesses in the neighborhood?
Yes. The new traditional neighborhood is characterized by a mix of uses, and among the uses we envision is a variety of commercial retail and service businesses. These will be located in the Town Center at the intersection of 168th and State Street as well as along the "high street" which connects the church site to the Commons. See this article, entitled "Shop Where You Work Where You Live".

Who would I talk to if I have an interest in retail or commercial space or in a live/work unit for my business?
Just call the community founder, Herb Freeman, at 402.689.4000 or send him an email to herb@FullCircleVentures.com.

What do people think of this design? Has the new traditional neighborhood received favorable press?
As young as this project is, barely off the drawing board, Omaha's first new traditional neighborhood has received very favorable press. To see the articles, go here. The enthusiastic, encouraging supportive reactions of a number of Omaha's citizens to the plan is reported here.

How can I learn more?
You can register to receive continuing updates on Omaha's first new traditional neighborhood by completing the simple contact registration form.

I am a member of a group that would like to learn more about traditional neighborhood design. Can someone come and speak to us?
If your group is in search of a speaker on New Urbanism and Traditional Neighborhood Development, contact Herb Freeman by email at herb@FullCircleVentures.com and we will arrange a date for a PowerPoint presentation in words and pictures of all the benefits and principles that make communities like the new traditional neighborhood on State Street so good for all of us.

I really like this new traditional neighborhood. How can I get involved?

Stay informed by checking the project website, www.WhatsNewonStateStreet.com often as we are adding new material all the time. Register to receive periodic updates. We will keep you posted with an email newsletter as the new traditional neighborhood progresses. Contact the neighborhood founder, Herb Freeman, at herb@FullCircleVentures.com, and offer your ideas, suggestions and comments. Inform your friends and relatives and encourage them to visit the project website, www.WhatsNewonStateStreet.com. Become a booster of traditional neighborhood design and support it among your friends.