As “Agrihoods” Go Mainstream, South Florida’s Arden Sets the Nationwide Standard for Healthier, More Sustainable Master-Planned Communities

Business Insider – View Article

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.Sept. 4, 2019

Arden – South Florida’s first “Agrihood” – was recently honored with the 2019 Grand Aurora “Master-Planned Community of the Year” Award, placing the extraordinary community at the epicenter of what the Urban Land Institute (ULI) has found to be a nationwide trend. Developed by industry leader Freehold Communities, Arden has set the standard for healthier, sustainable living-focused amenities with its lush, sprawling farm and stunning centrally located barn.

Arden’s innovative expansive farm is developed and maintained by two experienced, full-time farm directors. An amenity for the whole family, Arden’s residents all share in the harvest of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs grown year-round. Residents can also take classes in the barn and volunteer to help plant and tend the community’s crops. The farm and garden offer families the opportunity to learn about the full spectrum of food production and healthy living.

“After being selected as the 2019 Grand Aurora ‘Master-Planned Community of the Year’ recently, we understand, more than ever before, that Arden is the community of the future with its centrally-located barn and unmatched farm-to-table living,” said Andrew Smith, Division President of Freehold Communities. “South Florida’s first ‘Agrihood,” Arden is setting the standard for master-planned communities in the state and across the country with innovative amenities focused on health, wellness and sustainability.”

Arden was honored with the prestigious “Master-Planned Community of the Year” award at the Southeast Building Conference’s (SEBC) 40th Annual Aurora Awards, a premier design competition that recognizes the region’s finest residential and commercial industry companies. Affiliated directly with the respected National Association of Homebuilders, SEBC’s Aurora Awards are hosted by the Florida Homebuilders Association.

Boasting over 20 miles of carefully-mapped scenic walking, hiking and biking trails nestled around sparkling Arden Lake, Arden also offers a large, gorgeous Lakehouse with resort-style pools, a spacious fitness center, an on-demand Wellbeats exercise studio, and other state-of-the-art equipment.

Arden provides the ultimate in Florida living for its residents with nearly every homesite backing up to a park, greenway or nature trail. Located in the heart of popular Palm Beach County, FL, Arden is close to the state’s renowned white sand beaches, major thoroughfares, including Florida’s Turnpike and I-95, and world-class restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues.

For more information, please visit https://www.ArdenFL.com or call (561) 461-5501.

About Arden

Master-planned by the visionary development team of Freehold Communities, Arden was brought to life by an impressive collection of top-quality homebuilders, including Ryan Homes, Lennar, and Kenco Communities. It features more than 20 innovative floor plans in a wide range of sizes, styles, and designs. Located at 660 Arden Lake Way, Wellington, FL 33470, Arden is just minutes from A-rated schools, top hospitals, five-star restaurants, and the state’s leading equestrian sports venues. To learn more about Arden’s award-winning community, homes, and amenities, visit https://www.ArdenFL.com.

About Freehold Communities

Freehold Communities, headquartered in Boston, MA, is currently developing approximately 10,000 residential lots in TexasTennesseeNorth CarolinaFlorida and California. Freehold creates Vital Communities™ that embrace healthy living, engagement, connectivity, stewardship and distinctive home design. As it evaluates opportunities, the company focuses on the right planning, the right properties and the right partners. Beginning with comprehensive research to gain insight into the unique needs, trends and preferences in the local market, Freehold carefully considers each property to determine how to best maintain its beauty and character to create a Vital Community™ by partnering with quality, creative builders who share Freehold’s philosophy of offering niche solutions and unique, timeless designs.

 

SOURCE Freehold Communities

Meet The Farm-Based Neighborhoods Changing The Face Of Master-Planned Communities

Forbes VIEW ARTICLE

Sep 12, 2019

Forget the pristine landscaping, five-star golf courses and resort-style amenities that master-planned communities have become known for. Thanks to a handful of developers and their more sustainable approach to planning, a new vision of the American neighborhood has emerged—and it’s called the “agrihood.”

Rather than lap pools and community centers, these neighborhoods boast organic farms, herb gardens and edible nature trails. They have weekend farmer’s markets, cooking classes and employ full-time farm directors and artists-in-residence. Some even have camps and children’s programs to help foster healthy, sustainable living in the next generation.

According to the Urban Land Institute, “Agrihoods offer proven financial, health, and environmental benefits—to the stakeholders involved in their implementation, to surrounding communities and to the planet.”

One of the foremost examples of this trend? That’d be Serenbe. The Georgia agrihood offers residents a 25-acre organic farm, regular farmer’s markets and an annual plant sale. Blueberry bushes are planted along all the community’s crosswalks for “seasonal snacking,” according to the neighborhood’s VP of Marketing Monica Olsen.

The neighborhood also conserves water via landscaping and uses naturally treated wastewater for irrigation.

There’s also Willowsford, a Virginia community boasting a public farm stand and weekly produce subscriptions, and Arden, an agrihood located in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Arden is home to a five-acre farm, run by a pair of full-time farm directors. Residents can take their pick of fruits, vegetables and herbs all grown right in the neighborhood. There’s also a general store and plenty of opportunities to help out around the farm.

Brenda Helman and her husband were the 15th buyers to secure their spot in the Arden community.

“It provides a lifestyle that seems to have been left behind in bygone times,” Helman said. “The homes have front porches, you know your neighbors here, and there are children always playing in the fresh outdoors. This community brings hometown values, fresh-grown vegetables and neighbors knowing neighbors back to us.”

There’s currently an agrihood in at least 27 of the country’s 50 states, but a report from the Urban Land Institute says the trend is growing.

It’s no wonder why, either. The communities don’t just benefit those who live there. According to ULI, there are big benefits for developers, too.

“By including a working farm as a central project feature, developers can unlock special advantages, ranging from reduced amenity costs, increased project marketability and faster sales for residential properties to opportunities for enhanced community social ties and access to land for current and would-be farmers,” ULI reported.

There’s a price premium, too. According to Brad Leibov, homes in the agrihood he helped develop in Grayslake, Illinois, are going for 30% more than homes in comparable neighborhoods.

Throw in that agrihoods are also typically clustered, with homes located on densely concentrated, smaller lots, and developers can often make more with less in these communities. In Serenbe, for example, founder Steven Nygren was able to use clustering to add 20% more residential units than traditional planning would allow.

Still, profitability isn’t the only thing to be gained from this new practice. Developers also have the chance to make a difference—both on the world and those who inhabit it.

As ULI explains, “By building agrihoods, real estate decision-makers—including developers, investors, owners and property managers—can leverage a focus on food production in development to create value, promote equitable economic development, enhance environmental sustainability and improve public health.”

An ‘Agrihood’ In Wellington Looks To Bring Suburbanites Closer To The Source Of Their Food

WLRN – Miami | South Florida

  AUG 21, 2019

Palm Beach County has its share of spacious, suburban houses – especially in the areas west of the coastline, where land is cheaper and more plentiful.

It also has plenty of farms, producing crops that range from Florida’s famous sugarcane to sweet corn, lettuce and tropical fruits.

A planned community in Wellington is hoping to find success by combining the two. Arden bills itself as an “agrihood,” a master-planned community of 2,000 homes centered around a five-acre farm and barn.

That area is managed by two farmers, who are responsible for providing that link between residents and the food grown in their community farm.

“One of the key components to our position – beyond production – is weaving the farm into people’s lifestyle,” said Carmen Franz, who co-manages the farm with her husband, Tripp Eldridge. “How do we engage with the community, what kinds of educational opportunities are we going to provide?”

It resembles other gated communities in the area – like golf-centered planned suburbs in Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens, but with pigeon peas and mango trees instead of 18 holes.

For their homeowners’ association fees, residents get monthly food deliveries of 5-8 items from the community farm share – a bunch of carrots or a half pound of okra counting as one item.

“Our system is not meant to keep you from going to the grocery store ever again,” Eldridge said.

The farm does have its own general store on site, where it sells locally grown products from neighboring farms as well as its own. It also features crafts that some of the residents make themselves – like greeting cards, felted wool dryer balls and wooden cutting boards.

“We hope to use the general store as a means to introduce people to other local growers,” Eldridge said, “so if they want to continue that relationship and have a more intimate connection with local growers, they totally can.”

As their own farm has been getting off the ground, Eldridge and Franz have filled in the gaps by promoting local growers. Though the farm has 32 mango trees, they weren’t ready to bear fruit this year, so the farmers subbed in mangoes from Erickson Farm in Canal Point. They also point residents toward local providers of the things they don’t intend to produce, like eggs and meat.

Eldridge and Franz are the first to admit the “agrihood” concept isn’t new to South Florida. They point to West Palm Beach’s Westgate neighborhood and the Dania Beach Patch as places that have already built community farms into the fabric of more urban neighborhoods.

“The ‘agrihood’ concept fits into multiple contexts,” said Eldridge. “What we’re trying to create at Arden fits here.”

Eldridge and Franz both have organic farming backgrounds. Franz grew up around gardens, then picked up a minor in organic farming in college. After a stint in Panama with the Peace Corps, she returned to the states and held different farm-related jobs, including working with Florida Organic Growers to certify organic growing practices.

Eldridge was introduced to community-supported agriculture his senior year of college, and says he “completely fell in love.” He also traveled with the Peace Corps, to Tanzania. After getting a masters in public health that focused on community food systems, he bounced around some farm-management jobs and other agricultural roles.

As for any Florida farmers, the grower-friendly climate is both a benefit and a hindrance for Eldridge and Franz. They can grow produce year-round, with different fruits and vegetables cycling in and out of season. But without an annual freeze, there’s no winter kill-off of pests and diseases.

Franz says they work around that by rotating crops, and have spent much of the last year growing “cover crops” that they can feed into the soil to build up nutrients.

Eldridge and Franz say they’ve found community among farmers and businesses in western Palm Beach County’s more heavily agricultural areas, from mutual agreements to share crops and products to tips on organic farming methods that work well in the area’s sandy soil.

The Arden community, like its five-acre farm, is still in the early growing stage. About 200 families have moved in, and homes are still being built. Eldridge and Franz offer farm tours on the second Saturday of every month, and say they get a good mix of residents and outsiders.

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It’s Official – Our Luxury Estate Models Are Unveiled

THE EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING

KENCO COMMUNITIES CELEBRATED THEIR OFFICIAL MODEL GRAND OPENING IN STYLE
If you missed the Grand Opening of the Arden Clubhouse and Kenco Communities’ Model Grand Opening, you can visit anytime to see what everyone is talking about. Just give us a call or come by and visit for you and your family to tour our luxury estate homes and all of the wonderful amenities Arden has to offer its residents.

Kenco Communities has been a leader in homebuilding for more than 20 years, based on our unmatched reputation for quality and design. We are inspired by Arden’s concept and execution, and we’re proud to offer the largest luxury estate homes along the community’s lake. Kenco has been involved in some of South Florida’s most admired communities, and Arden is changing the game with its wellness-themed amenities, like the miles of trails, community farm, fitness center, and mile-long lake.

“By offering the biggest homes and the biggest lots in Arden, Kenco Communities is offering the best of
the best in the community,” said Lorna Swartz, Kenco Communities sales director. “These homes are like
none other in Palm Beach County.”

Model Row, Clubhouse and Farm Grand Opening!

Arden Clubhouse & Farm GRAND OPENING

Saturday, March 9th, 11am-2pm.

See why everyone is talking about Arden and its Agrihood.

Entertainment Including:

• Model row home tours of Kenco Communities brand new, luxury designer models

• Dragon boat races on Lake Arden

• Duffy boat tours on the lake

• Palm Beach Coralytes Synchronized Swimming performances

• Live music

• Farm demonstrations & activities with our Farmers

• Farmers Market

• Photo booth

• Enter to win a kayak or paddle board and a trip to the Bahamas

• Activities & fun for all ages

To join the fun, RSVP online at www.GOArdenFL.com

Luxury, Designer Model Homes Now Open

Especially impressive about Kenco’s spacious one-story homes in Arden, the Aster, Carlton and
Edgewater, is that these new homes feature three-car garages, and an expansive 4,300 to over 5,000
total square feet on huge lots located in much sought after Palm Beach County.

The stunning Davenport model, a two-story home, boasts a four-car garage and a remarkable 5,647
total square feet. It features six bedrooms and a study, three and one-half baths, and a four-car garage.
This unfurnished model home is ready for immediate occupancy.

Another Kenco two-story model, the Banyan, offers five bedrooms, four and one-half bathrooms, and a
four-car garage, within 5,016 total square feet.

Three unique architectural styles ― Spanish, Coastal and Farmhouse ― are available for each of Kenco’s
homes at Arden.

Kenco’s homes are just a short walk from the community’s impressive amenities, including the two-story
clubhouse and two-level resort-style pool, community barn and farm, tennis courts, playing fields, sport
courts, event lawn, lakeside pavilion and more.

Arden’s Most Anticipated Model Grand Opening Features Four Sprawling Models

On Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27 at Arden, a new master-planned community in the Wellington/Loxahatchee area, renowned longtime South Florida luxury homebuilder Kenco Communities will showcase four of its brand new, designer luxury estate models. These are Arden’s largest homes built on its largest lots.

The most anticipated model grand opening at Arden, features Kenco’s four-, five- and six-bedroom designer furnished models, ranging from 4,281 square feet to over 5,000 square feet. The model grand opening takes place at 19076 Fly Rod Run, Wellington, FL 33470.

Kenco’s models are situated in the community’s premier enclave and sit on 80-by-130-foot or larger lots. Kenco has the only lakefront lots within Arden which include a private dock option.

For a limited time, Kenco’s homes in Arden are available starting from the low $600,000s. Some homes are available for immediate or quick occupancy.

“We have the biggest homes and the biggest lots in Arden, and offer the best of the best in the community,” said Lorna Swartz, Kenco Communities sales director. “These homes offer spectacular value and are like none other in Palm Beach County.”   

Sneak Preview Aster Model Grand Opening

Come see this furnished estate home featuring over 4,200 total sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 3-car garage, all in a one-story gracious floorplan. We also offer other single- and two-story 4-6 bedroom models. Kenco Communities invites you and your family to learn more about our lakefront enclave at Arden. Pre-construction priced models for a limited time from only $594,900.

Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am – 4pm

19076 Fly Rod Run, Wellington, Florida, 33470

Arden “agrihood” earns key certification

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Jodie Wagner

 

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the five-acre farm at the new Arden community west of Lion Country Safari will sprout eggplant, peppers, okra and other fresh produce.

Farm directors Carmen Franz and Tripp Eldridge expect a November harvest of the crops they planted last month, which also include herbs, flowers and fruit trees.

Those crops will end up on Arden residents’ dinner tables.

Tomato plants and lettuce grow in a shade tunnel in the master-planned Arden community in Loxahatchee. The five-acre working farm recently earned the distinction of Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), meaning that the farm doesn’t use any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or genetically modified seeds, just like certified organic farms. Arden Farm is one of just 20 Certified Naturally Grown farms in Florida, and among nearly 800 throughout the United States and Canada. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

“We’re so excited,” said Franz, who was hired in March along with Eldridge to build Arden’s organic farm. “It’s just fantastic out here.”

Arden, a neighborhood planned by Freehold Communities of Boston, is one of more than 100 throughout the United States — and the only one in South Florida — called an “agrihood,” or agricultural neighborhood.

Developed to promote healthy living and community engagement, Arden eventually will include 2,000 homes that will back up to a community green space, including parks, playfields, greenways, nature trails or lakes.

Nearly 200 of the homes have been sold, an Arden spokesperson said, and new residents are moving in as their homes are being completed.

Franz said those residents are eager to participate in the farming process as well as a variety of garden-related events she and Eldridge host.

Those events will expand to include workshops on organic gardening and flower arranging, healthy cooking classes and farmers markets once the community’s 4,000-square-foot event barn is complete, most likely at the end of the year.

Farm Directors Carmen Franz and Tripp Eldridge have began planting the first crops in the master-planned Arden community in Loxahatchee. Radishes and lettuce should be ready in November. The five-acre working farm recently earned the distinction of Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), meaning that the farm doesn’t use any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or genetically modified seeds, just like certified organic farms. Arden Farm is one of just 20 Certified Naturally Grown farms in Florida, and among nearly 800 throughout the United States and Canada. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)


“Arden is meant to be a place to build communities and be a center for health and wellness,” Franz said. “People can be a part of the growing process and eat the food that comes out of the farm.”

The farm recently earned the distinction of Certified Naturally Grown, meaning that it doesn’t use any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or genetically modified seeds.

Arden Farm is one of 20 Certified Naturally Grown farms in Florida and among nearly 800 throughout the United States and Canada.

The CNG program was designed in 2002 to recognize small-scale farmers who practice sustainable agriculture to produce food for their local communities.

“We’re excited about Certified Naturally Grown,” Eldridge said. “It’s the grassroots alternative to the certified organic label. It fit our farm better than certified organic, which is more suited to retail products sitting on a shelf at Whole Foods. This is more for smaller farmers markets or roadside stands. It fit us better.”

Four Kenco Models to Debut this Fall

A South Florida luxury homebuilder for over 25 years, Kenco Communities is now open for pre-construction sales at Arden, where it is building a showcase of five luxury estate models in the community’s lakefront enclave, a premier location. Kenco’s estates are the largest homes ― situated on the largest lots ― at Arden, a new 1,200-acre, master-planned, gated community in the Wellington area, just west of West Palm Beach.

Kenco’s four, one- and two-story Arden models, ranging from 4,281 square feet to 5,647 square feet, offer four, four or six bedrooms; and three- or four-car garages. The models are available in three architectural styles: Spanish, Coastal and Farmhouse. Available options include a summer kitchen, swimming pool and spa, and the ability to personalize your home.

Four of Kenco’s models ― the Aster, Banyan, Carlton, Davenport― will be open this Fall with the grand opening of Kenco’s sales center.  Kenco’s temporary sales center is currently located onsite at 10976 Fly Rod Run, Wellington, Florida, 33470. To arrange an onsite appointment, contact Kenco Communities at 561.410.5404.