We can all agree that healthy living begins at home. Yet, one man’s vision invites people to view it as something fostered and elevated by the community.

Meet Israeli native Yehuda Netanel, founder of The Lake District, the latest MidSouth community venture centered on wellness and beautification.

As a child of Holocaust survivors, Netanel finds meaning in giving back to the community.

In 2007, he founded Wings of Rescue, a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs and cats from high-kill shelters via airlift in large-scale transports and re-homes them. A pilot, Netanel has personally flown over 4,000 dogs and cats, in addition to the MidSouth-specific Valentine’s Day rescue mission dubbed Love is in the Air.

An architect and developer by trade with 45 years of experience in the field and over 70 projects under his belt, Yehuda wanted to combine his passions to create a forward-thinking concept that changes people’s relationship with wellness.

After purchasing the old Belz outlet mall and negotiating for more land, Yehuda began his 10-year journey of building The Lake District in Lakeland, a quality neighborhood brand that promotes a healthy lifestyle on multiple levels.

The entire design is woven with different elements of wellness and is currently the largest project in Shelby County.

The 178-acre mixed-use community surrounds a resplendent 10-acre lake and multiple waterways. In addition, the urban village is enhanced with 17 acres of natural park, all connected by walking and running trails that encourage natural movement and neighborhood interaction.

Public spaces have been given special attention, using intelligent design, inspiring home architecture, and other elegant features that distinctively imprint the region.

“For me, wellness is not necessarily being able to run a marathon, nor is it limited to aesthetics. It’s also good architecture embedded into good landscape and branding.”

The Lake District is an amalgamation of all things health-forward and features several wellness spots, including a juice bar, fine foods market, Cryotherapy, IV spa, yoga studio, and fitness centers such as CycleBar and Stretch Lab. The Lake District is inviting other quality wellness-related businesses to join their next success story.

The Lake’s artful residences are inspiring and soon will be open for viewing, rent, and purchase. Their collections of single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments are rendered in upscale designs, including classical, farmhouse, and French, among others, to create a diverse yet unified palette of aesthetic cohesion.

Streets are named after different lakes around the world.

“There is even a Lake Kinneret, which is the Hebrew name for the Sea Of Galilee,” Yehuda tells me with a chuckle, an ode to his homeland.

Yehuda has taken advantage of time delays to add additional details and complexity to the Lake District’s appeal. For example, the team recently brought in 75 different types of trees, qualifying them as a level 2 Arboretum.

Yehuda hopes the landscape and amenities of the community become wellness magnets for families and singles alike, serving as inspirational fodder for healthy living.

The area also will feature a beautiful hotel facing the lake, lined with premier restaurants such as Villa Castrioti and Hokkaido. In addition, he envisions a classic events venue fitting into the north of the lake’s backdrop, replete with a wedding gondola.

Recently, Yehuda organized an airlift of community-donated medical supplies to Ukraine, using The Lake District as a staging area to collect and organize six FedEx pallets. “For me, wellness is a state of mind that comes with thinking positively and trying to find these messages in many parts of life.”

For more information, visit Thelakedistrict.us.

By Shlomit Ovadia
Photo by Sam Sikes