Bellissimo Partners With Noted Development Group On Luxury Residential Project

A map showing the parcels included in the proposed project.

Wellington equestrian entrepreneur Mark Bellissimo has raised the bar on his plan to develop more luxury housing aimed at equestrian clientele.

Last week, Bellissimo announced a partnership with Nexus Luxury Collection to create “The Wellington,” a luxury residential club community, on 600 acres of land that Bellissimo and his partners own in and around the heart of Wellington’s equestrian area.

Through a new partnership known as Wellington Lifestyle Partners (WLP), the principals plan to work with the Village of Wellington and the local community to craft a residential experience focused on wellness, resort living and sport, while honoring and enhancing Wellington’s equestrian roots, he said.

“WLP is eager to launch this next chapter to ensure that Wellington continues as the world’s premier equestrian lifestyle destination,” Bellissimo said. “With Nexus, we have selected an experienced, top-tier development partner to help us create ‘The Wellington,’ a world-class residential experience that underscores all we have come to love about this village — sport, recreation and community.”

The proposed development includes doubling the size of the Wellington International showgrounds, Bellissimo said, adding that the expansion will facilitate a large investment to expand and enhance the major equestrian facilities.

WLP’s proposed new project includes a walkable commercial center featuring shops, hotels, offices, a park and restaurants with top luxury retail brands conveniently abutting the residential club community. The development plan will also include a public riding facility with trail riding and a basic introduction to horse sport that will be accessible by the community.

“We are highly selective in where we choose to go to curate a complementary suite of experiences for our customers. Partnering and co-investing with Mark to create ‘The Wellington’ is a perfect fit for Nexus as we expand into the important South Florida marketplace,” said Christopher Anand, CEO and managing partner of Nexus. “We are excited to build something special on the land that Mark has painstakingly pulled together over the last 18 years. This new club community will take inspiration from what we have created at Albany in The Bahamas and will be customized to celebrate the best of Wellington’s sports lifestyle.”

If the proposal sounds familiar, that’s because it’s similar to the “Wellington 3.0” proposal pitched by Bellissimo last year — a large increase to the showgrounds coupled with two new residential communities. This time, however, it comes with more deep-pocket support, a more recreation-themed image and the participation of several well-known celebrities.

In addition to Bellissimo and Nexus, WLP is supported by prominent investors, including entrepreneur Jeff Skoll. Founding president of eBay, he is an entrepreneur devoted to creating a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for all, and as founder of the Jeff Skoll Group, he has created an innovative portfolio of philanthropic and commercial enterprises.

Nexus, meanwhile, has as its partners golfing greats Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, as well as actor and musician Justin Timberlake.

“Nexus’ experience in creating the 600-acre Albany residential community in The Bahamas is invaluable, and we look forward to infusing a style that is modern but respectful to Wellington’s inherent beauty and tradition,” said Paige Bellissimo, Mark Bellissimo’s daughter, who is managing the development process.

Douglas McMahon, a senior managing director at Nexus and the Tavistock Group, is becoming the managing partner of WLP.

“We will be working closely with the Village of Wellington on all aspects of this important addition to the community,” said McMahon, who brings 20 years’ experience working in various capacities across the Tavistock Group, including the Florida communities of the Isleworth Golf & Country Club and Lake Nona. “We are going to bring our best experiences, collective ideas and thinking to ‘The Wellington’ as we create an extraordinary multi-generational community that adds to the greater Village of Wellington.”

The proposed club community will also feature the newly acquired Cypress Golf Course, a Pete Dye-designed, 18-hole championship course that will go through extensive renovations. It will be supported by a new clubhouse, short game facility and performance center. Other amenities include:

  • A world-class racquet center with a pro shop, a stadium tennis court, 12 additional tennis courts, 10 padel courts and 12 pickleball courts.
  • Four swimming pools ranging from a 25-meter, six-lane lap pool, family pool and kid’s splash area to an adult-only resort-style pool with cabanas.
  • A 120,000-square-foot, two-story field house including an indoor full basketball court, two tennis courts, two padel courts, four pickleball courts, four squash courts, five sports simulators, a market and smoothie bar, and a 40,000-square-foot fitness center.
  • Children’s indoor and outdoor facilities, including sports, gaming rooms, a rock-climbing wall, bowling lanes, arts and crafts, and two outdoor sports fields.
  • A 16-acre “Central Park” and lake with exercise and relaxation trails, yoga gardens and outdoor event spaces.
  • Access to hundreds of acres of walking, jogging and biking trails, and nature preserves.
  • A 17-acre commercial center with shops, offices, retail and restaurants.

The plan includes both single-family custom homes and condominium residences. Subject to village approval, the initial residential offerings within the community will focus on home sites ranging from a quarter acre up to five acres. Upon completion, the residences will be eligible to participate in an exclusive rental program managed by Nexus.

“Interest in this project is already high amongst our many Nexus families, shareholders and friends,” McMahon said. “We intend to launch a founder’s program, stagger the release of real estate offerings, and bring a wonderful collection of new architects and residences to Palm Beach County.”

Homeowners in the new project will enjoy membership in the club community, as well as membership in the Nexus Luxury Collection and enjoy access, services and benefits to Nexus’ experiences in cities around the world.

“It has been a pleasure working with the team at Nexus,” said Lisa Lourie, an investor in WLP. “I truly believe that they will design and build a community worthy of Wellington’s residents, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

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Meanwhile, the Village of Wellington has also set up its own informational portal about this new development proposal at It will have information on the project as it moves through the approval process, which includes public meetings starting as early as June 7.

Wellington Planning, Zoning & Building Director Tim Stillings said that is when the project is currently slated to be heard before Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee, the first of three public meeting stops.

Stillings said that Bellissimo’s team just got Wellington’s comments from this latest submittal. “They have two weeks to respond to us,” he said. “It is still tentatively scheduled for June.”

Should that Wednesday, June 7 date happen, expect a long meeting, that might be continued on the evening of Thursday, June 8. A similar double date has been reserved for when the plan goes before Wellington’s Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, July 19, and the Wellington Village Council, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 22.

At those meetings, the board will consider the proposal in its component parts — “The Wellington North” and “The Wellington South” — not as a single project.

Stillings said that from a planning point of view, the proposal may look quite different, but it still has the general land use requests and residential units as the previous Wellington 3.0 plan.

“The key difference is that the conceptional layout of the two properties have changed,” Stillings said. “The number of units and all the other decision points that go along with them are still the same. The north proposal is better in that they shift to a more conventional layout around a lake with more traditional recreational uses. The east side is a clubhouse and driving range, versus the short course they were proposing. The addition of the new partnership with Nexus Luxury Collection is changing some of the concepts and some of the approach.”