Burt Reynolds Ranch To Become Housing EstateBy: Chris Tepedino - May 23, 2014
The fate of the famed former ranch of actor Burt Reynolds has been decided by the Palm Beach County Commission, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post, with about 30 houses to be built on the 150 acres within Jupiter Farms.
After collaborating with neighbors, developers plan estate-style homes, horse-riding trails and land set aside for preservation on the land once owned by Burt Reynolds before he declared bankruptcy in 1996.
In 1998, Andy Reid of the Sun Sentinel noted that Reynolds’ former ranch contained a museum that showcased parts of sets from Reynolds’ film and television career, as well as a gift shop, feed barn, and petting zoo.
The 150 acres of the ranch will be converted into homes on lots of 2.5 acres or more. About 60 acres will be set aside as conservation land, and the new neighborhood will be connected to the community’s trail network for horse riders and walkers. Two acres will be set aside for future civic uses. In the future, that could mean a library or fire station. For now, it will be used as a community vegetable garden.
“This is going to be beautiful,” said County Commissioner Hal Valeche to the Sun Sentinel.
Susan Kennedy, president of the Jupiter Farms Environmental Council, added, “We are excited about some of the opportunities.”
In 1998, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge ordered Reynolds’ former ranch to be put on the market. Creditors hoped that selling the ranch would help Reynolds pay down his $10 million in debt. In 1999, the Reynolds Liquidating Trust sold the ranch to the Palm Beach County School District for $3.85 million.
Since then, the district has given up on building a school on the land, opting to sell it to developers instead.
Burt Reynolds found stardom in a number of films, including Smokey and the Bandit, The Longest Yard, and Deliverance. He is famous for his mustache, wise cracks, and extravagant lifestyle, the latter of which in part led to his bankruptcy in 1996.
Image via Wikimedia Commons