Rosemary BeachSouth Walton, Florida
Paul Borden, Leucadia National Corp., Patrick Bienvenue
About Rosemary Beach
Fifteen years after Seaside, a real estate investment company wanted to capitalize on that project’s success 7 miles to the east. Threading the needle, the project moved swiftly and expertly through sales and construction to be largely complete by the time the recession arrived. It has become what is arguably one of DPZ’s best liked communities.
Despite a clear mandate to replicate Seaside’s success, very little of Rosemary Beach emulates its predecessor. Seaside’s lucky immunity to regulations was no longer the reality, and lessons-learned needed to be applied. Rosemary’s town square was shaped more intimately and thoroughfare-like connecting to a Main Street. A rear-alley system both acknowledged the volume of cars not anticipated at Seaside and screened vehicles from streetview. The plan took a risk in facing many frontages along pedestrian walks. Yet welcoming porches and families with children– grateful for the safe access to the beach– kept garage accesses from becoming front doors.
Eschewing Seaside’s Key West pastel clapboard look, Rosemary favored more masonry and adopted a darker wood-stain palette. As in Seaside, however, native landscaping was encouraged to grow into a dense canopy.
- Eyes on the water: only two formal beach access points = more residential dune line frontage.
- Nature revered: dunes preserved + native plantings + permeable paving = light imprint
- Nature informs: native rosemary-scented wild flower on site inspired the town name.
- Civic as amenity: iconic community buildings + intensely landscaped public realm.
- Successional financing: garages with rental granny flats financed early homes.
Defining Design Details
- County Road as parkway: linear green + parallel roadway on north side = solution to 30A curb-cut restrictions
- Unique aesthetic: Caribbean + St. Augustine + earth-tone palette
- Nature informs: a natural trough in terrain & dune line = town square + Main Street + beach green
- Pedestrian necklace: wood boardwalks + neighborhood pools + bungalow courts = fun path loops to beach
The 30 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America
From: Architectural DigestBy: Stefanie Waldek and Kristine Hansen
A Bounty of Beaches
From: 405 MagazineBy: Matt Payne and Elaine Warner
Books & Publications
By: Richard SextonPublished By: Pelican Publishing
Residential Development Handbook
By: Adrienne SchmitzPublished By: Urban Land Institute
Live-Work Planning and Design: Zero-Commute Housing
By: Thomas DolanPublished By: Wiley