Herryford Village was intended to be the same as hundreds of other neighborhoods Clark Realty Builders has developed with Torti Gallas and Partners on military installations across the country. But when an environmental impact study showed that several acres on the original site were unavailable for development, the Army was pressed to find a new location.

The new 22-acre site, located across the street from the post's commercial center, was uniquely positioned to offer something different for a military base—residential above retail. Business tenants include a coffee shop, day spa, barbershop, dry cleaner, and convenience store. To provide privacy for the families up top, the architects designed two-sided buildings with retail access on one side and housing access through courtyards on the opposite side.

One of the most unusual design constraints came by way of the military's anti-terrorist rules that apply to places where people congregate. “In New Urbanism, closeness is a good thing,” notes architect John Torti. “But in this case, you're paying attention to how close you can get a truck to a building. Bigger setbacks had to be designed with a very special eye.”

Upon completion, Herryford Village will comprise 1,630 affordable homes sporting the traditional architecture of the region. The town center has already brought such vibrancy to the community that Clark Realty has visions of expanding it to the other side of the street—and to other locations, says Casey Nolan, project director for Clark Realty Capital. “We're bringing the best practices of the private market right onto military bases.”

See all 2007 Builder's Choice Award Winners

Category: Mixed-use community;

Entrant/Architect/Land planner: Torti Gallas and Partners, Silver Spring, Md.;

Builder/Developer: Clark Realty Builders, Arlington, Va.;

Interior designer: Lawson Design Corp., Annapolis, Md.;

Landscape architect: Parker Rodriguez, Alexandria, Va.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.