Gulf Shores, Alabama
A common reason behind beachfront properties remaining undeveloped in coastal communities is that their size and allowable density are inadequate to support a responsible pro forma.
The developable areas of beachfront properties can often be compromised over time by such things as environmental set-asides for identified endangered species habitat and changing beachside coastal control lines relative to existing beach road right of ways.
Recognizing that there is only so much gulf-front property, how can such inherent development value be optimized when this occurs?
Crystal Towers in Gulf Shores, Alabama was leveraged by assembling a narrow beachfront property with a much larger parcel with similar density rights immediately across the beach road to the north. The design solution provides a residential tower parallel to the beach with views to the beach on the southside and locates all parking behind the tower on the northside. This assemblage added enough allowable development density to make the overall project feasible.
To further enhance project marketability, a resort style swimming pool and “beach club” are sensitively incorporated on the smaller south parcel which is directly connected to the northern residential tower by an elevated pedestrian bridge spanning the beach front roadway. The bridge ties the overall development together and allows residents to go freely to the beach and pool without having to cross street level traffic.
By keeping the beach site amenities low scale, an unobstructed beach vista from the tower is preserved and will not be blocked by development encroachment from neighboring properties.
BTA’s design solution leverages contiguous site synergies that 1) increase allowable development density fourfold, 2) optimize the sales value of a gulf-front, resort residential experience, and 3) allows the use of hidden, economical, on-grade parking verses beachfront structured parking.