BRINGING COMMUNITY TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
By Deborah McKinney
Photo by Kate Gardiner
Walter O’Shea, Senior Managing Director at Hines Development, is a man with a dream to create personal, high-quality communities for people to gather and become neighbors. Almost 20 years ago, O’Shea and his talented team fulfilled his first vision of creating a market-defining and groundbreaking community through the development of Palencia, an award-winning, mixed-use community nestled along the Intracoastal Waterway. The creation of Palencia set the bar in Northeast Florida for thoughtful, pedestrian-oriented, and ecologically sensitive community development.
After the completion of Palencia, O’Shea and his team were ready to create a new community. Inspired by the smaller St. Johns County neighborhood O’Shea and his family lived in, he wanted to create an intimately scaled neighborhood in St. Johns County that would provide an alternative to the larger “mega-communities” dominating the residential landscape. From this vision, Markland was born.
“The scale and design of Markland have undoubtedly been influenced by my personal experiences,” says O’Shea. “My family has had the wonderful opportunity to live in a community of 350 homes for most of our lives. At this size, a community is large enough to support a robust amenity program, yet not so large that you feel disconnected from your neighbors. When the opportunity to create Markland presented itself, we wanted to give other families this idyllic experience that we have been so truly fortunate to enjoy.”
In order to create the small, personal environment O’Shea desired, he reduced the home count from over 800 to just 355. The smaller home count allows residents to enjoy more amenities that are much like those found in a larger community. The neighborhood also provides plenty of special places for residents to gather, meet, and enjoy the company of family and friends. O’Shea’s team and Markland’s premiere homebuilders are working hard to add details to the homes and streetscapes’ architectural character to emphasize the “neighborhood” feel.
O’Shea and his team hope to recreate the small, close-knit communities in which they were raised. Thanks to O’Shea, Construction Manager Kim Shine, Project Manager Kevin Jund, and Marketing Specialist Carla Luigs, Markland has become another community that invites more people to become neighbors.
To find out how to join the community, visit the Markland homes website.