Back to the Drawing Board Citrus Square, the first phase in a new downtown master plan for Sarasota, Fla., introduces walkable density in place of sprawl. The $4.8 million mixed-use development was designed by architect Jonathan Parks and built by Pierce Contracting.
Andrea Roche Back to the Drawing Board Citrus Square, the first phase in a new downtown master plan for Sarasota, Fla., introduces walkable density in place of sprawl. The $4.8 million mixed-use development was designed by architect Jonathan Parks and built by Pierce Contracting.

Brown, gray, and red are the new green. Fields, that is. Prime locations that hold the most promise for new housing projects may not be the green fields and pastures of yesteryear. More and more frequently, savvy builders are scooping up parcels in low-density suburbs, abandoned subdivisions, sidelined master plans, or decaying urban blocks. Not only can they get more bang for their buck in these areas, there are other benefits, as well. Brand-new homes in blighted neighborhoods in downtown areas or close-in suburbs could be just the ticket for young couples interested in living near work, nightlife, and public transportation. And abandoned subdivisions just might be worth salvaging for their already completed infrastructure and entitled lots.

The Changing Landscape