Sign marking the entrance to Palm Beach County's newest town, Westlake, on Seminole Pratt Whitney Road.
Photo by Palms West Journal
Palm Beach County’s newest town, Westlake, had only five registered voters when its residents elected to incorporate the old citrus grove known as Callery-Judge Grove in 2016 as the county’s 39th municipality.
Three years before the town was incorporated, Minto Communities, a development company from Canada, purchased nearly 4,000 acres of what was once the Seminole Improvement District for $51 million.
A 2012 law change that made it easier for special improvement districts to incorporate allowed Minto to avoid the usual rules for a new municipality, including approval from the Legislature and at least 5,000 residents.
Westlake has been approved for 4,500 homes and 2 million square feet of commercial space.
In 2021, Westlake issued 829 single-family building permits, more than any other city in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Gardens came in second with 313 permits.
Minto has recently announced the development of its first townhome community. The Crossing of Westlake will be its sixth residential development. Prices will be announced and units will be available for purchase by the end of this year, according to the company.
Wellington Regional Hospital opened an emergency room in April 2019. The town contracts with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for deputies and relies on them for emergency services.
In the entertainment sector, the town’s resident-only, Minto-funded, $22 million, 15-acre Westlake Adventure Park opened in June 2019.
A shopping center named Shoppes of Westlake Landings was approved late last year in conjunction with plans for Adrenaline World, a 14-acre entertainment center. Construction on both projects is expected to start this year.
Adrenaline World, a concept from Britain, includes virtual reality games, themed climbing structures, a trampoline park, laser tag and miniature golf. Also included is a go-kart track, rope course, splash pad and dinosaur park. Construction begins this spring and is projected to be complete by early 2023 at a cost of approximately $15 million.
The Shoppes at Westlake Landings consists of two multi-tenant shopping centers with over 18,000 square feet of commercial space. Leases have already been signed by Verizon Communications, Go Green Dry Cleaners and the Ralph Lewis family, the owners and operators of Okeechobee Steak House in West Palm Beach. Konover South, the developers of the project, expects the shopping centers to be open in late 2022 or early 2023.
A 7-Eleven has opened recently in Westlake. Chaudhary Petroleum Group has created a new concept with take-out, dine-in and made-to-order food options, as well as a wine cellar with a curated wine selection.
Christ Fellowship Church began construction in 2021 on an 800-seat worship center. For now, the church is holding services at Seminole Ridge Community High School across from its future home.
“The real estate market is very hot right now,” said Mike Belmont, the president of Minto Communities USA. “People are gravitating to the quality of homes and lifestyle that we offer at Westlake. They also want to be part of this exciting new city as it grows and evolves.”