ORLANDO, FL - Oakland Park, a traditional neighborhood development between the historic towns of Oakland and Winter Garden in Central Florida, has won the 23rd Residential Environmental Award from Florida Realtors®. The award, popularly known as the ENVY, was presented at the state association's recent 94th annual Convention and Trade Expo at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.
Source: Florida Realtors
2010 Florida Realtors President Wendell Davis noted the ENVY Award recognizes the one residential development – Oakland Park – that best preserves Florida's natural quality of life. It has become a coveted award to win for builders of top-quality, environmentally responsible communities in the state. During the convention's Awards Luncheon, Davis presented the award to representatives for Castle & Cooke, Oakland Park's development company: John Rinehart, vice president of operations and Bob Hennen, vice president of sales and marketing.
The community of Oakland Park encompasses about 258 acres stretching from the shores of Lake Apopka to Oakland Avenue. The project's design began with a tree survey – then roads, building areas and utility placements were designed to preserve as many significant trees as possible, while an arborist supervised the relocation of many mature trees to public park areas. Oakland Park is the first community in Central Florida to earn the prestigious designation of Certified Green Development from The Florida Green Building Coalition.
"Preserving and managing the natural environment within Oakland Park is integral to Castle & Cooke's belief that nature matters and is an important component of a healthy community," said Rinehart. "Florida is blessed with outstanding natural resources that should be accessible both today and for future generations. We are gratified to have been recognized by Florida Realtors this year for the restoration of Lake Brim and our Lake Apopka shoreline and our overall commitment to a green sustainable environment."
Judges cited this development for the care it has taken to preserve the area's natural elements, including the existing tree canopy and sensitive environmental areas. "This project is a well integrated, traditional neighborhood development designed to fit seamlessly with its surrounding context," said one judge. "The developer's restoration of the Lake Apopka shoreline, complete restoration of Lake Brim and incorporation of the West Orange Trail into its design are exceptional."
As part of the ENVY award criteria, a judging panel of planning professionals reviewed the development's preservation of the native flora and fauna, the blending of the community with its surrounding environment, common areas such as nature trails and playgrounds, family recreation and safety, streets, drainage, sanitation and marketability.
As one judge put it: "Oakland Park's diversity of neighborhoods and offerings, its design and other amenities, will result in a sustainable community for generations to come."
Realtors throughout Florida commend Oakland Park for demonstrating that high-quality, environmentally conscious development makes good business sense.