Developer nabs approval for 314-unit rental complex in Ag Reserve

Brett Gelsomino’s firm to include workforce housing in project

Brett Gelsomino Plans 314-Unit Rental Complex in Ag Reserve
Gelsomino Holding's Brett Gelsomino and the development site at 11275 Acme Dairy Road (LinkedIn, Google Maps)

A developer plans a 314-unit multifamily complex in the Agricultural Reserve in Palm Beach County. 

Brett Gelsomino, through his Gelsomino Holding, wants to build the Ellie at Logan Ranch complex with six four-story buildings and seven two-story buildings on 39 acres at 11275 Acme Dairy Road, he told The Real Deal. His Davie-based firm has the property under contract for an undisclosed amount. 

The Palm Beach County commission approved the project on Thursday under the Ag Reserve’s essential housing zoning designation. 

Ellie at Logan Ranch would consist of one-bedroom to four-bedroom apartments. Most units will be market-rate, with 79 apartments for households earning from 60 percent to 140 percent of the area median income, according to Gelsomino. 

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Palm Beach County’s AMI is $98,300 annually, meaning a one-person household would have to earn from $40,920 to $95,480 to qualify for a below-market-rate apartment, according to data from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. 

Construction is expected to start next year, Gelsomino said. 

The Ag Reserve is a roughly 22,000-acre swath of land west of Boca Raton and east of the  Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. While development in the reserve is controversial due to environmentalists’ concerns over ecological and farmland impacts, commissioners have approved multiple projects in the area. To preserve the Ag Reserve as much as possible, the county requires that developers leave 60 acres untouched for every 40 acres they develop. 

Most development at the Ag Reserve is single-family homes and industrial. 

GL Homes plans a 1,000-plus age-restricted community on 682 acres in the Ag Reserve. 

In February, the Sunrise-based firm paid $60 million for 290 acres at the reserve, allowing it to expand the size of its Valencia Grand to 704 homes.