Baldwin Park: A Traditional Orlando Neighborhood

Baldwin Park is a masterfully planned traditional Orlando neighborhood a few miles east of Downtown Orlando, offering an unmatched level of quality, convenience and exceptional life balance. Inspired by communities of the past where kids bicycled neighborhood sidewalks to the corner drugstore, neighbors chatted on the front porch, families picnicked in neighborhood parks and swam in the community pool, where all life’s necessities were within walking distance. Touted as a model community, a prime example of smart growth and the the best of New American Urbanism, Baldwin Park has received many coveted national and state awards for excellence in planning, architecture and environmental sensitivity. This comfortable, pedestrian-friendly oasis is walkable by design with large sidewalks and narrow, low-speed-limit streets with on-street parking set in a grid-like pattern. This community is networked with alleys to access garages and a community center just a short walk from most homes.

Designed as an antithesis of the suburbs, the development’s 1,100 acres contains: 250 acres of lakes (none of which are home sites), more than 50 miles of walking and bike paths, wide sidewalks and trails, over 20 parks (two of which have swimming pools, playgrounds and community-center buildings with fitness centers and meeting rooms) and 3,000 houses, townhomes and apartments. The development also features one million square feet of office space, a waterfront village center with neighborhood banks and more than a dozen restaurants, shops offering unique gifts, practical purchases and personal services, plus a CVS and Publix. This means residents can go out to dinner, shopping, take care of everyday needs, enjoy recreational and leisure activities, plus spend time with friends without the mandatory driving suburban living requires. Additionally, students can walk or ride bikes to both the elementary and middle schools located within the neighborhood, or to the bordering high school.

Aesthetically, Baldwin Park is an old-style village architecturally reminiscent of timeless, classic homes found in pre-1940s Central Florida neighborhoods. A wide range of residential options and housing types are offered, such as cottages and bungalows, manor homes and live-work models. The live-work models include space for tenants in local versions of Classic, Revival, Coastal, Craftsman, Florida Vernacular and Mediterranean styles, but with the interiors geared toward modern living including open floor plans, bonus rooms and large master suites.

Built on ground where fighters and bombers, soldiers and sailors once marched, Baldwin Park was once home to Orlando’s World War II Army Air Base and Cold War Air Force Base from 1940 until the late 1960s, before becoming Orlando’s Naval Training Center (NTC) through 1999. The Navy sold the land to the City of Orlando that October and they immediately resold the it to the developer, Orlando NTC Partners (now Baldwin Park Development Company). Nearly two years later in August 2001, Baldwin Park’s “Brownfield” status changed to “Greenfield,” officially marking the site ready for reuse.  This was the largest single-phase demolition and recycling project in history, including nearly everything in the 256 buildings, 25 miles of roads, 200 miles of underground utilities, with a yield of 600,000 tons of clean concrete that was reused onsite.

Following Lake Baldwin, Baldwin Park derives its name in part from Naval Under Secretary, Robert H.B. Baldwin, at the time the base was commissioned in 1968. It was formatted much like Orlando’s other well-known, desirable neighborhoods — Winter Park, College Park, Delaney Park and Thornton Park. Within its first three years, nearly 1100 homes were sold, more than 90% of which were to local residents who moved from within a 10-mile radius. Now in its final stages of development, Baldwin Park’s design, architecture, location, environment, good schools and true sense of community has made it one of Orlando and Central Florida’s most highly coveted and desirable places to live.

Approximate Distance to:
Orlando International Airport: 11 miles
Universal Studios, Florida: 14 miles
Walt Disney World Resort: 20 miles
Downtown Orlando: 5 miles