In 2006, TSW was engaged by the owners of a prime 200-acre property on the coast of St. Lucia to design a new town, Choc Estate, that would take maximum advantage of its pivotal location at a major crossroads adjacent to the island’s capital city of Castries. The goal was to create a mixed-use live/work/play community with a vibrant town center that would provide a new ‘Main Street’ address for the island’s resident and tourist populations. This center, straddling the main coastal highway, would include shops, restaurants, and residences, as well as a hotel, school, and chapel, in an urban lakeside setting.
In 2008, TSW was retained to lead a one-week charrette, involving owners, selected architects, and planning officials, to further develop the plan for the purposes of securing town planning approval and delineating an initial development phase. The charrette was an intense and collaborative process, where ideas were shared, and the plan for Choc Estate was refined and improved.
The plan, based on New Urbanist principles, envisions a walkable and bikeable community with easy access to public transportation, schools, and other community amenities. The town center would be the heart of the community, with a mix of uses, including residential, commercial, and civic spaces. The center would also be designed to be inclusive of all types of households, including families, singles, and empty-nesters.
On the property’s hillsides, with views across the lake to the town center and the sea beyond, are a range of residential offerings ranging from small cottages to grand estates. The residential areas would be designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of the site and provide residents with a sense of privacy and seclusion while still being connected to the vibrant town center.
Overall, TSW’s goal for Choc Estate, was to create a sustainable and livable community that would provide its residents with a sense of community, history, and belonging while also taking into account the unique natural beauty of the site and the needs of the residents. The new town would be a desirable destination for both residents and tourists, providing a unique and vibrant community for all to enjoy.