Builder View Article
August 13, 2019
Freehold Communities has announced that its two South Florida communities have won three of the top awards – the Grand Awards – from the annual Aurora competition sponsored by the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) and the Southeast Building Conference (SEBC).
Arden, the “agrihood” in Palm Beach County, was named “Masterplanned Community of the Year,” while its themed recreation center, The Barn, was named “Best Recreational Facility or Amenity.”
Shearwater in St. Augustine was named “Best Community Site Plan.” Arden also received the Silver Award for” Best Single Family Detached Model Home – 3,000 to 3,499 square feet,” and “Best Site Plan.”
The Aurora competition honors the best design trends in the Southeast U.S. The 2019 Aurora Awards included entries in 54 categories for attached and detached housing designs, including interior design, detailing, custom and re-use and renovation work. Also honored are diverse commercial, recreational and specialty buildings, as well as land planning achievements.
Headquartered in Boston, and founded in 2013, Freehold is currently developing eight master plans 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.
Earlier this year, Arden unveiled its 4,000-square-foot Barn, which won Aurora’s Grand Award for Best Recreational Facility or Amenity. The Barn is where residents gather for seasonal themed events and workshops on topics from organic gardening to flower arranging. The Barn includes Arden General Store, providing residents a unique experience offering Florida-made goods that prioritize community and environmental impact. These include local and organic vegetables, fruits, coffees, teas, honey, popsicles, ceramics, and natural body care products.
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 combines abundant recreational amenities 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, the inviting hub for all residents. Its many recreational amenities include 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 flooding the room with natural light. Other homes offer doors that collapse to create a seamless transition from living room to the spacious outdoors.