K-Park Proposal Puts Focus On Entertainment

A botanical garden and “central park” area are part of a new concept designed to bring green space, family entertainment and a hotel to Wellington’s vacant K-Park property on State Road 7.

Called “Wellington Gardens,” the concept is the latest proposal for the 66-acre site located on the southwest corner of State Road 7 and Stribling Way, south of the Mall at Wellington Green. The proposal comes from Wellington resident Chuck Mineo, owner of Praxis Resources, a commercial real estate development company.

“I’ve always felt there were a couple of things Wellington was really missing,” Mineo told the Town-Crier on Tuesday. “There is a lack of any form of good entertainment in the town, with nice dining options. Outdoor dining options are mostly on a narrow sidewalk overlooking a parking lot. We want to offer people in Wellington other options.”

Though Mineo has discussed the proposal with Wellington Village Council members and staff, there will not be any official decisions until the council meets next week for its visioning session on Wednesday, May 4.

Since Wellington purchased the K-Park land in 2004, development of the site has been a controversial issue, with several plans falling through. Council members are scheduled to discuss next week what they’d like to see on the site.

“The meetings have been encouraging,” Mineo said. “The only part that has been difficult from our perspective is the waiting.”

The Wellington Gardens concept combines outdoor spaces, dining and entertainment for what Mineo says would be a “town center” concept that could be a gathering place for families. Plans for the site also include a hotel and multifamily and/or senior housing, which would be integrated into the site.

“We came up with the idea of a central park,” he said. “On the site, there is 10 acres of water retention we have to do anyway. We want to do great landscaping and buffers, so we said, ‘Why not do a botanical garden?’”

About one-third of the site would be dedicated to green space, with 18 acres of tropical botanical gardens and a 4-acre central park, which would be open green space. There would also be children’s play areas.

“There has been a ton of research on the benefits of city parks and botanical gardens for local residents,” Mineo said. “There are health benefits, mental health benefits and environmental benefits. The main thing we want to do is focus on families. That’s what Wellington is all about.”

Hoping to create a new identity for Wellington’s eastern corridor, Mineo said his proposal would add to the community, not compete with existing businesses.

“It won’t be so much about shopping,” he said. “It will be more about entertainment and what you can go and experience. I don’t see this as competitive; I see it as a complement. People will come and stay in the area, whether they’re seeing a movie or going to the mall. It would enhance what Wellington already has. People wouldn’t have to drive to the city to get these amenities. This would contribute to a better lifestyle for Wellington residents. We don’t have a place where everyone in the community can just go and socialize.”

One of the major draws to the site would be Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille, a combination movie theater, bowling alley and restaurant. Mineo said he also spoke to a miniature golf company that showed interest in the site.

“We have a couple of tenants who want to be in the Wellington market,” he said. “Frank’s is a new concept that’s in the West Delray Marketplace. It’s very family-friendly. It has got 10 auditoriums and 20 lanes of bowling, all under one roof and one facility.”

The space would also have about four restaurants with outdoor seating.

“Guests would be able to look out on that central park,” he said. “The central park would be four acres of open space, which is roughly the interior area of Mizner Park in Boca Raton. But instead of traffic, it would be all green space.”

Wellington Gardens would attract families with its variety of activities all one site, Mineo said. “In a place like this, parents have the opportunity to say to their kids, ‘You go do this; we’ll go do this.’ The kids can be playing in the park while the parents are having dinner on the outdoor patio where they can watch them. Teenagers can go bowling or to the movies.”

This is in line with more modern commercial spaces, Mineo said.

“We believe people’s habits, needs and wants have somewhat changed,” he said. “A lot of people are not so interested in going out to shop and come back with a big bag of goods. They want to go out and have a nice time and experience.”

In addition to a hotel, which would be integrated into the space, Mineo said he has been approached to include senior housing on the site. “Nothing blends better than having a botanical garden where seniors would have the opportunity to get out and enjoy their surroundings,” he said. “I think it’s a great idea.”

Although the proposal is largely dependent on what the council envisions for K-Park, Mineo said he is optimistic. “I think I have the support of the community,” he said.

Currently, Mineo is collecting survey responses to the concept online at www.wellingtongardens.net, which provides more information about the proposal. He said so far, responses have been favorable.

“About 320 people took the time to do the survey, and more than 90 percent have been very favorable,” he said.

Residents can visit the site for more information, or to contribute to the survey.


  1. Perhaps, the Village can facilitate helping Wellington seniors, who own their homes, to find other seniors in or out of Wellington, who can move into homes with our Wellington seniors and then everyone can share costs, plus provide companionship for each other.

  2. The Town Crier needs to fully explain what would be put in place for the Low Income Senior Housing being mentioned in this proposed project.
    Please do not soften the aspect of the 4 to 6 multistoried, Section 8, Low Income Housing for Seniors that is being pushed by certain seniors in Wellington.

    This developer would NOT build that Section 8 Housing. He would ‘give’ or dedicate land in Kpark and a Not For Profit entity-the Federal Government- would build the Section 8 Senior Housing.

    What has been predicted are 4 to 6 buildings, 2 to 3 stories high for low income housing. Watch the Archived, April 10th Wellington Senior Advisory Committee Meeting (IV Presentations B. Village Owned Property) to see and hear about this. There is NO guarantee that only Wellington seniors will get exclusive rights to live in the housing. You’re dealing with the Federal Government. It’s Fair Housing, not exclusivity for only long time Wellington seniors.

    A better fit for this would be the land, Commissioner Santamaria has eyed near Cheddar’s Restaurant.

    No group in Wellington should lobby for low income housing in Wellington. Let the Federal, State or Local government supply the land.

    At that April 10th Wellington Senior Advisory Meeting, a Wellington staff member mentioned that HE told/gave interested developers for this Kpark land, Senior Advisory Committe Chairperson’s (a non elected Wellington resident) telephone number so that they could talk.

    Since when do non elected Wellington residents get to conference with developers to tell them what they want? And did any member of the Senior Committee declare this exparte communication with the interested developers of Kpark at the Senior Advisory Committee Meeting?

    Where are the Ethics in Wellington? If a developer chooses to set aside land in KPark for low income Section 8 Housing, would they now have a better opportunity to purchase the Kpark property; compared to a developer who would not choose to set aside land for Low Income Housing? These conversations, or meetings by staff or any member of the Senior Advisory Committee are troubling. Where is the Sunshine?

    Do any other appointed Wellington Committee members meet with developers to tell them what they want to see built in Wellington?

    Have the residents of Oakmont and Castellina and other entities near Kpark been informed of the Federal Low Income, Section 8 Housing’s multistoried buildings possibly being built near them?

    There are other proposed ideas for KPark. This proposal seemed to be the most interesting. But, no matter which entity gets to purchase Kpark, Wellington should retain the frontage of this property. And in NO WAY, should Wellington residents have to fund any part of any development.

    We are already being faced with an ongoing tax increase of $100 by Acme Drainage! Let alone, any other increase coming from the school district, the county and by the spenders on the Wellington Council.

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