South Florida homebuilder Lennar recently welcomed its first homeowners to BellaSera, a new gated and master-planned community located across the M-1 Canal from H.L. Johnson Elementary School on Crestwood Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach.
The site used to be the site of Royal Palm Beach’s old wastewater treatment plant. Shuttered for years, the property was eventually sold to Lennar for residential development.
Lennar has already sold about 80 of the 385 homes to be built on the site. Homebuyers have thus far closed on about a dozen homes, and the first new residents started moving in during the first weeks of December.
Electrical engineer James Rhoden grew up locally and went to elementary school in Royal Palm Beach before his family moved to South Carolina. The 25-year-old engineer decided to return to the western communities and buy his first home.
“We looked at developments like Arden and Westlake, but I just love Royal Palm Beach, and this house’s floor plan and location are perfect for us,” he said.
The new neighborhood is growing rapidly, with scores of homes under construction, and business has been brisk during the holiday season.
“Welcoming BellaSera’s first homeowners marks the next important step at one of Lennar’s foremost communities in Palm Beach County,” Lennar Palm Atlantic Division President Dan Grosswald said. “The community’s outstanding home design collection offers something for everyone — from families to empty-nesters to everything in-between, making it no surprise that homebuyers continue to flock to BellaSera.”
The site that is now BellaSera became surplus property when Royal Palm Beach contracted with Palm Beach County for water and wastewater services a decade ago. An early plan for the land involved using the property for a commercial office business/research park, which drew widespread opposition from nearby residents.
In April 2011, the village formed a Wastewater Treatment Plant Task Force. After several months of meeting, it recommended that 55 percent of the site be single-family residential, which would allow 207 homes at 2.5 units per acre, as well as 25 percent recreational, 10 percent industrial and 10 percent commercial, with the industrial and commercial uses being low-intensity uses, such as RV and boat storage and education centers. Thirty percent of the land had to have natural areas for recreational use.
That plan received a lukewarm reception by the community, and in 2013, the Royal Palm Beach Village Council voted for a low-intensity, single-family land use designation for the site, which was eventually purchased by Lennar Homes in a competitive bid process.
As a condition of plat approval, Lennar agreed to dedicate waterfront land for a future public park. The public park will be located at the southeast corner of the property, along the M-1 Canal and Crestwood Blvd., near Lennar’s present Welcome Home Center. According to village staff, building a park at the site is just in the earliest of planning phases.
BellaSera boasts a unique selection of executive and estate homes with cul-de-sacs and lakefront views. The community’s future onsite amenities will include a clubhouse with a swimming pool and spa, fitness center, basketball and tennis courts, a tot lot and more.
BellaSera’s Welcome Home Center is located at 980 Crestwood Blvd. North.
For more information, call (855) 325-5756 or visit www.lennar.com.