Arvida and the Planned Sprawl of West Boca


  • J. L. Delahunty Department of Economics and Geography, Texas Tech University
  • Charles Roberts Department of Geosciences, Florida Atlantic University
  • Gillian Breary Department of Geosciences, Florida Atlantic University


Cities and towns --Growth, City planning, Planned communities, Sustainable development --United States, Planned unit developments --United States, Urban transportation, Mixed-use developments, Boca Raton (Fla.) --History, Palm Beach County (Fla.) –History


Less is known and discussed about Arvida, whose name was an acronym for Arthur Vinning Davis. Arvida Corporation set the pattern of development for Boca Raton and for southeast Florida over most of the last 40 years. The practice of building prestige gated planned unit developments was introduced to Boca Raton by Arvida. Like Flagler, Davis started his career in land development very late in life as a second Delahunty, Roberts, & Breary career. Like Mizner's Boca Raton Resort and Club, Arvida Corporation's name would be sullied by criminal conduct and scandal. Yet Arvida's model of land development would become the dominating feature of post 1980 suburban sprawl in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County.