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Developer Culdesac Announces First Car-Free Neighborhood in U.S.

Phoenix & Southwest  + Weekender  | 

Post-car real estate developer Culdesac has unveiled plans to build the country’s first car-free neighborhood from scratch in Tempe, AZ.

Residents at the $140-million Culdesac Tempe project, located near Apache Boulevard and River Road, will not have private cars or parking, although the neighborhood will accommodate parking for visitors, and car-based modes of transportation, such as ridesharing.

The community is different from small-scale, incidental car-free communities like old town centers or islands, in that it will be the first intentionally built 1,000-person, neighborhood-scale, car-free development built from scratch.

Because less land is needed to park vehicles, Culdesac Tempe will include a grocery store, coffee shop, co-working space, market hall, and other retail, in addition to rental apartments for 1,000 residents. Architect Dan Parolek is working closely with Culdesac to develop the project.

“The communities we are living in were optimized for the peak car era,” said Ryan Johnson, CEO of Culdesac. “Culdesac is building spaces for the post-car era. Starting next year, residents of Culdesac Tempe will be able to live life from their doorsteps, rather than seeing it through their windshields.”

According to Culdesac, real estate innovation has failed to keep up with fast-paced changes in mobility. Transportation innovation has evolved beyond a dependency on cars but real estate has not.

When residents at the project need to travel, they can choose their preferred modes of transportation. The development is centered around the mobility needs of residents, with an on-site light rail station, connective shuttle bus, dedicated rideshare pick-up zones, scooters with respective parking and carshares for off-site transport.

Culdesac will serve as property manager at the community, assisting residents and enabling seamless access to transportation and amenities.

The Tempe site was chosen by the developer for the city’s thriving job market, growing population and available land directly adjacent to a light rail station.

“Because the power of transportation innovation is larger at scale, we’re considering 50-100 acre sites for our next project,” said Jeff Berens, COO at Culdesac. “People are ready to leave their cars behind for the walkable and vibrant lifestyle that comes from living in a car-free neighborhood.”

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About David Cohen

David Cohen is Southeast Editorial Director at Connect Commercial Real Estate. David is a media veteran with more than 10 years of experience in journalism, copywriting and communications across a variety of roles. He is responsible for covering commercial real estate news and trends in the Southeast, Florida, Washington D.C. and Boston at Connect CRE as well as specializing in the Student Housing sector. Prior to joining Connect, David was the editor of Northeast Real Estate Business magazine and Student Housing Business magazine at France Media as well as spending time freelancing for ESPN and the Associated Press in the fast-paced field of live sports event production. He is also an owner and investor in multifamily real estate in Atlanta, GA. David currently resides in Atlanta and graduated from the College of Communication & Information at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

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