Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baldwin Park in Orlando gets Award

Baldwin Park, a traditional neighborhood development on 1,100 acres near Orlando’s thriving downtown, has won the 22nd Residential Environmental Award from the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). The award, popularly known as the ENVY, was presented recently at FAR’s 92nd annual Convention and Trade Expo in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

2008 FAR President Chuck Bonfiglio noted that the ENVY Award recognizes the one residential development – Baldwin Park – that best preserves Florida’s natural quality of life. It has become a highly coveted award to win for builders of top-quality, environmentally responsible communities in the state. During FAR’s recent convention, Bonfiglio presented the award to John Classe, managing director of the Baldwin Park Development Company, and Barbara Koenig, senior vice president of New Broad Street Companies.

Judges cited this development for the efforts it has taken to preserve the area’s natural elements. Baldwin Park features more than 400 acres of open space, lakes and water resources, including 15 community parks – in fact, nearly 35 percent of the property is devoted to parks and lakes.

As a major infill project, Baldwin Park was praised for being designed to mitigate sprawl in the metro area, rather than add to the problem. Power supplies, water treatment plants and wastewater facilities were already in place, and the asphalt from old roads at the site was used to build new ones. Developers worked with Audubon of Florida to help plan the parks and water habitats, taking care to create viable ecosystems.

As part of the ENVY award criteria, a judging panel of planning professionals reviewed the development’s preservation of the land’s 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.

In seven years, the developers of Baldwin Park transformed an environmentally stressed site – the former Orlando Naval Training Center – into a thriving and sustainable greenfield community, one that has earned awards for its practices. As one judge put it: “Future developments in Florida should take cues from this project for its excellence in design, both functional and environmental, as to lessen their environmental footprint.”

Realtors throughout Florida commend Baldwin Park for demonstrating that high-quality, environmentally conscious development makes good business sense. For more information, visit http://www.baldwinparkfl.com/web/. Courtesy FloridaRealtors.org