The Dynamic Residential Developer: Diane Cheatham in modciti

This insightful profile of our award-winning residential developer, Diane Cheatham, in modciti is not to be missed! We’ve reproduced a short excerpt from the story, written by Kendall Morgan, here. Read on for her thoughts on modern residential development or check out the entire issue.

Diane Cheatham: Dynamic Residential Developer 

[Developer Diane Cheatham expanded] on her legacy with the launch last fall of Urban Commons. Carrying the “Urban” name [from her previous development, Urban Reserve], the development at the hub of LBJ, Forest Lane, and Technology Row will feature 75 to 80 single-family homes designed by the likes of Far + Dang, Marek Architecture, Edward Baum, and [NIMMO] with a broader range of pricing for residents. The sizes of homes will vary as well, from intimate two bedrooms at 1,000 to 1,200 square feet up to larger dwellings of 2,000 to 2,400 square feet.

“In most developments, you’ll find houses that are the same price, but that’s not what we’ve done. Everyone’s house doesn’t need to be the same size and same room count—it’s about a little more creativity and more variety. The most important thing is building a house that people love, because if the current owners and future owners love a house, they take better care of it, and it will survive longer.”

In addition, Urban Commons will have a pond with a water well that connects to Woodbine Aquifer. Water from the pond will irrigate the grounds, giving the HOA the potential for zero water costs. Lower cost lots won’t have attached garages to avoid gas fumes and alleys breaking up the territory, but garages along the [perimeter] can be leased for a monthly fee. Residents of Urban Commons should expect a community feel the developer has devised to encourage friends and neighbors to get to know one another.

“Everyone in Urban Commons has a nice side yard, so if you want a garden or dog run you’ve got it, but there’s more land in common areas than there [is] in lots,” She explains. “Every one of the houses faces a park and the park is fairly large—40 feet wide by 150 feet deep. We’re doing 10 exercise stations on a trail, and each common area will have a picnic table, so hopefully, people will come out and dine together and get to know their neighbors.” With the final structures currently [under construction], Cheatham anticipates it will take three years for Urban Commons to be sold off. Once it is, she’ll be ready to tackle the next big dream that comes her way. But don’t expect her to rest on her laurels any time soon.

“I would like for these developments and even the individual projects I’ve done to really have a recognition that, ‘Boy, this was a good project and moved the city forward,’” she muses. “I hope that I’ve left a legacy. But I’m probably going to start worrying about the next one next year. I’ve got ants in my pants.”


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