Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Visualization of Cousins Proposed Development of the Marshall Tract


The Marshall Tract is 37.4 acres of undeveloped land bordered on two sides by homes in the Lost Creek neighborhood and two sides by office buildings. The land is zones for single family houses (SF2). Cousins, an international real estate developer has proposed to the Marshalls, descendants of the original family who settled the land, to purchase the land if the land can be designated a PUD (Planned Unit Development) and two office towers (7 and 5 story), and a senior living center be built on the land.

The intrusion of the office development into Lost Creek will be substantial and will set a precedent for further land development along Loop 360. No other office development is this offensive to its neighbors.

The purpose of this study was to create visualizations of the proposed project that the residents of Lost Creek could examine and determine for themselves whether they were opposed to the development or not.

Description of Study

The raw material for the visualization created came from the presentation made by Cousins to LCNA on July 31, 2014. A copy of this presentation is available by clicking here.

The key chart used was the draft schematic shown below.

Other maps were used as well and are shown in the appendix
The basic dimensions and contours of the land were digitized. The elements of the development were symbolized by simple rectangles. Positions of the rectangles were placed carefully with approximate dimensions taken from the drawing above.

Symbolic houses and trees (approximately to scale) were placed around the development to provide scale.
The program used to create the visualization was Sketch Up. At my request Sketch Up provided a full working version of their software to me for one month at no cost. (Because of its intended use.) Since I was not experienced with Sketch Up and had to learn the basics quickly, the visualizations are simple.

I did not learn how to make the land contours smooth so they show up as cliffs. Each step in 20 feet, and the elevation starts at 940 feet, the base  plane of the drawing. The boundaries of the 940 foot plane do not match the boundaries of the tract. Some of the tract is lower than 940 feet, but not as low as 920 feet. In order the make the plateau flat and big enough to position the buildings, I took the top 20 feet off the top of the contour (980 feet). The peak is actually at 1,003 feet.

Three types of houses are include – single story, 2 story with low profile and 3 story with high profile. Trees are 20, 30 and 40 feet tall.

The 7 story building is 125 feet tall. The five story office building, the three story senior living center and the two story garage were scaled in height to the 7 story building.

The two roads shown are Lost Creek Blvd., and Quaker Ridge.

The results are shown in the following images.

A video of this model is shown below.
(I tried recording this several different times and unfortunately my computer can't keep up with all the graphics and a voice over, so the audio tract breaks up a couple of time.)

Visualization of the Marshall Tract from Paul Schumann on Vimeo.

For a copy of this post, click here.


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