Luxury 'Agrihoods' Sprouting in More Towns

March 21, 2018

Luxury developers are betting on the “agrihood” to lure a new crop of homeowners. The agrihood is a feature in a planned community that offers vegetable gardens and other agricultural elements and has been bred from a growing farm-to-table movement.

In some communities, homeowners get unlimited picking rights to landscaped gardens of organic greens, berries, and flowers. Some developments also hold al fresco dinners and cooking workshops for the community.

More than 70 agrihoods have been created or are in development nationwide, Ed McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, told The Wall Street Journal. Many of the luxury agrihoods offer residents preplanted orchards and vegetable gardens with concierge weeding services. So homeowners need not do any of the gardening themselves, if they so choose.

“It’s a high-value, low-cost amenity and it figures into this green, farm-to-table, reduced carbon footprint trend—and people seem to like local everything,” McMahon says.

In Palm Springs, Calif., a now-closed golf course in one community is being planted with 45 acres of olive trees. The olive trees will become the showpiece of Miralon, a community of 1,150 homes slated to start development this year. The olives can be pressed into oil for residents. 

Near Charlottesville, Va., Bundoran Farm is a 2,300-acre development that features lots overlooking apple orchards and pastures with cows and sheep.

In New York’s Catskills region, a 131-acre community with 25 homes allows buyers to include several agrarian upgrades, such as an orchard of fruit trees or a 20-by-30-foot garden designed by a master gardener on their property. Drew Lang, the architect and developer behind Hudson Woods, told The Wall Street Journal he is also working with local sugar markets for owners who’d like to have their maple trees tapped for syrup.

“They can take in the experience without going through all the steps themselves,” Lang says.

Source: “Upscale Farm Living (You don’t Have to Get Your Hands Dirty),” The Wall Street Journal (March 15, 2018) [Log-in required.]