Developer Mark Bellissimo and his partners are seeking land use and zoning approvals to move forward with their proposal for a massive luxury mixed-use community in Wellington. It's been a month since the village's advisory board unanimously recommended denying these requests.
Wellington Lifestyle Partners, a joint venture between Bellissimo's Wellington Equestrian Partners and Nexus Luxury Collection, will go before the City of Wellington's Planning, Zoning and Adjustment Committee on Wednesday. From there, the proposed changes could go to the Village Council for final approval. Some land use amendments require the yes votes of at least four of her five City Council members.
In the latest version of the Wellington project, developers plan to build a mixed-use commercial complex with single-family homes, condos, retail, restaurants, office space and a hotel on more than 600 acres. The project also calls for a major expansion of the Wellington International Equestrian Facility and Arena.
If the development is approved, it could dramatically change two areas of Wellington considered the winter riding capital of the world. Opposing residents have raised concerns about how adding housing in the heart of the equestrian reserve could affect traffic, Wellington's infrastructure and other issues.
Part-time equestrian residents of the village include Georgina Bloomberg (daughter of Michael Bloomberg), Jessica Springsteen (daughter of Bruce Springsteen), and Jennifer Gates (daughter of Bill Gates). The season usually runs from January to March or April.
Bellissimo used his star power to get involved in his project called Wellington. Partners at Nexus include British billionaire developer Joe Louis' Tavistock Group, golf greats Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake and eBay founder Jeff Skoll. Nexus operates the Albany Resort in the Bahamas and a private club in Manhattan, according to its website.
The development will be split into two parts: Wellington North and Wellington South. Bellissimo and its partners are seeking approval to move uses and densities within Bellissimo's large parcel of land, including the transfer of land from the Equestrian Reserve. In one request, developers want to replace a 60-acre dressage arena with a residential development and build a new arena on a separate site.
Douglas McMahon, a partner on the project, told the South Florida Business Journal that the developer will sell the 90-acre property next to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to Global He said he plans to sell it to an equestrian group. Dressage may be moved to its location.
For Wellington North, located between 13410 and 13500 South Shore Boulevard, Bellissimo and its partners are requesting four comprehensive plan amendments to change the equestrian reserve boundaries and future land use map designations. Wellington North will have his 22 single-family homes and his 278 apartment complexes, the latter likely to be condos. It also includes sports courts and associated facilities such as pickleball, tennis, padel, pools, playing fields, and putting greens.
For South Wellington, developers are seeking two comprehensive plan amendments to change future land use maps and an amendment to the Wellington Planned Urban Development District. They are located at 3400-3780 Gene Mische Way. 3609 Riding Club Road; and 3511, 3555, and 3835 South Shore Boulevard.
Last month, Bellissimo sold the 161-acre International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington to the Lake Worth Beach-based United States Polo Association for $95 million. The sale covers the majority of the 248-acre Polo Club property that Bellissimo purchased in 2016 for $72 million.