Avenir welcomes visitors as it rises in Palm Beach Gardens; ‘The idea is for people to come in’


The 4,752-acre sustainable community on western Northlake Boulevard will have public golf cart paths, bike and walking trails, and a town center district.

Jodie Wagner

PALM BEACH GARDENS – When Avenir Holdings closed on the former Vavrus Ranch property off Northlake Boulevard nearly eight years ago, development plans called for an open, walkable property that homeowners and visitors alike could enjoy.

Today, amid the first phase of construction at the 4,752-acre sustainable community, that vision has begun to take shape.

First to be completed is a system of walking trails throughout the development, which eventually will include 3,900 homes, 2,400 acres of natural area, recreation areas, a working farm, retail and commercial areas, and a high-end golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

The completed trails cover about 300 acres within the massive development, with many more to be added, said Danny Lopez, an Avenir Holdings principal.

Also completed are Avenir’s two main entrance areas, both of which feature towers.

The twin, 35-foot structures, composed of hand-cut egg stone and topped with copper fish-scale tiles, will include built-in benches beneath trellises so visitors can sit and enjoy the views, water pools with fountains, gardens and fire bowls on both sides.

The entrance features are open for anyone to enjoy, as are the walking and biking trails and golf cart paths, said Rosa Schecter, another Avenir Holdings principal.

Once complete, the future town center district also will be accessible to visitors. The first phase of the 84-acre district is awaiting site-plan approval from Palm Beach Gardens officials.

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