The image shown above is from: The Freducci Map of 1515 which correlates with Herrara’s account of Ponce De Leon’s discovery of Florida in 1513. “Abacoa” is the first Indian Village identified in both documents and is Ponce’s first friendly encounter with Native Americans.
Abacoa is a 2,055-acre, master-planned, mixed-use community being built around the concepts and principles of Traditional Neighborhood Development. When fully built, Abacoa will be home to 6,073 residences and just over 3 million square feet of commercial space. The master plan, which resembles a patchwork quilt, melds homes, neighborhoods, schools, shops, offices, recreation sites, nature preserves into a cohesive richly textured whole. Each distinct aspect works to engage people more closely with their surroundings and each other.
Construction began in 1997 on land once owned by insurance tycoon and Palm Beach Gardens founder John D. MacArthur. Abacoa Development Company, a partnership of Cypress Realty and the MacArthur Foundation, was the master developer of the project. Abacoa Development Co. was headed by Nader Salour, who had been responsible for the development and construction aspects of BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens. Born and educated in England, Mr. Salour brought a wealth of experience in the supervision of the planning and development of large residential and commercial construction projects on three continents; in particular the development of raw land requiring complete new infrastructure.
Within Abacoa's master plan are 20 residential neighborhoods, over 20 commercial districts, two college campuses, two science research and development campuses, two public schools, a spring training stadium, a public golf course, a Main Street-style Town Center, a hotel, a shopping plaza, and a Workplace District. Interspersed throughout the community are the greenways, tracts of multifunctional open spaces that serve both conservation purposes and as edge areas defining the neighborhoods. Linking much of Abacoa are tree-lined streets, with sidewalks on both sides.
The basis of Abacoa's master plan is connectivity, the idea that every discrete entity is part of a larger whole. Houses, neighborhoods, schools, shops, offices, recreation sites, preserves - none of these exists in a vacuum, all of them are part of something larger than themselves. Collectively, they form the basis of community. By connecting one to another, they engage people more closely with their surroundings and with one another. They make Abacoa feel like home.