Florida Construction News staff writer
A new oceanfront Valhalla Island Resort development will include more than 175 acres and more than a mile of beachfront property about 15 minutes from the Marathon International Airport, inspired by the legendary Long Key Fishing Camp.
Founded in 1908 by Henry Flagler, the Long Key Fishing Camp was largely responsible for establishing the Florida Keys’ position of prominence on the sportfishing landscape.
To bring the vision to life, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris partnered with architecture firms Hart Howerton and Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects. Using ecologically sensitive design techniques and working with the natural ecology of the Florida Keys, plans for the 110-unit nature resort preserves 50 percent of green space throughout and will be vehicle free. All surfaces will be permeable surfaces.
Resort accommodations consist of a collection of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom cottages, a lodge and general store, restaurants, spa, swimming pools, fishing marina and spaces designed for people to gather and connect with nature.
The development, previously approved by the city of Marathon, is designed to be carbon neutral with a minimal footprint and low impact to preserve the natural integrity of the land while leveraging the latest sustainable strategies, including onsite renewable energy via solar and geothermal power, rainwater harvesting and storage, and orienting buildings to enhance natural ventilation.
Key partners on the project include Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, South Florida Water Management District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Atlantic-Gulf Unified Region, and Audubon Florida.
Construction of the Valhalla Island Resort is scheduled to be completed within the next two years. Morris and his team will continue to share updates as the process progresses.