When asked about what fueled his love for architecture, Brooks Resources’ VP of Real Estate Development, David Ford recalls his grandparents’ home at 2110 De La Vina in Santa Barbara, California (yes, he still remembers the address). It was a lovely Craftsman bungalow where David and his two brothers spent most of their summers and holidays. The large, covered front porch with the sloped concrete cheek wall is where the Ford boys would skateboard (much to grandma’s dismay). Even as a kid, David appreciated the details of his grandparents’ home—the dormers, the masonry chimney and fireplace, glass door cabinets, creaky oak wood flooring, and of course, that great front porch.
As the NorthWest Crossing general manager for 15+ years, David has seen how architecture plays a significant role in the character of a neighborhood. We sat down with David to learn more about his insights.
Q: NorthWest Crossing has been extremely successful. What part do you think architecture played in that success?
DF: Our vision from the onset was clear. We wanted to create a neighborhood that was a natural extension of the surrounding neighborhoods. So we established Rules & Design Guidelines that initially identified 5 architectural styles that mimicked the variety of existing homes in adjacent neighborhoods. We’ve certainly evolved and added a few more architectural styles as they’ve become in fashion (like Mid Century Modern and Farmhouse), but I truly believe that vision of creating a seamless transition with the surrounding community and creating streetscapes that showcase architectural diversity is a significant reason people find the neighborhood so appealing.
Q: NorthWest Crossing is unique in that there is no Home Owners Association (HOA), but it does have an active Architectural Review Committee (ARC). What is the role of the ARC and how has that impacted the look and feel of the neighborhood?
DF: The role of the ARC is specifically to review and approve any improvement to the land or structures on the land, to ensure compliance with the Rules & Design Guidelines. It’s a very important function that has helped NorthWest Crossing maintain a high standard and ensure the developers’ vision is realized.
Q: What is your response when people say, “why do I have to let someone else tell me what I can and can’t do with my property?”
DF: It’s been my observation that there are people who are rule followers and people who are not. People that appreciate regulation and people that don’t. We recognize that NorthWest Crossing isn’t for everyone. But I would say the reason most people buy in the neighborhood is because of the careful attention to detail and requirements put forth by the Rules & Design Guidelines. The vast majority of the residents appreciate what the design guidelines accomplish, and they understand how it has created value for their property.
Q: What are some of the challenges for homeowners with respect to architecture?
DF: One of the largest challenges we see is when homeowners want to incorporate elements that are not consistent with the architectural style of their home. For example, a homeowner could want small overhangs which isn’t consistent on their prairie style home. Or sometimes people want to incorporate a modern style detail into a craftsman design. That’s why we always refer back to the design guidelines to ensure the essential and authentic elements for the selected architectural style are incorporated into the design. We strive to avoid the confusion of mixing details from different architectural styles.
Q: What does the architecture of a home mean to you?
DF: I believe a home reflects its occupants. It’s usually a family’s largest asset and it’s important that it feel comfortable and reflect the family’s taste and lifestyle. I think that’s why I so fondly remember my grandparents’ home. When I think of them, I think of the details of that old Craftsman bungalow and how the home made me feel—safe, cozy and welcomed.
About David Ford
David is the Vice President of Real Estate Development for Brooks Resources Corporation. For the previous 15+ years, David served as the General Manager of West Bend Property Company (a joint partnership between Brooks Resources and Tennant Limited Family Partnership). West Bend Property Company is the developer of NorthWest Crossing, an award-winning mixed-use community located on Bend’s west side. Prior to West Bend Property Company, David worked for Heery International, an architectural services and construction program management consulting firm, managing capital improvement programs for Bend–La Pine, Crook County and Culver School Districts. With broad-based experience in real estate and construction management, he has successfully completed over $325 million of public and private construction programs in Oregon and Alaska. Ford completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis and has a MBA degree from the University of Denver’s School of Business and Public Management. David has served on the COCC Board of Directors and is currently serving as an Advocacy and Advisory Board member for OSU-Cascades. David and his wife, Kitri, have lived in Central Oregon since 1991 and are the proud parents of Harper, their chocolate Labrador retriever.