Boca developer launches sales for custom homes on land once owned by Henry Flagler

Aerial rendering of Paraiso Estates and Alicia Lammersdorf
Aerial rendering of Paraiso Estates and listing agent Alicia Lammersdorf

Boca Raton homebuilder Leonard Albanese is launching a new single-family home community on a patch of waterfront land reportedly once owned by Henry Flagler and George Morikami. 

The 1.77-acre site, known as the “banana patch” because of its use as a wide-open banana garden, will be developed into five homes that currently start at $3.9 million, broker Alicia Lammersdorf told The Real Deal.

Flagler, known as the father of Palm Beach and Miami, sold the land to Morikami, of the museum and Japanese gardens, who then sold it to another Japanese family, according to published reports.

The last owners, Mildred and Dick Olson, grew more than 30 kinds of bananas on the site and sold them to Disney World, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, according to a press release. They listed it for sale in early 2015 for $6.2 million. Albanese has the land under contract, Lammersdorf said.

Leonard Albanese & Sons Builders will build modern-style houses with smart home features, three-car garages, pools, docks and private gates/entrances. They’ll be 5,500 square feet to 7,000 square feet with anywhere from 115 feet of waterfront to 163 feet. Buyers have a “green home” package as well.

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Lammersdorf, of Illustrated Properties, said the houses will take about 18 months to build once an owner and plans are secured. She worked with the developer to preserve the land’s history as a farm: beehives were removed and saved, for example.

The plot of land sits on a canal that separates Boca Raton from Delray Beach. It’s one of the largest waterfront sites available in the area, she told TRD.

Here’s another rendering:

Rendering of a proposed home at Paraiso Estates

Rendering of a proposed home at Paraiso Estates