Florida landscape architecture team uses intricate designs to draw in new residents to a large Orlando development.

The south is booming with new residents who want to enjoy warmer weather and southern hospitality.

The residential market grows more competitive with each new wave of people, especially in larger cities.

Developers must make a strong first impression to attract renters and buyers, and stand out among their competition. Nothing does that better than an impressive outdoor space. 

A new living community is under construction on the southeast side of Orlando, called “DelWebb Sunbridge”.

It is called a residential community for “active seniors” 55 and older. It will have roughly 1300 single family homes on 700 acres.

The property is just west of the Saint John River basin, and homes back up to a wildlife conservation area. 

Construction on the project launched in 2017, and crews completed phase 1 in spring 2020.

The developer, the Pulte Group, invested in the community’s outdoor aesthetics early in the project, hoping to draw in new buyers as the community grows.

They asked Landscape Architects from Foster Conant & Associates, Inc. to create a powerful statement that visitors will see as soon as they arrive.

Partners Richard Conant and Matthew Allen led the team to design a mulit-level waterfall feature that greets guests at the property entrance. 

“The residential growth that we are experiencing in Florida right now is phenomenal, and home builders have stepped up their projects to keep up with the market,” said Rick Conant. “On this project, developers spent a lot of money to create an impressive entrance and sales center. This is the first thing a prospective buyer will see when they visit the new community.”

The waterfall feature flows north, a tribute to the Saint Johns River.

The river flows across the state of Florida, and is the only river in North America that flows north.

The design team replicated and protected the natural environment throughout the property.

They kept many of the palm trees that were growing before construction began, and even saved one of the largest sand live oaks Rick has seen in years.

“To save trees in this area of Florida is a tremendous challenge on most projects,” said Rick. “As a landscape architect, we see acres of beautiful trees go down for developments all the time. Usually we can’t find a piece of property in Florida where there are not some wetlands, so engineers elevate the land 2 to 3 feet and knock all the trees down. Remarkably we were able to save a patch right in the front.”

The team planted several thousand more palms, supplied by Fish Branch Tree Farm and Griffin Tree Farm in Florida.

The trees line the main boulevard that goes through the center of the property. 

“It feels nice and full, already looking better than when it was just a big old dirt patch.” 

Foster Conant & Associates, Inc. has worked on many large residential developments during its 50 years in business.

The team has a wide portfolio though, serving public, private, and even federal groups in the United States and the Caribbean.

The team of 7 professionals say their goal is to inspire people, provide function, and create memorable places.

The DelWebb Sunbridge will certainly be a place to make memories.

When construction wraps up, the property will feature a number of amenities, including a large community center with a restaurant and bar, an outdoor amphitheater, tennis and pickleball courts, and even an “active river”.

The river will push against the swimmers, giving a little resistance to give a lot of exercise.

There will also be a medical staff on site to assist older residents when necessary. 

The group hopes to finish the build by the end of 2022. 

Project Size — 700 acres

Project Landscape Construction Value ($): Not disclosed at Owner’s request.

Build Time: Project design start 2017; construction began in 2019. Phase One construction (main entrance and sales center) was completed Spring of 2020.

Supplier information:

Landscape Architect – Foster Conant & Associates (landscape, hardscape, fountain, lighting design)

Architect – STG Design (Guardhouse) — https://www.stgdesign.com/

General Contractor – JK2 Construction — http://www.jk2.com/construction/

Fountain Design – Freeport Fountains — http://www.freeportfountains.com/

Precast for vertical walls and wall caps – D.C. Kerckhoff — https://kerckhoffstone.com/

Landscape Installation – CherryLake — https://cherrylake.com/

Palm supplier – Griffin Tree Farms — http://www.griffintrees.com/

Palm Supplier – Fish Branch Tree Farm — https://fishbranchtreefarm.com/

Pavers – Belgard — https://www.belgard.com/

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