National Developer Benderson Development, in working with Moule & Polyzoides, urbanist architects and Two Trails, Inc., green consultants, is setting a new standard for Green Building with their unique approach for integrating stores, homes and offices. University Town Center will be the mixed-use development others will reference when looking to achieve working sustainable Lifestyle Center.
University Town Center will encompass 1.9 million square feet developed using the "new urbanism" approach. Included in the development will be an upscale shopping center, movie theatre, boutique stores and offices with living spaces above and affordable housing residences in a park like setting. The key to making this a Lifestyle Center is the use of "Green Spaces" strategically placed to create the overall atmosphere of stepping into a park like setting. The is over 60 plus acres of conservation area and miles of walking paths. Landscaping throughout the development will be installed in accordance to Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Guidelines.
A Lifestyle Center
This is not a shopping mall, this is a destination created to provide a sense of interacting with nature while working, shopping or just relaxing. It all starts at the entrance to University Town Center, where roads have been designed to gently flow around lakes and through the natural setting. To provide monitored speed maintenance, a turn-about has been incorporated to keep traffic flowing at a manageable pace.
"Benderson Development is applying for the Florida Green Building Coalition, Green Development Certification and is exploring the possibility of LEED certification for the entire development," stated Drew Smith, Green Consultant for Two Trails, Inc. Some unusual aspects of the development will be the Trolley System, which will run using an alternative fuel and will reduce the need for shoppers to move their cars. Pedestrian walking paths and petite parks with benches and water views provide a serene setting. Shoppers and residences alike will be able to relax and take a break.
Residence above shopping and offices will not be gazing on concrete roofs. Buildings will have "Green Roofs" providing additional space for gardening and relaxation. The staggered building layout adds to the diversity needed to create an interesting overall design that is pleasing while fitting into the surrounding natural environment.
Looking to the future, sustainability is the focus for all green developments. Benderson Development has added preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles (hybrid cars) and carpooling, preferred bicycle parking areas at all buildings and showers provided in employee areas for those that choose to bike to work. The concept is that this development will easily fit into our changing environmentally conscious world. New forms of transportation can easily be adapted into the overall design of the development making this a forward thinking project developed to meet the needs not only of today but well into the future.