Pennsylvania-based developer Toll Brothers has purchased land occupied by an old monastery in Delray Beach, Florida, for $8.5 million. New York-based developer TL Management previously acquired the property for $4.7 million in 2022. 

Christ the King Monastery of St. Clare still sits on the property where it was built in 1967. The cloistered nuns who inhabited the monastery had been hoping to downsize for some time, as the monastery required several renovations, and their efforts at maintaining the old building proved futile. Hurricanes caused severe leaks in the ceilings, resulting in living space loss. The sprawling grounds also posed problems for sisters with physical disabilities. The nuns concluded they could no longer care for the land and sold the 11-acre property in 2022.

When TL Management bought the land at the corner of Sherwood Boulevard and Sutton Place in the Sherwood Park neighborhood off Military Trail, the group planned to rezone the property from single- to medium-density residential to build a 240-bed nursing home. Representatives of TL Management asserted that allowing aging residents to have a place to stay in a residential area as they grew older would add value for everyone in the community. 

However, neighborhood residents were strongly opposed to the project, claiming it would decrease the value of their properties and create more traffic. “Single-family homes only,” one resident told West Palm Beach TV earlier this year. “That’s what belongs here. That’s what we have — single-family homes. They can make money by developing it with single-family homes.” The traffic concern was valid, as research for the nursing home project confirmed that many new commuters would be routed through the neighborhood. The nursing home would have brought in an additional 624 daily trips, including 42 during the morning rush hour and 62 during the evening rush hour.

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TL Management’s rezoning efforts ultimately failed because of the opposition, resulting in selling the land to Toll Brothers. The project was argued before the city’s Planning and Zoning Board and amended several times, but it needed help to gain approval.

Founder of Monopoly Real Estate Group Simon Lipton, who represented Toll Brothers in the deal, believes that residents will be much more amenable to the new plans for the property. He told WPTV that Toll Brothers hopes to build approximately 34 high-end luxury homes on the land to increase the value of the surrounding homes and properties. According to current land-use policies, the 11-acre plot can hold only 26 homes, so Toll Brothers’ plan will need to be reviewed by the city. Lipton asserted the review and planning process will likely take about a year, further stalling development. He has high hopes for the project, concluding, “I think it will be great.”

The Toll Brothers development company originally expanded into Florida in 1995. The group has been active since 1967 when it was founded in southeastern Pennsylvania. They have since built homes in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Connecticut, North Carolina, Texas, California, Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, Washington, Colorado, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Nevada.