Trend alert! The hottest new marketing trend for suburban housing developers is farms. They’re called “agrihoods,” and although they’ve been around since the 1980s, they are now becoming more popular with large developers, who are banking on farm-fresh food to lure people to their communities.
“The mainstream development community has come to think of these as a pretty good way to build a low-cost amenity that people seem to like and that also adds authenticity,” resident Urban Land Institute fellow Ed McMahon told Bloomberg.
Because people love authenticity.
This is just another example of “the quaint economy.” Living by a farm, presumably, makes people feel like they are part of a community, rather than living in a soulless, cookie-cutter subdivision. Back in the 90s and early 2000s, this role was generally played by golf courses.
(Anecdotally, having grown up near one of those golf course subdivisions, they seem to have been mostly used as late-night roaming grounds for adolescents in the neighborhood.)
Brian Cullen, a developer, told Bloomberg that “companies that built communities around golf courses spent a lot more and found only a few residents played.” Farms, apparently, only cost about 20% as much as a golf course. And what’s happening in most of these places is the developer is hiring farmers to work the land set aside. The produce is then meant to be sold to individuals and restaurants in the surrounding community.
At the very least, this is bullish for modern farmers out there looking for work.