MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — It’s been more than a year since one of the biggest developments in recent Martin County history was approved by commissioners.
The cattle rest along Citrus Boulevard, oblivious to the changes starting to take place around them. The fields will become part of Newfield, a new kind of suburban development.
Knight Kiplinger, a name known for business news globally, has decided to focus locally on this 3,400-acre parcel of land his family has owned for decades. He began laying out his vision five years ago as the antithesis of traditional suburban sprawl.
"But a compact, walkable town with medium-sized houses with front porches set close to the sidewalk, conversational distance for civic discourse," Kiplinger said.
"It’s very rare that we would have a project this large come to Martin County for approval, never mind get approved," said Martin County Commissioner Ed Ciampi.
The development footprint is only 30%. Right now, water and sewer line construction is underway. There will be no golf courses or gated communities. The goal is to build attainable housing for a cross section of home buyers.
"The young home buyers, the millennials, empty nesters who don’t want a big home or a yard to cut. They want compact village living," Kiplinger said.
There will be retail, commercial, and industrial space.
Build out is expected over the next 10 to 12 years with a population of about 10,000.
"It’s going to leave behind thousands of acres that are pristine, exactly the way they are today," Ciampi said.
As for the cattle, they’re going to be sticking around. Plenty of pasture space for them.
Most of the infrastructure should be complete by the end of the year and the first homes could be taking shape in 2023.