ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 3, 2013 – Summit East Technology Park, a 117-acre commercial development in Tallahassee, has won the 24th Residential Environmental Award from Florida Realtors®. The award, popularly known as the ENVY, was presented at the state association’s recent 97th annual Convention and Trade Expo at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla.
2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher noted this year’s ENVY Award recognized a commercial development – Summit East Technology Park – that best demonstrates green building practices and was designed in harmony with Florida’s natural resources. Whether in the commercial or residential category, the ENVY Award has become a coveted honor to win for builders of top-quality, environmentally responsible communities in the state.
During the convention’s Keynote Awards Luncheon, Asher presented the award to representatives for Summit East, as pictured in the photo above: John Schmidt, property manager for Summit East Technology Park, at left, Claude R. Walker, CEO of Summit Group International Management, center, and Dean Asher, president of Florida Realtors, at right.
Summit East Technology Park is located at the crossroads of Highway 90 and Interstate 10, two major traffic corridors in eastern Leon County, Fla. The project’s founder, Rick Kearney, was committed to building an ecologically friendly and “green” community, but also wanted to create a place where businesses could utilize the latest advances in technology, according to Summit officials.
“We’re very pleased Summit Group has earned this prestigious statewide award,” said CEO Walker. “Summit East, Tallahassee’s first technology (SMART) park, has always been one of most desirable business addresses in Tallahassee, but now we’re on the statewide and regional radars as well national. This award is well deserved, and is the culmination of Kearney’s vision of an innovative and employee centric workplace. Truly, there’s nothing else like it in the capital region.”
Walker added, “Summit Group hopes to announce in the near future a major addition to the park which will bring new jobs and growth to Tallahassee and the state Capitol.”
Judges praised the development as a “comprehensive, green development that exemplifies the benefit of establishing an environmentally conscious framework within the planning and design stages of a project.” They noted that the quality of the spaces in between and surrounding the buildings were given as much importance as the quality of the buildings themselves. With its conservation areas, outdoor amenities and civic events, Summit East provides excellent recreation and common areas for its tenants, visitors and families.
Developers provided innovative, energy efficient and cost-effective design features, such as the integration of a stormwater pond into a beautifully created and managed lake that is home to large-mouth bass, bream, catfish and turtles. The lake and its surrounding indigenous plants and shrubs also welcome different species of birds – including a pair of bald eagles – a family of foxes and a pair of lake otters.
As part of the ENVY award criteria, a judging panel of planning professionals reviewed the development’s preservation of the native flora and fauna, the blending of the community with its surrounding environment, common areas such as nature trails and playgrounds, family recreation and safety, streets, drainage, sanitation and marketability.
In fact, judges noted that this commercial project’s emphasis on recreational, wildlife and environmental features rivals that of many residential planned communities.