Agrihoods: Residential Communities Built Around Working Farms – A New Opportunity for Landowners
Urban sprawl and open farmland have never been things that play together nicely. But that’s changing quite quickly with the rise of suburban, residential developments commonly referred to as “agrihoods.”
These residential developments feature homes that are built around shared, working farms, a unique setting that allows home owners to enjoy true farm-to-table food and the sensation of living in the country, complete with bucolic views, tomato patches, chicken coops, and grazing cows.
While land developers, environmentalists, and local citizens often butt heads when planned developments – sprouting across concepts like land-hoarding golf courses – are proposed, agrihoods actually have the potential to bring these varied interests together and smooth the way to approval of development plans, avoiding the hassle, cost and delay of protracted negotiations with city councils, zoning boards, and the like. Additional benefits may include potential tax breaks for retaining agricultural land, nature preserves, wetlands, etc.
Why? Because the trend toward healthy, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly lifestyles is hard to argue with and is something that everyone can get behind. Just as importantly for land developers, these agrihoods provide a competitive advantage, allowing the land owners and planned community to stand out in a crowded marketplace. And who doesn’t like to be ahead of the curve on the
next big thing?”
It’s estimated that there already are at least 200 agrihoods across the United States. For example, check out the Farm at Agritopia near Phoenix, and Serenbe, a 1,000 acre development near Atlanta.
These communities are capitalizing on their residents’ desire to live close to nature and be surrounded by a more serene, yet vibrant, setting than the typical suburban development. It should also be noted that most of these developments are pricey, with the typical home selling for much more than the average market price for similar lots and houses in the area.
There are many variation of agrihoods. Most are indeed working farms, with salaried farmers working the land and producing the goods that residents may then purchase at the farmers’ market or stand. Many have stores, restaurants, and shops within the community that feature only the freshly produced foods and items from the community farm.
Other agrihoods allow residents to pick a certain amount of produce from the fields themselves or grab a limited number of items – free of charge – from the stands. Some provide residents with a bit of “sweat equity,” offering farm items free of charge in return for a bit of work in the fields or pens.
Agrihoods can claim to be true “mixed-use” developments that integrate large-scale food production efforts into a residential environment and allow land owners or buyers to discover a unique use for their property.
If you’re a landowner and would like to see your property developed in this manner, we encourage you to utilize LandHub.com to find a developer interested in building this sort of planned community. And, of course, if you’re a developer seeking ideal property for such a venture, our landowners at LandHub.com are motivated sellers, many of whom hold property that would make for an ideal agrihood in their local marketplace.