I just got back from Florida last night. Spent a few days at our favorite beach in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
One thing I always do is drive around and check out some local neighborhoods. Since I was already familiar with all the beach properties, I thought I would venture inland a bit.
I used to spend every summer with my grandparents in the Clearwater area when I was a kid, so I know what the “Non-beach” part of Florida is like. Or I thought I did. Maybe I forgot?
I was a little blown away by the lack of cohesiveness. None of the neighborhoods seemed to relate to each other, collectively creating a “Vibe” for the area. The typical street was an older house on a very large lot that made you feel like you were in the country, then right beside that was a newer neighborhood of townhouses, next to that was a new neighborhood of more expensive houses, and next to that was a row of run down looking older houses.
The randomness sort of bothered me. When I see land develop like this, it always makes me think of playing Sim City in the 90s. You know, where the town is laid out in a grid and you just click it and decide if it is residential or industrial? Everywhere I went it just seemed like there was a square piece of land that somebody built a wall around and filled it with houses. All of the development seemed like it could have been done anywhere, just as easily as setting out a board game on a table.
Then it got me thinking about Lexington. Is Lexington like this but I don’t see it because I have been here so long and know the order in which the neighborhoods developed?
About the closest thing we have to this is Tates Creek Road outside Man O War and the Alumni Drive Corridor….although neither is as random or as unattractive as the Florida norm. Both of those corridors have several neighborhood entrances and the roads sort of feel like high speed alleys running between them. At least we have trees and make them pretty.
Then I asked myself if any of my out of town clients have ever had comments that matched my feelings for Florida neighborhoods. I’ve never had anybody say our town was anything but pretty….so I guess we have it really good here.
I came home with a new appreciation for smart development and am thankful I get to live in such a pretty place.