By Pam Parisi

Waterset was recently recognized by a leading regional planning awards competition for space planning and interior merchandising within its community club and Information Center, The Landing Club & Café. This award was presented at the Southeast Building Conference’s 2013 Aurora Awards, a prestigious competition run by the Florida Home Builders Association for projects located within the 12-state Southeastern region and Eastern Caribbean.

Waterset is owned in a joint venture partnership between North America Sekisui House, LLC (NASH) the U.S. business unit and full subsidiary of Sekisui House, Ltd, Japan’s largest homebuilder and leading diversified developer, and Newland Real Estate Group, LLC, whose development business, Newland Communities, is the master developer of the community. It is one of more than 30 assets the NASH-Newland partnership owns or manages together in 11 states across the U.S.

“The Landing was designed to be the centerpiece of Waterset – not only for residents, but also prospective homebuyers and the surrounding community,” said Alex McLeod, general manager and VP of operations for Newland Communities. The Landing Club & Café combines reflection spaces, a workshop and library, and a full-service coffee and smoothie bar that provides residents and guests a perfect place to relax and refuel.  A large table at the center of the Landing houses a topographic map of Tampa Bay and a community site plan, encouraging conversations about Waterset and all that Apollo Beach and the Bay area have to offer. Café booths provide iPad stations for guests to enjoy the latest apps, including a Waterset app for browsing home plans and community photos.

The café offers a menu of unique items, from pour-over coffees and citrus coolers to flavored sodas and fresh pastries. The design intentionally left room to grow for future wine, beer and lunch offerings.

Entries for the interior merchandising category were judged on overall architectural design and creativity, overall impact, use of space and materials, use of accessories, appropriate theme for the Apollo Beach area, and overall practicality of design and creativity.

For more information about Waterset and the Landing Club & Cafe, visit or call 235-0154.


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.