gman28-Thanks. At one time I had a mod that added cul-de-sacs at the end of streets and roads. I have seen plenty of urban street dead end without them, however.
Huston-Thank you. It's a little tougher since suburbs can tend to look identical after a while.
UndercoverNinja12-Thanks. More highway shots will be coming, though not in this update as the east side of the highway is not finished. Also rails will be making an appearance in the future. The past few entries just haven't been good areas for railroads.
ftwly-谢谢你! I hope that's correct.
Brook Haven District
First off, I'd like to apologize for the delay. RL slowed me up a bit. Now with that out of the way, this entry will focus on the western part of the Bella Vista tile. These images all come from the area to the southwest of the highway. Here we have the transition from the suburbs shown in the previous entries to the sizable downtown area of Bella Vista. The defining features of the area are an increase in population density--this tile hold more sims (85000) than the three previous entries combined--and the highway. The name Brook Haven is a bit of an homage to Brooklyn, because... well you'll see.
Many people mistakenly think that Brook Haven is the name of the district because of its similarities to parts of Brooklyn. While architecturally this may be true, the name actually originates from Brook Haven Street. While it is no longer a major thoroughfare, Brook Haven Street was originally one of the most important in the district. Back then the area was very similar to the suburbs to the west and Brook Haven Street lent its name to a few apartments. As the area grew the name became synonymous with area, even as the importance of Brook Haven Street waned.
Of course, the true origins of the Brook Haven name haven't stopped some from pointing out the similarities. Brook Haven is one of the older areas of Bella Vista. It's also home to a lot of New York style buildings and has developed a unique personality as result. Originally just a collection of random building owned by various companies in 2003 an enterprising investor bought up the properties and branded them as Santa Bella's "Brooklyn Village." The marketing ploy worked a now the Brooklyn Village is a popular place with new residents and young people just starting out.
Unfortunately, Brook Haven also has some Brooklyn-like problems. The area around Stone Creek Road has become infamous as a very dangerous place to be. Police are in the are regularly to respond to calls ranging from domestic violence to assault to gang fights. Many of these problems are attributed to the fact that Stone Creek fell behind the rest of the city and is now considered a "slummy area." This reputation has kept investors away and made the situation in Stone Creek worse. The desperation has led to the rise of local street gangs including the violent Slammers, now the most powerful gang in the neighborhood.
The Slammers have been a plague in recent years. A plague that only got worse when they began waging a street war against the Parker Family. The Parker Family is another of the local street gangs, though unlike most the Parkers were more or less harmless until the recent gang war. The Parkers made a name for themselves as group of "street artists" in the Englewood Park neighborhood. Never really more than a public nuisance at their worst, the Parkers were dragged into a gang war with the Slammers after tagging one of their buildings. The Parker Family quickly became just another violent street gang in order to survive.
Despite the urbanization of the district, there are still areas where the suburbs are still in play. Ridgewood Road is still mostly suburban though urbanization has been creeping in this area as well. Resdients of the area have generally resisted the urbanization, though. Instead, most of the urbanization has been done by crafty developers gobbling up real estate as it comes available. This has led to an interesting practice of secret home sales in the area. Sellers will often use a local real estate office that then attempts to arrange the sale without ever listing the property. Demand has been high enough to make the practice successful, and a few realtors have taken note and set up shop in the area.
The Brooklyn Heights neighborhood demonstrates the transition to the inner city rather well. Gone are the large fenced in backyards. Instead the houses are close enough to cause anyone with the slightest hint of claustrophobia to wince. Add in the fact that these houses can go for almost 500k and you can see why many have chosen to forego the idea of owning a house in this district. Still, Brooklyn Heights is a pretty nice neighborhood to live in.
Areas like Southcreek Center are fairly common in Brook Haven. These urban town homes provide many of the same luxuries as the homes in Brooklyn Heights, with the added benefit of reduced risk of the neighbors spying on you. Running for about 350k, they are a little cheaper due to the increased traffic noise. Southcreek Center is also famous for its shopping, as many of the buildings house specialty shops on the ground floor and the area itself is just across the street from one of Bella Vista's larger shopping districts.
The Westside Business Park is home to a wide variety of shops and offices. Many smaller companies call this area home preferring the cheaper real estate and high traffic volumes headed to and from the highway. The Business Park is home to two of Bella Vista's more iconic structures as well.
The Peckmen Building is one of the most famous governmental structures in the country. Serving as Bella Vista's city hall, the Peckmen Building was constructed in the intersection of Williams Ave and Hammond Road during the 1980's. The roundabout it occupies also serves as an entry point to the highway. Due to the traffic in the area the Peckmen buildings ground floor houses emergency services for auto accidents in the area.
The Marion Street Tower is a hotel with an interesting history. Originally built in 1975, the building has been the center of number of weird occurrences since its completion. It was shutdown in 1993 after 7 people went missing from the hotel. The authorities were never able to find the missing people, and new management bout the hotel. Since then it has been at the center of a number of investigations of criminal activities. Many suspect that the owner, who to this day remains anonymous, is actually a high level mob boss, but no evidence has ever been found to support this claim. Regardless, the hotel thrives as it is known for its welcoming staff and great views.
The highway access has also attracted a healthy number of factories. The Belton Road Industrial Corridor, or BRIC, has become a local technology and manufacturing hub. BRIC companies provide thousands of jobs to residents of Santa Bella, and millions in tax revenue to the city coffers. The BRIC has seen some changes recently with large amounts of the smokestack factories being replaced by cleaner high-tech assembly floors and warehouses. Still the BRIC is an influential force in city politics.
That's all for this week folks. Next time we will be looking at the downtown Santa Bella area. Thanks for reading.