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Downtown Abacoa

In Jupiter, a new downtown area was included in the development of Abacoa, a multi-use community on 2,055 acres purchased from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In 1996 Otto B. “Buz” DiVosta Jr.’s DiVosta and Co. took over Abacoa’s residential development from Town and Country Homes; DiVosta’s first neighborhood, New Haven, was so successful, a lottery was needed for buyers to choose their homes.

Developer Cypress Realty applied principles of new urbanism, such as compact community design and restoring open spaces, to create the mini-town, including portions of the Florida Atlantic University MacArthur Campus and Honors College. Abacoa was recognized as “Smart Growth Illustrated” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In 2006 the Florida Public Officials Design Institute at Abacoa received the Better Community Award from 1000 Friends of Florida for showing public officials how to apply smart growth principles to their own projects and cities. The cities of Lake Park, Riviera Beach, and West Palm Beach were represented at Abacoa’s 2008 workshops.

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