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‘Are Florida’s “Zombie Communities” Starting To Rise From The Dead?’

  • Fri Sep 2 2016, 4:36 pm
By James D. York, PA

August 12, 2016

‘Are Florida’s “Zombie Communities” Starting To Rise From The Dead?’

By James D. York, P.A.

Just over a decade ago, they were bustling with new construction—roads, sidewalks, sewage lines, fancy signs, guard houses, and community centers, as new luxury communities sprang up practically overnight in Florida. Then, the Boom hit, the Great Recession, and the once vibrant centers of development began to lose all signs of life.

"By 2006, it was a whole different ballgame," explains Brad Hunter, HomeAdvisor’s chief economist. "Instead of builders raising prices, builders were offering incentives, and the incentives started getting bigger and bigger and bigger as they were trying to jump-start sales that had fallen completely flat. Sales fell for Treasure Coast builders by 90 percent."

So the communities sat there, some with just a few homes finished, some with none at all. Vegetation grew over glitzy signs and entrances, weeds sprouted through cracked concrete, rusty padlocks hung from gates, and vandalism wreaked further havoc.  There are a couple dozen of these scattered around the Treasure Coast—ghost towns that were never really towns at all.

Hunter prefers the term ‘zombie communities,’ and feels that now their time has come. "They're the walking dead, but sooner or later, the dead come back to life," he said. "And now it's finally starting to happen." For example, two Port St. Lucie develoments, EcoVillage at River Place and Pine Trace, both in Port St. Lucie, are showing signs of new life, with Pine Trace adding 122 homes to just four existing homes. Stay tuned for further developments—and give us a call with any questions!


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York Real Estate Group consists of James, Michael, and Morgan York, Florida Realtors with Downing-Frye Realty. James York is the winner of the prestigious 2014 and 2015 SWFL People’s Choice Realtor Award. The group has over 25 years combined experience and over $250 million in sales transactions.  Visit The York Group website at for all current MLS listings of houses for sale in Naples, Marco, Bonita, and Estero. If you have other questions, the Yorks invite you to email or call them at or 239-273-6727.


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