452-Unit Trammell Crow Project Wins Best Garden Apartment Community at 2009 Pillars

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorDallas–Alexan Fitzhugh, a Trammell Crow Residential project, recently won the “Best Garden Apartment Community” (four stories and under) category in the 2009 Pillars of the Industry Awards from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). The honored Alexan Fitzhugh “team” includes architecture firm Beeler Guest Owens, interior design by the Faulkner Design Group and JBI Partners landscape architecture.  Located in a transitional neighborhood of Dallas at the corner of Fitzhugh Avenue and Homer Street, the Alexan Fitzhugh is a three-story, 452-unit community that sits on a 10-acre site. The site, which was previously occupied by aging, rundown apartments, was completely redeveloped by Alexan Fitzhugh, helping to rebuild the evolving surrounding area. “The building was completed in August last year and is currently 50 percent leased,”Darren Schackman, Trammell Crow Residential senior managing director, tells MHN.“I believe the attention to detail we put into Alexan Fitzhugh marks the evolution of the garden-style apartment community.”   “What we tried to do is give the residents everything they want, where they live,” Schackman says. “They no longer need a gym membership. They no longer need to run to the coffee bar. They can enjoy all aspects of their community. Everything is all here for residents to live, work and play,” he says.  Alexan Fitzhugh has four interior courtyards with lounging areas for residents, three of which have large swimming pools. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the property, including in the spacious clubhouse and two-story fitness center.  Landscaping lines walkways throughout the development, while three large parking garages integrate seamlessly. The exterior of the apartment community is a combination of stone, stucco, furnished block and siding, and takes cues from the surrounding neighborhood structures. “We took a lot of time studying the surrounding area and wanted to incorporate neighborhood details in our redeveloped design for this development,” says Erik Earnshaw, project manager of Beeler Guest Owens Architects. “We wanted our project to be a contextual fit—a ‘new era’ craftsman style design.” Schackman added, “Instead of doing your typical three-story, garden-style apartment with a tremendous amount of concrete for surface parking, we did structured parking. It increases density and gives our residents great covered parking in a controlled-access environment.” “[This project is] geared towards the custom home feeling. When residents walk in, they no longer feel like they’re at any apartment, any place, anywhere. It’s their home, not just a place they rent,” Schackman said.  All the units feature upgraded amenities not normally found in apartments, including brushed nickel fixtures, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and faux wood flooring. Every living room has ornate crown molding and a colored accent wall. “The apartments we used to know no longer exist. Today’s residents require finishes that are like custom homes, and everything about them has gone to the next level,” Schackman said. “It’s no longer a rent by necessity world. Many renters are by choice. Because they choose to rent instead of own, we try to give them everything they could ever want.”