The town-sized community planned on 4,760 acres in western Palm Beach Gardens will be the first major development considered by local leaders since a 2011 law change that virtually eliminated state oversight of large projects.
Under the new rules, Palm Beach Gardens council members will have little input from state planners when deciding whether to approve the 7,600-home development proposed on the Vavrus Ranch, just north of Northlake Boulevard and west of Florida’s Turnpike. The project would also include 1.7 million square feet of office and retail space and a 300-room hotel.
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Staff writer Bill DiPaolo contributed to this story.
OTHER VAVRUS DEVELOPMENT ATTEMPTS
1991: Ranch Owner Charles Vavrus submitted his own plan to transform the ranch into a hub for homes and commerce. The project was to be home to 42,000 residents and include 10.5 million square feet of office, commercial and industrial space. At the time, the project was one of the largest single developments ever proposed in Palm Beach County.
2003: The site is named as one of three front-runners for The Scripps Research Institute, but was not chosen.
2004: A partnership of home builders Lennar Corp. and Centex Homes, announced plans to build 9,982 homes, 2.8 million square feet of biotech space, five public and private schools and a 97-acre town center on the Vavrus Ranch. The proposal called Exploration Pointe was dropped after opposition.
2008: Charles Vavrus unveiled plans to turn 1,700 acres of the property into an “inland port” distribution center that would serve as a landlocked extension of several Florida ports, including the Port of Palm Beach.