Located in the eastern lands of Collier County, Rivergrass is a new village of homes, amenities, and local goods and services. The master-planned community – located on 1,000 acres previously used for agricultural activities, thereby reducing water consumption and allowing development on impacted lands – will be surrounded by 4,000 acres of high-quality conservation lands that provide residents with stunning backyard views and an active outdoor lifestyle, while retaining an important natural corridor for wildlife.

Rivergrass will feature up to 2,500 single-family and multifamily homes, where affordability means residents can live, work and play in Collier County. In fact, essential workers are eligible for down payment assistance from Collier Enterprises — up to $25,000 per home.

The vision for the community includes the features found in some of Naples’ most sought-after addresses: health & wellness facilities, interconnected walkways, 18 holes of bundled golf, homes with waterfront views, plus acres of green space and parks throughout the community.

Neighborhood shopping, retail outlets, and restaurants will offer Rivergrass residents the convenience of staying close to home, while also providing easy access to goods and services for residents of Golden Gate Estates, Ave Maria, and other nearby communities.

Rivergrass will generate more than $59 million for Collier County’s use on infrastructure projects and more than $10 million in annual tax revenues for the county.

Additionally, Rivergrass and its sister Villages of Longwater and Bellmar together will permanently preserve 10,000 acres of environmental lands — at no cost to Collier County taxpayers.

The Environment

Located within Collier County’s Rural Lands Stewardship Area, Rivergrass is designed to meet, and in some cases exceed, the County’s strict guidelines for development. The preservation of 4,000 acres of environmental lands surrounding Rivergrass exceeds the requirements for a new village and protects in perpetuity the most valuable wetlands and natural habitat in the area.

Filter marshes and restored flow ways will complement a state-of-the-art stormwater management system, and changing the land use from agriculture to residential means a reduction in water consumption of more than 50 percent.

The thoughtful Rivergrass master plan will enable residents to enjoy nature’s beauty both inside their community and outside their back doors. Additionally, while thousands of acres will be set aside for wildlife to roam, a protective water buffer will deter wildlife and human interaction within the Rivergrass community.

The Lifestyle

With a focus on an active outdoor lifestyle,
Rivergrass will offer:

  • 18 holes of bundled golf, open to the public
  • Community amenity centers with lots of activities
  • Health & fitness facilities
  • Wide pathways for biking, power walking, and leisurely strolls
  • Water features
  • Green space and parks

Affordability is central to the Rivergrass plan. Homebuyers who provide essential services in Collier County – professionals such as nurses, police officers, teachers, and firefighters – often cannot find attainable new housing in Naples. Similarly, retirees who seek the region’s warm temperatures and outdoor amenities will now have a choice below the median prices in urban Collier County.

Add in the convenience of neighborhood shopping, with easy access to stores, restaurants and services, and it’s easy to see why Rivergrass will be a destination unto itself.

Village Maps

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Town of Big Cypress Site Plan
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Rivergrass Master Plan
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Frequently Asked Questions

Collier Enterprises was encouraged by Collier County management to submit an application for a new town that would bring jobs, include an expansive public park, add new schools, and reduce the number of cars traveling west into Naples for goods, services, and employment. Collier Enterprises agreed with the County’s thinking.

The Town of Big Cypress is located in eastern Collier County just east of Golden Gate Estates at Oil Well Road and the future Big Cypress Parkway. The town is proximate to Collier Enterprises’ three new Villages – Rivergrass, Longwater, and Bellmar.

The Town of Big Cypress brings numerous benefits to Collier County residents, including economic diversification, employment opportunities, mixed-use development, school sites, community park, affordable and attainable housing, and a town core with large-scale industrial, commercial, goods and services to an underserved portion of Golden Gate Estates and other eastern Collier County residents.

No – instead, residents of the Town of Big Cypress, Rivergrass, Longwater, and Bellmar will be able to live, work and shop in the new town and the numerous commercial centers being created as part of the development plan. Connectivity between the Town and Villages are built into the plan. Big Cypress will feature employment centers, office space, retail shopping, services, entertainment, healthcare and other aspects of everyday life – all in eastern Collier County. While some residents will certainly choose to travel to Naples and other destinations for employment and services, this new town is intended to be a self-contained, sustainable community.

The total number of homes in the Town of Big Cypress, Rivergrass, Longwater, and Bellmar totals approximately 8,350. The residential offerings will span a broad range of options for working families, essential workers, retirees, and second-home owners. Additionally, the Town of Big Cypress includes a set-aside of acreage for Collier County to create 880 affordable housing units – an unprecedented commitment to ensure a variety of attainable housing for all.

Rivergrass Village, Longwater Village and Bellmar Village have been approved at the County level.  Additional public spaces, both residential and commercial, are currently under review by the County and will be incorporated into the Town of Big Cypress in the future.

Construction permits from the County, State and Federal agencies are expected in 2024.  Utility and infrastructure construction is expected to begin in 2024, with homes being built in 2025.

The location of the Town of Big Cypress in eastern Collier County puts it at the heart of an area where current and future residents of Golden Gate Estates, Ave Maria, Orange Tree and other nearby communities will benefit from access to additional employment opportunities, services, retail shopping, healthcare, and civic, recreational and cultural activities.

Absolutely not. Collier County requires that the Town and Villages be “fiscally neutral” – in other words, the development must pay for itself through a number of revenue streams to the County. The analysis is reviewed and confirmed by County staff and rechecked by a professional, neutral industry expert; in every analysis, the Village applications have been found consistent with the fiscal neutrality requirement. These reviews of the Villages have confirmed that upon completion, the Town of Big Cypress will generate 6,000 jobs in eastern Collier County, approximately $200 million in total impact fees, and – at no cost to taxpayers – forever protect more than 12,300 acres of prime panther habitat and add $3 million in panther crossings and fencing to protect panthers. Additionally, the clustered development design of the Town and Villages, which is a pillar of the RLSA program, eliminates urban sprawl. Villages reduce road trips and create the opportunity for large-scale environmental preservation.

Total commercial for the Town of Big Cypress and the Villages is 1, 575,000 square feet, with 1.3 million within the Town and the remainder in the Villages. There will be a variety of offices for businesses and professional practices, retail shopping, restaurants, entertainment venues, and space for manufacturing ­– all of which will provide jobs and create a healthy economic base for the community. This sustainable community will reduce the need for residents to drive long distances for their everyday needs and activities.

We anticipate that the Town of Big Cypress will offer a broad range of healthcare services, including physicians’ offices, labs and diagnostic facilities, various kinds of specialist services, dental and eye care, and fitness facilities and health clubs.

Along with protecting natural areas, one of the top priorities for Big Cypress is working with Collier County to participate in providing transportation solutions.  Collier Enterprises has reserved 10 miles of right-of-way for the future Big Cypress Parkway, and we have committed to pay $27 million for intersection improvements. Additionally, the Town and Villages will generate approximately $67 million in transportation funds – which County staff has confirmed far exceeds the Villages’ transportation impacts – to help advance road improvements in Collier County. Our plans call for convenient access to important area thoroughfares as Big Cypress and the Villages develop. In addition, the availability of businesses, shops, schools, parks, restaurants and services within the Town of Big Cypress will give residents of Golden Gate Estates new reasons to drive east instead of west for jobs, groceries and entertainment.

The Town of Big Cypress does not require or anticipate the need for a new interchange on I-75. There is adequate capacity on I-75 interchanges at State Road 29 and Immokalee Road to serve the transportation needs of the Big Cypress community. We anticipate that Big Cypress will reduce the need for many area residents to travel west to Naples for jobs, shopping and other needs.

Care and respect for the environment is an essential element of the Town of Big Cypress and the nearby Villages. Demonstrating our commitment to protecting these lands, our preservation plan provides 12,337 acres of conservation –approximately three acres of preservation for every acre we develop – meaning sensitive wetlands, major flow ways, wildlife habitat and other natural ecosystems will be restored and protected in perpetuity. This type of environmental stewardship has been part of Collier Enterprises’ history for more than a century. In fact, about 80 percent of the county’s land today is in public ownership, permanently protected as parks and preserves – and much of this land was conveyed to government entities and nonprofit agencies by the Collier family and its companies.

In planning for Town of Big Cypress, we have identified land that makes strategic contributions to the protection of Camp Keais Strand, a vital regional ecosystem within the Rural Lands Stewardship Area. Thousands of acres within the Camp Keais Strand will be preserved, including a continuous 10-mile length of the Strand through Collier Enterprises’ land holdings. We also will set aside several thousand acres of important wildlife habitat along the Okaloacoochee Slough east of Immokalee. Coupled with lands previously set aside under the Rural Lands Stewardship Area in this location, this will provide a broad area of connected habitat preservation.

The Town of Big Cypress will be concentrated immediately adjacent to existing development in eastern Golden Gate Estates, in the area around Oil Well Road and Randall Boulevard, on farm fields that have been cleared for decades. The preservation of 12,337 acres, including the Camp Keais Strand, represents the permanent protection of a key corridor for the endangered Florida panther, connecting the CREW lands to the north with the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge to the south – all at no cost to Collier County taxpayers. Our planning team will continue to study wildlife and ecosystem issues, working with Florida and national panther experts, as well as experts in conservation biology, water quality, and other disciplines.

In addition, Collier Enterprises has joined four leading conservation organizations – Audubon of Florida, Collier County Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and Florida Wildlife Federation – plus other eastern Collier County landowners in a collaborative effort to protect the Florida Panther by creating the Florida Panther Protection Program and Florida Panther Protection Fund.  The Villages will generate $3 million for the fund and the fund pays for panther protection measures such as acquiring and restoring habitat and installing panther crossings and fencing. These efforts also benefit dozens of other species. In compliance with the Florida Protection Program, the Town of Big Cypress will generate several million dollars for the Florida Panther Protection Fund.

According to experts on panther habitat and conservation as well as panther GPS tracking data, farm fields are not preferred habitat for panthers. One look at the telemetry data shows that panthers den, roam, and hunt prey in Camp Keais Strand. All development will occur on farm fields, while preserving 12,337 acres of true primary panther habitat in Camp Keais Strand.

The Kautz Study concludes with this clear direction: “An ambitious, comprehensive strategy for working with private landowners to protect, enhance, and restore panther habitat within the Primary, Dispersal, and Secondary Zones is essential.”

The allocation of water for the Town of Big Cypress will be less than has been historically permitted for agriculture and farming in this location. Additionally, Collier Enterprises is investigating the potential for implementing reuse water supplies for irrigation needs, which may further reduce the development’s demand for fresh water.

No, Big Cypress will not cause flooding in Golden Gate Estates. Water within the Big Cypress Stewardship District is managed onsite, and any discharge from the development will flow south and east away from the Estates.

The Town of Big Cypress is being permitted under Collier County’s Rural Lands Stewardship Area (RLSA) program, a zoning measure approved by Collier County in 2002 for approximately 185,000 acres of land in eastern Collier County. The RLSA program is an innovative, incentive-based approach to planning and implementing sustainable long-term growth in rural regions. Collier County’s RLSA program has received national recognition and served as the basis for Florida’s Rural Lands Stewardship programs in other areas.

To date, Collier County’s RSLA program has already conserved 50,693 acres in perpetuity at zero cost to taxpayers – land that is valued at $1 billion. By comparison, the Conservation Collier program funded by taxpayers has purchased a total of 4,054 acres at an acquisition cost of nearly $104 million, with taxpayers also funding the maintenance of these lands in perpetuity.

The RLSA program protects natural resources, supports continued farming and grazing, and promotes sustainable economic growth. The program encourages landowners to preserve large areas of land. It offers incentives to concentrate development away from environmentally sensitive areas and to locate future communities in places more suitable for development. The Town of Big Cypress does exactly that: For every acre developed, Big Cypress and the three Villages will provide approximately three acres of preservation land including sensitive wetlands, major flow ways, wildlife habitat and other natural ecosystems.

The RLSA designates specific lands as habitat stewardship areas, flow way stewardship areas, and water retention areas. Permanent protection of these areas creates stewardship credits that are required to permit development on land suitable for development.

The RLSA program enjoys widespread support from diverse constituencies, including environmental advocates, farmers, property owners, government agencies, and community developers.

The Town of Big Cypress will comply with all Rural Land Stewardship requirements – and in some cases, exceed them.

Collier Enterprises has been involved in farming and ranching for decades, and agriculture will remain an important part of Collier Enterprises’ organization and life in eastern Collier County. The existing agricultural operations will transition to alternate lands within Collier County and the surrounding areas.

Yes, the Town of Big Cypress will set aside land for civic uses, such as schools, churches, county services, and emergency services.

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