Since we define cool by what the future resident/tenant thinks, we* met up with some students last night at BYU to ask them just that.
The collective vision of the 15-20 students was similar to the image above. Understanding that this is BYU (ie Utah), many of the students were already married and thinking about kids, so it may be rather surprising that two-thirds of them preferred multi-family attached townhouses/lofts, with the other third preferring single-family, though either still ‘attached’ (ie rowhouses) or smaller , detached and very near the town center. A third of them mentioned some arts/entertainment venue as the key amenity, with a grocery store focused on ‘fresh’ coming in second. It was unanimous that the workplace should be transit-accessible if not walking distance.
We told them if they organized a ‘population’ of 500 of their peers that were committed to living in such a town, we’d find investors to build it.
*we – Joe Alfandre and myself.