Overview of Neighborhood
Located in the Eden neighborhood of Immokalee, the Reserve at Eden Gardens offers 92 single-family, townhouse and garden apartments to families engaged in agricultural or formerly homeless. The picturesque neighborhood completed in 2009 set aside one-third of its acreage as restored wetlands and conserved upland. Our environmental actions brought back a much-degraded wetland and preserved habitat for the endangered gopher tortoise.
Eden Gardens tested Rural Neighborhoods’ real estate financing skills. Fourteen sources of debt and equity were blended to capitalize phases of 51, 4 and 37 units. Our expertise leveraged precious public resources to attract millions of dollars more in private capital to a neighborhood where the private market would not otherwise go. The outcome is a foothold in a neighborhood long ago given up as too blighted and poor to be a decent place to live. We’re lifting both people and places!
- Computer Learning Center and Library
- Playground and Sports Court
- Income Restricted
The Community: Immokalee
The white sand that makes up Immokalee citrus and tomato land contains little in the way of nutrients and barely holds water. But fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides have made this soil productive since local ranchers and farmers started planting in 1921. Now home to 24,000 persons, most just get by. More than 4 of 10 Immokalee residents live below the poverty line. Languages other than English are spoken in 8 of 10 homes – and all but 1 in 20 residents is a person of color.
In 1960, CBS News Anchor Edward R. Murrow reported on the harsh lives of migrant workers in “Harvest of Shame,” a documentary that exposed working conditions on the farms that surround Immokalee. Some things have changed since then and some haven’t. The work is just as backbreaking. Hard-earned wages too often end up in the crooked pockets of crew leaders, slumlords and ‘coyotes’. Parts of the town are still sad. Our hard work, on the other hand, has a few neighborhoods like Main Street Village and the Reserve at Eden Gardens on the upswing.