A peek inside South Florida’s first & only argrihood arena
Over the last several years, Florida has become a top destination for out-of-state movers seeking a change of scenery; in fact, one in eight (13%) out-of-state movers headed to the Sunshine State, according to a recent 2020 demographic survey by moving company HireAHelper.
The report also said that “Florida is in a league of its own, being the top out-of-state designation in 22 states. Whether in pursuit of warm weather, peaceful retirement or that famous all-year-round sunshine, a vast number of Americans moved to Florida in 2019” — more than any other state.
Some may think that Florida misses out on four seasons, but not in this unique Palm Beach community, which strives to keep residents connected to nature year-round.
Meet Arden: South Florida’s first and only “agrihood” community.
Okay wait, agrihood?
“An agrihood is a master-planned residential neighborhood that integrates aspects of agriculture and natural living into the community’s very foundation,” explained Tripp Eldridge, the community’s full-time farm managers. “It’s a neighborhood intentionally built around amenities that connect its residents with the natural world for a daily sustainable and healthy lifestyle.”
Though it sounds odd, agrihoods are actually a growing trend within the States; according to a 2018 report from the global research non-profit Urban Land Institute, agrihoods are becoming very popular, with hundreds of projects currently in existence or planned in at least 27 states.
“Simply put, Arden is a unique residential agrihood that balances the best of both rural and modern living,” continued Susan Moguel, Arden’s marketing director. “Residents can partake and build their lives around a healthier, more natural lifestyle, while also taking full advantage of life’s modern comforts and conveniences.”
Along with Arden’s 1,200-acre community centers, the community also has a working farm, event barn, clubhouse and two large lakes. The team grows fresh produce and herbs, provides regular farm shares to residents during harvest season, teaches gardening classes and has resident volunteers participating in the farming itself, so residents are actively engaged in the process from farm-to-table. (No animals, though.)
“In addition to the farm, our residents enjoy a wide variety of organized community events at our lakeside clubhouse, lounging in our spacious green fields, exploring miles of nature trails, fishing and kayaking on the lakes and more,” Eldridge continued.
Still sounds strange, right? Picture Walt Disney World’s Golden Oaks neighborhood, but replace the adult Disney-diehards with yogis and Goop-heads.
“A summer camp is a great way to describe Arden’s community events. No matter the lifestyle or interest, we offer something for everyone: tennis clubs, guided yoga, seasonal festivals, book clubs, movies under the stars, community fishing days, farm tours and more,” said Donald Smith, Arden’s lifestyle director. “But while we offer a multitude of planned community events, clubs and get-togethers, residents are in the driver seat and are free to participate or not. Regardless of what we have planned throughout the week, all residents still have full access to the agrihood’s grounds and resort-style amenities.”
Far from your father’s gated community — which might feature a nearby golf course or shopping promenade — Arden focuses on its core amenities that allow residents to connect with the natural world. And there’s a lot of it:
“Every aspect of the community has been carefully designed to encourage residents to make use of the land,” Moguel said. “From miles of nature trails and ample green spaces for events and picnics to glistening lakes for fishing and kayaking to recreational sports facilities for friendly games among friends and neighbors and so much more, residents are encouraged to explore and play to their desire.”
Plus, Arden’s five-acre farm provides all its residents with farm shares and a communal You-Pick Garden for grab-and-go use. The community also has a “general store” where residents can quite literally buy the fruits of their labor — with or without their included HOA fee — from Arden and other local Florida farms.
“Arden’s General Store gives residents easy access to a variety of high-quality goods that complement the community’s farm-to-table lifestyle,” explained Eldridge. “So, rather than making a trip to the health foods store for certain items, they can simply visit their neighborhood general store.”
So do residents need to leave? Can they leave?
“Nestled within Palm Beach County, Florida, residents are just minutes away from the pristine sands of world-famous beaches, a full range of exciting restaurants, upscale boutiques, shopping centers and the major thoroughfares to take them anywhere in South Florida. We even have world-class equestrian venues nearby if any residents want to learn how to ride horses,” Moguel explained. “The attractions throughout the broader region are more than enough to draw residents from their homes, but they also get to enjoy returning to a one-of-a-kind, master-planned community that fits their everyday needs.”
In terms of these master-planned houses, Arden is an extension of the Vital Communities concept shared by all of Freehold Communities’ developments.
“It’s a holistic approach to place-making that emphasizes key qualities such as healthy living, engagement, design, connectivity and stewardship,” Moguel said. “These are the core qualities that give communities a true sense of place and make them desirable neighborhoods that people want to live in.”
The Freehold Communities community includes 175 acres of magnificent lakes, including a mile-long main lake, 20 miles of trails and 500 acres of parks, playgrounds and green space. Its five-acre farm and event barn are central components of community life here, offering fruits, vegetables and herbs to be shared among the residents.
Arden was honored with the 2020 NAHB Gold Award for “Best Amenity” at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) The Nationals competition held earlier this year.
“It is an unmistakable honor for Arden to be awarded the 2020 NAHB Gold Award for ‘Best Amenity’ at The Nationals,” said Andrew Smith, division president of Freehold Communities. “This award recognizes that Arden combines the wonders of nature with the joys of healthy living to create a community that is unlike any other nationwide.”
Bringing the first multi-family homes to Arden, D.R. Horton’s collection consists of 120 spacious single-story villas, each featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms and enclosed lanais for outdoor lounging. Starting in the mid-$300s, the villas range from 1,836 to 1,921 square feet of living space, offering homeowners a chance to experience modern luxury at an affordable price.
Prospective homebuyers will be able to choose from two beautiful floorplans, all featuring high-quality paver driveways, large two-car garages and impeccable streetscape appeal that all Arden residences know and love. Complete with premium features and finishes, the homes’ exquisite interiors include stainless steel appliances, gorgeous granite countertops and impact-resistant windows. In addition, each D.R. Horton villa comes equipped with a state-of-the-art smart home system that allows residents to stay connected with their home and each other, no matter where they are.
“Here, residents can enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle with all of the benefits of modern living, but in a rural setting,” Moguel said. “Between the unmatched quality of homes, the comforts of resort-style amenities, the simple joys of rural living, and the stunning natural beauty of the land, Arden is in a class of its own.”