Tavistock Development Company announced plans on Thursday for a new 7-acre linear park in Lake Nona anchored by an open waterway designed to serve as an alternative for stormwater management.
Surrounding the waterway, the park is planned to feature multiple trails, pocket parks, and space for activity that will stretch more than 100 feet wide along a half-mile path from Lake Nona Town Center, just north of Boxi Park and Landon House, to the heart of the community’s Laureate Park neighborhood.
The community’s master developer filed a Specific Parcel Master Plan in June for the project, dubbed Lake Nona Greenlink. Tavistock hopes to break ground on the park next year and anticipates a 16-18-month construction period.
“In Lake Nona, we’re always looking for ways to do things better,” said Tavistock Development Company President Jim Zboril. “We could have gone the traditional route of building a road and the infrastructure to manage stormwater underground, but instead we challenged our team to be resourceful and think differently. Creative thinking led to this linear park that not only provides a solution for stormwater, but creates an amenity our residents and visitors can benefit from.”
The proposed park, incorporating recreational activities and multiple mobility paths with a stormwater management solution, would be a first-of-its-kind for southeast Orlando. Contrary to the traditional treatment of stormwater through a series of underground pipes, the park will replace more than a half-mile of east-west roadway and its associated infrastructure with an open waterway and surrounding park. The water will flow over a series of weirs (low-head dams) from west to east into an existing lake within Laureate Park. The recirculation of water from the existing lake to a series of source points on the west end of the park will ensure water is always flowing.
“Tavistock continues to be a critical partner in ensuring as Orlando grows, it is done in a sustainable way, focused on innovation, while serving and benefiting our residents,” said Elisabeth Dang, Planning Director for the city. “This proposed project shows some of that same vision, with potential to create not only unique places to gather, but to also preserve and expand green space, further mobility options and increase water quality in one of the fastest growing areas in our city.”
Designed by local landscape architect Dix.Hite + Partners, the park’s linear design supports multiple mobility paths woven with lush landscaping, water features, and canopied seating options that flow along the main waterway. A single 12-foot vehicular lane will be reserved strictly for Lake Nona’s autonomous shuttles. The design also includes a separate two-way bike lane and a 21-foot multi-purpose trail on the opposite side of the waterway.
The paths will connect to Lake Nona’s 44 miles of planned trails. The park’s pedestrian bridges will allow guests to easily enjoy both sides of the park that each provide different amenities parallel to the waterway. Within the park, a two-acre communal area will provide a new space to host even more community events with a large lawn, playground, and shaded recreational areas.
Additionally, the new linear park provides options for Lake Nona to support and expand two of its growing community programs dedicated public art and the relocation of mature trees. The park’s design provides multiple options for new outdoor art installations or sculptures adding to Lake Nona’s collection that currently includes “The Beacon” and “Glass House” among others. Plans also call to incorporate mature relocated trees to further enhance the quality of green space and provide additional shade. Since the beginning of the year, dozens of relocated trees have been integrated into plans for current and future projects throughout Lake Nona including Boxi Park, Lake Nona Town Center, Laureate Park and other residential projects. Lake Nona plans to relocate more than 200 trees in 2019.
Tavistock spokeswoman Karlee Kunkle told GrowthSpotter the company would likely repeat the concept in future communities, such as Sunbridge.
“We are always looking for ways to provide additional amenities for our residents and visitors. If the park becomes a favorite community destination, as we hope it will be, it’s definitely something we would consider replicating or expanding,” she said.
The linear park, which will be operated by Tavistock, is one of three park projects underway in Lake Nona. The other two are City of Orlando parks – Heroes Community Park and McCoy Community Park. Heroes Community Park will open this Saturday, July 13 and McCoy Community Park is scheduled to open later this year.
Lake Nona ranks among the 50 top-selling master-planned communities in the nation and is the top-seller in the Orlando metro, according to RCLCO.