Imagine a community where you could find upscale boutiques, popular eateries, and a top-notch hotel, all in one central location. You could park your car and easily spend a day, weekend, week, or however much time you have on a trendy site, one built entirely with reclaimed natural materials.
This vision from global retailer Urban Outfitters could be a reality as early as 2016. This “lifestyle experience” will be built over 6.5 acres in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and will feature everything from handcrafted boutique hotels and garden centers to spas and specialty grocery markets.
This community, while not technically a planned residential community — there are no housing plans yet — will encompass a boutique hotel built by Amish stonemasons stretching five stories tall, according to Mother Nature Network. The community is slated to be referred to as “Devon Yard,” and surprisingly will not contain an Urban Outfitters store. Instead, among its many posh boutiques and high-end retail shops, will be UI’s more upscale sister Anthropologie.
It’s not all about trendy clothing: in addition to available retail space for the shopping enthusiast, you’ll also find a range of high-end and casual dining options, a spa and boutique exercise studio, specialty grocery market, and a five-story hotel, called the Devon Inn, which will form the centerpiece of the village. A Terrain garden center, hotel and spa, will complement a Terrain farm-to-table restaurant as well, according to Philadelphia magazine.
This proposed project is expected to cost $100 million, says Philadelphia. Designed as a throwback to the historic Devon Inn that captured the heart of the community throughout the 1920s, the hotel will accommodate approximately 90 guests, along with a restaurant on site, an event space for business functions and wedding ceremonies, and perhaps a wine boutique and spa. The plan is to largely use recycled building materials to construct the village, giving Amish craftsmen a chance to show off their simple, strong, and stylish stonemason skills.
Naturally, for all this new development, a garage and various parking lots will be built to handle the expected uptick in visitors. Urban Outfitters is also planning on partnering with the neighboring Devon Horse Show, the oldest and largest multi-breed horse show in the United States, for increased parking space, according to the Mother Nature Network. Plans for Devon Yard are still in the works, with permission needed from the township before any project officially moves forward. Upon city approval, Urban Outfitters can begin groundbreaking work and construction on its new village concept.
Bringing Devon to the Forefront
An area that was once solely known for its widely-attended annual horse show will now be acclaimed for its thriving downtown area, bringing tourists and locals alike to sample the town’s wares. Philly’s famed Main Line will be getting a new community overhaul, bringing with it a brand new mini-city to call home. This place for shopping, eating, and relaxing is slated to be completed by April 2016.
This article was provided by Charity Bailey, Environmental Studies major and fashion blogger. If you’re interested in creating your own one-of-a-kind living environment like Urban Outfitters, Charity suggests remodeling your home to allow for cooking in an outdoor kitchen.