There are two ultra luxury communities that are being built on the shores of the so called pristine Lake Apopka, namely Bella Collina and Oakland Park, which I have no idea who is buying these lakefront properties. The last time I checked Lake Apopka is a dead lake. It wasn’t that long ago that the birds were actually falling from the sky in late 1990’s not because they were diving for food but because they were just dying. The deaths were linked to pesticides in the water from the farms that once resided along its shores.
A levee was built along the north shore of Lake Apopka in 1941 to drain 20,000 acres so that farmers could have a marsh for farming. The resulting runoff of nutrients and pesticides from the farming led to widespread pollution and the disappearance of the lake’s recreational value for people and animals.
Numerous legislations have been passed from 1985-1999 to restore Lake Apopka to its former glory but the most conservative estimates give a 25 year time frame for recovery. So why in the world are people buying lakefront properties on this lake? The prices are similar or more expensive than lakefront properties on pristine bodies of water in Central Florida. We’re talking millions of dollars. The homes in the Street of Dreams event in 2006 held at Bella Collina were priced around $5 million. You can’t swim there and the only wildlife that you’ll see is probably a mutant alligator.
Here is a quote from the Bella Collina homepage that cracks me up “Lake Apopka on the other hand, measuring an impressive 48 square miles, is Orlando’s largest lake and the third largest in all of Florida. Its waters offer miles of scenic beauty and unlimited recreational opportunities. Peaceful days of fishing and quiet mornings spent gazing at light dancing on the water’s surface are balanced with afternoons of water skiing and evenings of pleasure cruises. Whether you live on the lake or simply near one, you’ll always feel the presence of water at Bella Collina, and know that its wonders are at your beck and call.” Give me a break. Oakland Park has a section on their site for “Healthy Living” & “Green Urbanism” but at least they don’t promote Lake Apopka as a pristine lake.
I have to admit the stretch of roads leading to and around these two communities are beautiful with canopies of grand oaks but this reminds me a lot of the stories I heard growing up about people buying swampland in Florida. If anyone has a clue about who’s falling for this scam, I’d like to know. Supposedly they’re selling like hotcakes.