The annual Aurora competition, which honors the best design trends in the Southeast U.S. for residential, commercial, recreational, land planning and more recently awarded Freehold Communities, developer of masterplanned communities nationwide, the Masterplanned Community of the Year, and the Best Site Plan for its project, Arden, an acclaimed "agrihood" in Palm Beach County, Florida.
In addition, the developer's Shearwater project in St. Augustine, Florida, was named Best Community Site Plan. The awards to Arden and Shearwater highlight both communities' commitment to nature and healthy living according to the developer.
Headquartered in Boston, and founded in 2013, Freehold is currently developing eight masterplans throughout the United States.
"The Aurora Awards signify the very best in planning, design and development, qualities we continually strive to achieve in our communities," said Freehold Southeast Division president Andy Smith. "The recognition by these respected industry leaders tops a year of successes and milestones for both Arden and Shearwater. We are extremely honored that they were recognized as the very best from Aurora judges."
Set on 1,209 acres, Arden includes a mile-long central lake, 20 miles of trails, and 500 acres of parks and open space. The heart of Arden is its community farm, which has received national recognition. Under the direction of two experienced Farm Directors, the Arden Farm celebrates Florida's agricultural abundance through year-round production, while it brings the community together for healthful events such as tropical fruit tastings, farm-to-table cooking demonstrations, tree planting events and resident volunteer days on the farm.
Shearwater is a 1,524-acre, 2,600-lot community with 13 miles of walking trails through 600 acres of preserved habitat, parks, fields, lakes and canoe/kayak access to Trout Creek. Like Arden, Shearwater exhibits a high level of amenities, combining abundant recreational ones with a wealth of social spaces.
Shearwater's many recreational amenities - central to its award-winning land plan - include natural open spaces: trails, parks and preserved habitat, including Trout Creek with kayak and canoe access. At the heart of this nature-themed community is the Kayak Club, which includes a resort-style pool with three-story waterslide, a Junior Olympic competition lap pool, and a lazy river, all set within lush landscaping and spacious lounge areas.
Even Shearwater's homes connect indoors and outdoors. Some floor plans feature multi-slide doors, intended to flood the rooms with natural light. Other homes offer doors that collapse to create a seamless transition from living room to the outdoors.