The New Neighborhood: Mixed-Use and Multi-Modal
Conventional suburbs are making way for carefully master-planned neighborhoods with character. Outparcels remain a commodity along major thoroughfares, but are seamlessly integrated into the overall urban fabric of a budding community. In Southwest Florida’s Lake Flores, this concept is strengthened through two ideas: complete streets and multi-modal trails.
Located near Sarasota, Lake Flores is an infill site of over 1,300 acres overlooking Sarasota Bay and just a few miles from the beach. This is the kind of special site that only comes available once in the life of a community. With the county’s How Will We Grow vision setting the stage for more mixed-use, urban development, the time is ripe for a game-changing new project that will set the tone for the next era of growth in this coastal community. After decades of ownership by the Manatee Fruit Company, this long-term venture has the potential to grow and evolve over a 20 year period.
The heart of the plan is the community’s namesake, Lake Flores. This new nineteen-acre lake is surrounded by a green edge of park, which will provide a gathering place for the community and the region. Adjacent to the lake will be a new main street with restaurants and entertainment. Visitors can dine with a lake view or take an evening stroll after dinner. Apartments overlooking Lake Flores will create a peaceful, urban residential option convenient for a morning job and within easy walking distance of the main street. With two different business centers to accommodate commercial office as well as research and development, Lake Flores also provides the realistic opportunity to live and work in the same community.
Calm, carefully designed streets with opportunities for walking and biking both for recreation and practical transportation will be a priority at Lake Flores. A central multi-modal trail and linear park run the length of the site connecting all of the neighborhoods safely to the lakeside park and retail amenities. This trail is truly multi-modal, design to accommodate a soft path for runners as well as a hard surface wide enough for small electric shuttles. In addition, all streets are designed to be complete for all modes of transportation with buildings oriented to reinforce neighborhood character.