Newfield: A Traditional Neighborhood Development-Style Town is Coming to the Treasure Coast
Martin County has approved the first phase of Newfield, a traditional neighborhood development-style town that features 2,000 acres of open green space for all to enjoy.
So, here’s something we don’t hear every day: the Treasure Coast, specifically northern Martin County, is getting… a new TOWN!
KK: Newfield is going to be a new kind of community. More like a traditional small town. You know, the same low-rise buildings that Martin County insists upon; nothing more than 4 stories.
Newfield is the vision of Knight Kiplinger of Washington DC and Sewall’s Point in Martin County. He’s known around the world for Kiplinger Publications, and is a passionate protector of our natural Florida environment. Last month, Martin County officials approved phase 1 of his plan for Newfield, a traditional neighborhood planned town.
KK: The way towns grew organically 100 years ago in America. A small town that will be walkable, where the schools will be walkable for children in a neighborhood, not necessarily requiring buses. With houses set a little closer to the street, not separated from the street by huge front lawns and front-loading garages. With a front porch at a friendly talking distance from the sidewalks so neighbors can get to know each other, and kids can play up and down the block.
There will be a mix of housing types within the same blocks so there’s something for everyone, from young families to seniors. The town will have civic buildings, retail space, small offices, and 2,000 acres of open green space.
KK: 70% of these 3,400 acres will be open space for ever. Our family has owned this enormous piece of land – 3,400 acres – for almost 40 years. And many years ago, I vowed that we would not just carve this up in conventional suburban development.
Included in that is the Kiplinger Conservancy, grazing pastures, farmland, playing fields, recreational spaces. But there are no gates.
KK: The open space at Newfield will be available for everybody to enjoy. The public to enjoy. Hiking trails and mountain biking trails and equestrian trails; things of that sort.
We spoke to two of the Martin County Commissioners involved in the approval process.
DS: My name is Commissioner Doug Smith. It could have gone very, very differently. Knight could have taken the very easy way out. Gone to the national homebuilders and said, I’m selling this. Here’s 3000 acres. Good luck.
DS: Knight spent 3 or 4 years of his personal time meeting with everybody and anybody. And was gracious enough in that process to listen to everybody. Take to heart what they were saying. And really embrace it.
EC: I’m Ed Ciampi the District 5 Martin County commissioner representing Palm City to Indiantown.
He also praises Kiplinger’s multi-year listening tour.
EC: He let them give them their suggestions and he also listened to what their concerns were, and he knocked down a lot of the fear.
He too values to open space in Newfield.
EC: And you know that’s money. That’s money he’s leaving on the table. This is a legacy project. This is not some corporate, you know, initiative. This is the Kiplinger family legacy.
Here’s Kiplinger again:
KK: Moderate growth and environmental quality are not mutually exclusive. They can occur together, and we want our new community of Newfield to be a model for this.
Newfield is projected to take 20 years to reach full fruition.
KK: And 20 years from now perhaps 10,000 people will live at Newfield, but it will grow very gradually and naturally, as market demand dictates.
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