Developers turning golf courses, farmland into homes west of Boynton
By: Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
As considerable pieces of vacant land west of Boynton Beach are quickly disappearing, developers are doing what they can to still have their hands in modernizing the area.
Residents will see developers buying properties within plazas for the lone car wash, gas station or convenience store. And they’ll be recycling properties — what once was farm land or a golf course could be lined up for homes.
“The recycling of real estate is considered a major direction for current development trends,” resident Steve Oseroff said.
More than 25 projects have come through the files of Palm Beach County planners the past two years. Projects both extensive and small have been either been approved or withdrawn.
But in many cases, the trend is focusing on the “infill” property — a smaller in size vacant piece of land in a developed area or an already developed piece of land that will be recycled into something else.
In Jupiter, the former Whitehaven mobile home park on Military Trail across from the Jupiter Post Office is now Culver’s Custard and the Barcelona apartments. It’s also happening at the former Suni Sands mobile home park on the Jupiter Inlet and the Bell’s Mobile Home Park on Alternate A1A.
In Boca Raton, the 64,000-square-foot Park Place shopping center on Military Trail, south of Clint Moore Road, started construction at least two years ago. On 16 acres, it’s now home to restaurants and retail including the Habit Burger chain, a Chipotle and Burton’s Grill. Also, Moderne Boca, a luxury townhouse community, was built at the northeast corner of Military Trail and Spanish River Boulevard.
“There is a lack of larger parcels of land,” said Oseroff, who heads the growth management committee for the Coalition of Boynton West Residential Associations. The organization is comprised of residents from more than 100 communities, and is considered an influential party regarding growth in the western communities.
With every project, residents weigh the pros and cons — traffic, hours of operation and land preservation. COBWRA, headed by resident Myrna Rosoff, plans to fight any development wanted west of U.S. 441 in the Agricultural Reserve.
About 7,400 square feet of vacant land at Coconut Lane and Military Trail next to the CVS could be retail stores. Also, some of the vacant land on Boynton Beach Boulevard east of Hagen Ranch Road was approved for The Motor City car wash project.
Recycled infill development is happening at the former restaurant site in the Boynton West Shopping Center. That spot could become a 7-11 convenience store with gas pumps. Palm Beach County ordinances would allow the store, at Military Trail and Old Boynton Road, to sell beer and wine until 5 a.m. However, some residents want the 7-11 to be cut off at 11 p.m. County commissioners have the final say.
Resident Sandy Parker is concerned about the traffic, as the area is already bustling. The shopping center has a Bealls Department Store, a Burlington Coat Factory, Boston Market and Einstein Bagels.
“I have a problem with this. It’s a very bad corner. There’s a lot of gas stations around. I think 7-11 is muscling in,” she said at a meeting in March.
What used to be a pepper farm on Flavor Pict Road west of Military Trail is now Cambria Parc, a Lennar townhome development under construction expected to be finished in about two years. The site plan has 218 town homes, but the company hopes to buy an adjacent nursery to add 38 homes, said Lennar representative, Nancy Warrender.
Lennar bought the nearly 33 acres in 2015 for $11.5 million. The homes are priced between $328,000 and $361,000, according to documents.
In the next several years, The Falls Club of the Palm Beaches at Hypoluxo and Jog roads will likely become homes. GL Homes bought the land, but it’ll function as a golf course and country club for the foreseeable future. Another developer bought about 3.5 acres of the site and is trying to get it approved for retail space.
“Some of the golf courses in Palm Beach County are no longer economically feasible as golf courses so developers are looking at those for other types of uses,” Oseroff said.