Emerald Lakes is designed as a sustainable, job-based community with retail, medical, educational and corporate office opportunities including 3,760 residential dwelling units and 2,820,000 square feet of non-residential uses. Permitting is in process with land development to start in 2020 and homes and opening in 2021.
With over 650 acres of preservation, more than 40% of the project will be protected and maintained as upland and wetland preservation, scrub jay preserve, nature trails, and wildlife corridors. A multi-purpose trail and Educational Eco-center will be integrated into the conserved natural environment. Over 220 acres will be donated and maintained by Brevard County EEL Program.
Due to the bifurcation of the property by I-95 and St. John’s Heritage Parkway, wetlands systems were impacted. Emerald Lakes adjusted their Concept Plan to focus the proposed impacts to wetlands that had been previously fragmented while protecting the more ecologically sound and intact wetland systems, herbaceous marshes and hardwood cypress hammock wetlands. The State of Florida chose the I-95 Interchange and adjacent Parkway location to have the least environmental impact however they still included over 25 acres of wetland impacts, 35% of the road project. The developer contributed the land for the roadways and stormwater ponds, engineering services and cash payments towards the Parkway Improvements and Interchange. The proposed wetland impacts of the 1,552-acre project site equate to less than 8% of the total site.
Environmental reports were completed for both the I-95 Interchange project and the Emerald Lakes project and identified all species on-site, including Florida scrub-jays and gopher tortoises. A large portion of the on-site scrub-jay habitat will be preserved and donated to the EEL Program, along with a management fee that is meant to allow for the management of this habitat in perpetuity. All gopher tortoises and commensal species, including eastern indigo snakes, that are located on the site will be relocated to an off-site Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)-approved recipient site.
Bald eagle nests within Florida are closely monitored by the FWC and Audubon Florida EagleWatch, both of which maintain a website of known bald eagle nest locations. According to these databases, the closest documented eagles’ nest is approximately 3,400 feet east of Emerald Lakes.
Emerald Lakes is a Master Planned mixed-use community strategically located at the new Interchange of Interstate 95, Exit 166, and St. Johns Heritage Parkway in the City of Palm Bay. The project was designed to serve as a Regional Activity Center for Southern Brevard County.
The Southwest quadrant will feature a walkable downtown with medical, educational and professional offices, community facilities including entertainment, outdoor amphitheater and a nature center, commercial spaces, hotels, and urban residential housing. Opportunities for private schools and colleges are provided within the downtown educational campus.
The Northwest quadrant plan will feature highway commercial uses, hotels, regional retail center, community shopping complex, office space, single-family, and multifamily residential housing.
The Business and Technology Park located in the Southeast quadrant will provide an inviting business climate for hi-tech businesses, research organizations, advanced manufacturing facilities with a dense concentration of enterprises and a highly talented workforce.
The Northeast quadrant is available for mixed-use residential, including a 55+ Adult Resort Community with single and multifamily sites, hotel, and community retail shopping facilities.