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Abacoa, Florida

Coordinates: 26°53′27″N 80°06′52″W / 26.89083°N 80.11444°W / 26.89083; -80.11444
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Plaque in downtown Abacoa
Plaque in downtown Abacoa
Abacoa is located in Florida
Location in Florida
Coordinates: 26°53′27″N 80°06′52″W / 26.89083°N 80.11444°W / 26.89083; -80.11444
CountryUnited States
CountyPalm Beach
105 ft (32 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code561

Abacoa is a community in Palm Beach County in the U.S. state of Florida, within the outer city limits of Jupiter. Construction began in 1997 on land once owned by the American businessman John D. MacArthur. The development is an example of the New Urbanism architectural movement in Florida.


Abacoa was conceived in 1993, when the MacArthur Foundation proposed the plan to the county of Palm Beach, to be executed on land from MacArthur's endowment. The Foundation opted to partner with a developer, maintaining a 35% minority stake in the project.[1]

Initial home sales were brisk, with 4,000 of 6,000 units built as of 2009. However, tenancy of retail spaces in Abacoa Town Center were sluggish, with a third of 40-some storefronts, as well as the center's movie theater, shuttered as of 2007. The center was acquired by a new owner who subsequently fully leased the town center and created a thriving retail environment. [2]

The name derives from that of a village of the Jaega tribe of Native Americans, who were present in the area at the time of Spanish contact.[3]


Since 2002, Abacoa has hosted the annual Fiesta Maya, based on the traditions of the highland Guatemala town of Jacaltenango, with the participation of the local Jacaltec community as well as students from Florida Atlantic University's Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College.[4]


Abacoa is split into 17 different neighborhoods, each containing its own style of architecture. At peak, management anticipates Abacoa will contain 6,073 residences, and about 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2) of commercial space.[5]

Abacoa is also home to Roger Dean Stadium, which is located near the Town Center part of the community, an urban open air street with multiple restaurants.[6] Abacoa is also home to Florida Atlantic University's Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, a Scripps Research Institute sister facility, and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, the Max Planck Society's first non-European research institute.


  1. ^ Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate. John Wiley & Sons. 23 January 1998. pp. 263–. ISBN 978-0-471-18878-0.
  2. ^ Charles Fountain (2 February 2009). Under the March Sun: The Story of Spring Training. Oxford University Press. pp. 241–. ISBN 978-0-19-974370-4.
  3. ^ Joe Forzano. "Abacoa Takes Name From Village Mentioned By Ponce de Leon". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  4. ^ Philip Williams; Timothy Steigenga; Manuel Vâsquez (3 March 2009). A Place to Be: Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Mexican Immigrants in Florida's New Destinations. Rutgers University Press. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-8135-4698-8.
  5. ^ "History of Abacoa". Abacoa Live Work Play. Abacoa POA. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Abacoa: 15 years later, is it a success?". Palm Beach Post. 10 July 2010.