Have you ever wondered why Baxter Village feels the way it does? Well, it isn’t by accident. It all started with years of careful planning by Clear Springs Development Company and under the watchful eye of the Close Family who have owned the property for 200 years. Much like towns from long ago, the vision has been carefully implemented over time. And, we believe this is why Baxter “just feels good”.
How did we begin? First we created a Pattern Book. The Baxter Pattern Book guides the vision and clarifies important details for the design of the neighborhood. However, the Baxter Pattern Book was not meant to be a static document but a tool that evolves over time. For example new architectural styles within the Upcountry Architecture have been added. This helps to produce a greater diversity in the architecture which creates an even richer streetscape. The design of Baxter incorporates many Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) elements and ideals. After decades of experimenting with other models of development, planners, designers and developers are now relearning the old lessons of community place-making. This design movement is often referred to as New Urbanism. TND and New Urbanism projects are pedestrian oriented developments that incorporate diversity in architecture, streetscape, price-point and uses in the same neighborhood. This typically means that a neighborhood center for shopping, eating and everyday needs is included with residential, commercial and civic uses. Sound familiar? This is Baxter. But, good “urbanism” is not about superficial style but function and how the neighborhood design shapes our daily lives.
We’ve designed Baxter with the convenience of “urban” living with the development of Baxter Town Center with its shops and restaurants, the YMCA, Orchard Park Elementary School, Piedmont Urgent Care Center, and the Fort Mill Public Library all in the neighborhood. And as Baxter continues to grow, many more of the every day conveniences will be right at our front door. But, Baxter Town Center not only provides goods and services, but social interaction. Just a stop by the neighborhood ice cream shop provides that chance to meet new neighbors and converse with good friends.
Baxter incorporates other TND elements such as pocket parks and village greens where neighbors get outside to spend time together developing a sense of community instead of being locked behind the ever present garage doors of the neighborhoods designed in a more conventional fashion. Also, the front porch, a traditional architecture element that at some point was left behind has re-emerged as a key element of design in most Baxter homes. Front porches offer a wonderful vantage point to enjoy an evening of passersby, and friendships often blossom here much like that of the cherry blossoms that line the streets of Baxter.
But to get away from it all, the trail system will lead you back to nature and allow you to experience the preserved ecosystems of Baxter. There are miles of existing trails, and as future phases of Baxter are developed, the trail system will get more extensive. Soon, residents will be able to walk from the library to the Catawba River without leaving the neighborhood.
Experiencing the growth of a community is an exciting process. And because Baxter is guided by TND principles, the quality of life in Baxter is only going to get better with age!