No matter where you are in Lake Nona’s Storey Park neighborhood, the first thing you’ll notice—and won’t soon forget—is the street names.
There’s a Mythology Street, a Mystery Lane and an Architecture Alley. Then there’s the section where the streets are named after famous authors and poets, like Gertrude Stein and Ralph Ellison.
Valori Hobson, a part-time bartender, part-time makeup artist and soon-to-be full-time owner of Nona Glow, a mobile spray-tan operation, lives with her husband, Tyler, and two sons on Ginsberg Place, which is named for the late beat poet Alan Ginsberg.
Tyler and Valori are high school sweethearts who moved from nearby Clermont to Lake Nona three years ago right when it was in the midst of being built out.
“My girlfriend had moved to the area and she told me that it’s like Pleasantville over here [in Storey Park],” Valori says.
So Valori, Tyler and their sons moved to Lake Nona to give the neighborhood a shot. They rented an apartment while keeping an eye out for a house they could one day call home.
It wasn’t long before a three-bedroom house nestled on Ginsberg Place caught their eye, which they immediately snatched up.
As a mother of two young children—Nathaniel’s 8 and Hunter is 5—the move was a smart one. The schools—Moss Park Elementary, Lake Nona Middle School and Lake Nona High School—are all public, but are also highly accredited.
And there’s plenty to do in Storey Park to keep idle children busy (and adults too). Her sons like to climb the three-story observation deck that anchors the neighborhood park. There are trails for walking or running. There’s a basketball court, a volleyball pit, a dog park, a playground, and a splash park. And coming soon, there will be a resort-style swimming pool and community fitness center.
“It’s a perfect little community,” she says, and everyone knows what’s going on at pretty much all times because of the number of social media groups started and run by Storey Park residents.
Tabitha Eisenberg also owns a home in Storey Park, which she shares with her boyfriend, Daniel Berzon.
“In April of 2016 I was given a choice,” Tabitha says. “Daniel said that at the time he could buy a ring or we could buy a house. Can you blame me for choosing the house?”
She echoes Varlori’s thoughts on the neighborhood—and the neighbors who give Storey Park its character.
“The people in Lake Nona are some of the sweetest people we have ever had the pleasure of getting to know,” says the Sun Blaze Elementary School teacher. “I am thankful to be a teacher in a community that does so much for its children. I look forward to raising our own kids here one day. Being part of such a health-conscious community is so wonderful for Daniel [a personal trainer], as health and fitness is such a big aspect of his life. (Don’t look at me, I accidentally ate potato chips and half of a donut for breakfast.)”
And the neighborhood’s obsession with tech is also a big draw.
“We live in the Innovation area of the community,” Tabitha says. “That’s right, we are living in a smart house! I can now spy on the Amazon delivery man thanks to my Ring doorbell, not worry about losing the boxes that go with the USB portion of my cell phone charger thanks to some fancy outlets, and my electric bill is significantly less. The home has solar panels on the roof. Our electric bill last month was just $10.”
Valori and Tabitha expect that the number of Storey Park residents will continue to grow. At present, there are approximately 2,700 lots in the neighborhood that have been zoned residential, which means there’s still plenty of room for families like Valori’s, and soon-to-be families like Tabitha’s, who are in search of great schools, walkable neighborhoods, and that Pleasantville experience to write the next chapter of their lives.
This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Central Florida Monthly Magazine. The free publication is distributed in Lake Nona, Lee Vista, Harmony, Conway, St. Cloud, and Kissimmee via direct mail (30 thousand copies), email (20 thousand subscribers), social media (thousands of followers) and the Social, CFM’s signature networking event. Download the digital issue here.