Naples Reserve's native landscaping wows residents

Naples Reserve’s native landscaping wows residents

Posted on June 21, 2017

Once they grow accustomed to the lush subtropical landscape that surrounds them, first-time visitors to Naples Reserve, iStar’s 688-acre community of Southern Coastal-inspired attached villa, single-family and custom estate homes, usually have the same question when they take a closer look at the plantings gracing the community’s grand guard gate or lining the linear park: “What is that?”

“I love to create a ‘wow factor’,” said iStar’s landscaping consultant Karen Day, a third-generation landscaper with more than 30 years of industry experience.

By design, Naples Reserve’s landscaping sets the tone for the community’s natural, tropical look and oasis-like feel. Using mature palm trees from iStar’s own nurseries on the east coast of Florida mixed with a curated collection of additional plantings, Day composed a vibrant landscape that regularly elicits excitement and appreciation from residents and visitors.

“Naples Reserve doesn’t have the traditionally manicured landscape that residents of Southwest Florida’s gated communities are accustomed to,” said Don Mears, vice president of land and development with iStar who has worked with Day since the 1980s. “Here, the landscaping evokes a sense of discovery and plays a critical part in establishing the sense of place that makes the community so unique.”

Naples Reserve’s landscaping utilizes native, drought-resistant, low-maintenance plants in layered combinations of color and texture to achieve a natural look. As the plantings mature, they don’t require the extensive pruning and trimming required of a more traditional community landscape.

Leading to Naples Reserve, the median and road shoulders incorporate an assortment of palms that introduce visitors to the community, including Silver Bismarck, Tropical Spindles and Regal Canary Island Dates, blended with royal palms and groundcovers of red lantana.

Within the community, buffer areas have rock walls, grasses and dwarf bougainvillea, elephant ears and other subtropical plants.

Flowering and canopy trees, including royal Poinciana, Michelia Champaca, Milking Way, Jamaican poinsettia and dogwood, powderpuff, Shady Lady black olive, Spanish stopper and strangler fig add graceful movement and color to the landscape.

“iStar supported the decision to create something completely fresh and new at Naples Reserve … and it works!” said Day.

The first six of eleven planned Naples Reserve neighborhoods have uniform entrance monuments, but the similarities stop there. Each neighborhood has a different assortment of plantings to create a sense of uniqueness and individuality.

“I want neighbors to take pride in their entrances,” said Day.

The community’s linear park features a fitness course accented with different plantings for variety.

In addition to appreciating the aesthetic appeal of the communities’ plantings, residents are benefiting from Naples Reserve’s landscaping on a more practical level as well: in both the short- and long-term, low-maintenance plants pay off.

“Lower landscaping costs mean lower homeowners association fees,” said Mears.

Naples Reserve was created by iStar, which was named 2015 Developer of the Year by Builder and Developer magazine for its commitment to creating exceptional communities and lifestyles with an emphasis on energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

Created amongst 22 lakes and sweeping open water views, the 688-acre community emphasizes lakefront living with Southern Coastal-inspired homes and amenities along the water’s edge. Lakes provide prime opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding and scenic vistas. The community’s centerpiece 125-acre Eagle Lake features a large tiki hut on destination Kontiki Island and also offers a mile-long stretch of lakefront nestled against the Picayune Strand State Forest, a 76,000-acre state park with protected pinelands, cypress swamps, marshes and abundant wildlife.

iStar has completed the community’s initial lakefront resort-inspired amenities, including the $7 million Island Club social center featuring a 5,160-square-foot clubhouse and an adjacent 3,500-square-foot fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and a movement studio for spinning, Zumba and yoga. Outdoors, an expansive, resort-style zero-entry pool offers dedicated lap lanes and ample room for relaxation.

Indoor and alfresco gathering areas at the Island Club include a lakeside fire pit and casual beverage and dining options at Chat ‘n Chill Tiki Bar and Latitudes Cafe. At the Outrigger Center, a variety of watercraft options are available for residents use, as well as a flex-space available for game days, special events and other activities. Cruises on the community’s two Duffy electric boats depart from the center’s floating docks for residents to explore Eagle Lake and Kontiki Island.

The lakefront Match Point complex, offering tennis and pickleball courts, is now open. Naples Reserve also offers homebuyers along Eagle Lake the opportunity for a personal floating boat dock.

Additional planned amenities include a Kid’s Cove playground and picnic area, two dog parks – Walk & Wag, opening soon and Paws Awhile in 2018 – and a meandering linear park for biking, hiking and jogging. Navigating a loop road circling Naples Reserve, the park is designed to engage residents with their natural environment and provide an alternative mode of transportation throughout the community.

Naples Reserve residents receive complimentary one-year social memberships at Walker’s Hideaway Marina of Naples, a yacht club along the Gordon River offering a marina, indoor storage for 600 boats, two waterside restaurants, outdoor pool and sauna, and access to Naples Bay.

Naples Reserve offers 17 fully decorated models available for viewing, built by Southwest Florida’s premier homebuilders, including Ashton Woods, D.R. Horton, Florida Lifestyle Homes, KTS Homes, Lundstrom Development, Marvin Development, McGarvey Custom Homes and Stock Signature Homes. Homes are priced from the high-$200s to more than $1 million.

Naples Reserve is located off U.S. 41, 2 miles southeast of the Collier Boulevard/CR 951 intersection and 10 minutes from I-75, Exit 101. Visit the community at 14885 Naples Reserve Circle or online at

About iStar Land & Development:
iStar Land & Development creates unique communities, considering the best use of the land with a focus on future residents. iStar has financed and invested in over $10 billion of residential projects since 1993, making it one of the largest investors in luxury condominium, multifamily and master-planned residential developments in the U.S. Its portfolio has included interests in over 18,000 condominium units in the nation’s top markets, and 65,000 acres in master-planned communities with the potential for an estimated 50,000 single-family and multifamily units. Offering a fully integrated platform, the team includes best-in-class developers, architects, builders, marketers and community liaisons.

About iStar:
iStar (NYSE: STAR) finances, invests in and develops real estate and real estate related projects as part of its fully integrated investment platform. Building on over two decades of experience and more than $35 billion of transactions, iStar brings uncommon capabilities and new ways of thinking to commercial real estate and adapts its investment strategy to changing market conditions. The company is structured as a real estate investment trust, with a diversified portfolio focused on larger assets located in major metropolitan markets. Additional information on iStar is available on its website at

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