Master Community in Progress
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Master Community in Progress

Master Community in Progress

Viera continues planned growth in fourth and final phase

With its combination of residential communities, restaurants, shops, business storefronts and parks — all part of a master plan — Viera continues to grow in population and clout.

A Brief History

In 1926, Slovak immigrant Andrew Duda and his sons produced their first celery cash crop on land in central Brevard County.

In the early 1940s, Andrew Duda’s three sons, John, Andrew Jr., and Ferdinand, purchased 43,000 acres of land in Brevard County with dreams of later development.

It wasn’t until 1989 that the proposal for a master-planned community, to be called Viera, was revealed. The four-phase plan called for a mix of residential and commercial pursuits, a hospital, schools and land designated for parks and other green space. The name “Viera” is derived from the Slovak word for “faith” — a testament to the vision of Andrew Duda Sr. when he immigrated to pursue his own American dream.

“Since the time of the vision for the community being unveiled back in 1989, The Viera Company, as master developer, has been relentlessly focused on the overall plan and design of Viera by keeping current on best practices and developments in approaches to planning and development,” said Todd J. Pokrywa, Senior Vice President of Land Use Planning and Development for The Viera Company. “There has been and continues to be a steady focus on innovation, functionality and implementation of smart planning principles in the community’s development.”

Part of the manifestation of that vision has been the donation of land for community betterment. In total, The Viera Company has hundreds of acres of land for the development of things like the Brevard Zoo, Brevard County Educational Services Facilities, the Brevard County Government Operations Center, Space Coast Stadium, Ralph Williams Elementary School, the Pineda Interchange and more.

Now in its fourth and final phase, Viera is home to more than 23,000 people and 350 businesses that employ more than 10,000 people. When complete, Viera is expected to be home to more than 60,000 residents.

The fourth phase, representing about half of the project’s buildout, is expected to be complete in the 2030s and is subject to extension, according to Nina G. Salvaggio, community communications specialist at The Viera Company.

Award-Winning Community

Viera was recently named one of the top 25 master-planned communities of 2017 in the country by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC in its annual ranking, in part because of what it offers residents that improve quality of life.

Viera is the only master-planned community in Florida with a zoo, and The Viera Company donated the original 56 acres of land. The Viera trail system offers more than 100 miles of trails and sidewalks built for pedestrian, bike and golf cart traffic. The Viera Wetlands, formerly known as the Ritch Grissom Wetlands, offer a preserved wildlife sanctuary that is especially popular with bird-watchers.

Recently, the United States Specialty Sports Association relocated to Viera. The multi-sports governing body has a membership of 3.7 million people and was instrumental in bringing the 2018 World Cup of Women’s Baseball to Viera.

Why Viera?

Twenty-somethings Sarah Hansen and Chris Le moved to Viera two years ago. Hansen, a marketing specialist, and Le, a healthcare manager, decided to give Viera a try because of its location and ease of commuting to Orlando, as well as its many shops and restaurants.

“We liked the overall feel of Viera, very well-kept and clean. We ended up finding an apartment right next the The Avenue Viera and are in love with it,” Hansen said. “We spend a lot of time walking and play soccer or tennis at Viera Regional Park. We walk to The Avenue for dinner and drinks and attend events there. If somewhere is too far to walk, we can usually bike there.”

Adrienne and Damon Schmadeke moved to Viera five years ago with their three children from Rolla, Missouri. The family wanted to live in Florida and did a lot of research into what areas would best fit, including looking at communities in the Tampa, Port Orange, Vero Beach and Lake Nona areas.

“When looking at Viera, we were drawn to the area because of the growth, future plans, beautiful community, A-rated schools and ease of access to I-95 for my husband's commute,” Adrienne Schmadeke said.

When the Schmadekes began house hunting, the Strom Park community had just opened for presales. The only visible structure was a newly-installed fire hydrant, but the family knew the area would be their new home.

“Our family's favorite activities here are our children's athletic activities at Viera Regional Park with baseball, softball, and flag football and we attend Church at Viera on Sundays,” Adrienne Schmadeke said. “We also enjoy dining at the many restaurants available. Some of our local favorites are El Leoncito, Thai Hana, Olive Tree Greek Grill and Chick-fil-A.”

As the community continues to grow in population and business sizes, Schmadeke said she looks forward to what comes next.

“We love that we have many amenities found in cities, but the smaller town charm of knowing our neighbors,” she said.

What’s Next?

In 2018, many projects already under construction will see completion, including The Artistry at Viera Luxury apartments and the new Fairfield Inn and Suites — Town Center Hotel. New construction has broken ground at the Viera Town Center luxury apartments at Center Pointe, as well as a new diverging diamond interchange at Viera Boulevard and Interstate 95. Several new neighborhoods will open in 2018, begin selling homes or continue construction —  including Arrivas Village, Trasona Cove, Kerrington, Modern Duran, Loren Cove, Valencia, Bridgewater, Adelaide, and Stadium Villas.

Looking even further down the road, Viera will continue infrastructure projects to improve community life. New roads connecting Viera to the surrounding area, new neighborhoods, new employers, shopping and dining avenues, more parks and trails, and other resident amenities are on tap for the near future.

“The vision for Viera is to create a vibrant, livable community built with faith, integrity and thoughtful stewardship of the land,” Salvaggio said. “This is what you can expect to continue to see from the community of Viera in the years to come.”

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