Every state has its crown jewel zone — a district, or a city which symbolizes the best of everything that the state has, and for which it gains renown. Florida’s Palm Beach, Palm Beach’s Jupiter —, which will lack its appeal without the master planned mixed community of Abacao.
Then again, every town has its Main Street — one that succinctly gathers everything that is unique and admirable about it in a short walk — “a walk-pitch of the town” if you may.
Abacoa has Antigua.
Located north of the actual main street, beyond the Roger Dean Stadium that seat 7000 people, beyond the downtown office district that has become a business hub, and towards the Cades Bay Avenue where the main street start transforming into a boulevard — a park with a beautiful fountain, a jog in the street that obliges you to stop and look.
A totally different streetscape from the downtown. A ring of beautiful balconies, leaning on engraved pillars, and strutting out from elegant three-story townhouses surround the park in an enclave. You’ve just found Florida’s Gramercy Park — Antigua, Florida’s rival to Beacon Hills in Boston.
A Neighborhood with Dual Personalities
Antigua, Abacoa’s prime live/work neighborhood has a distinctively residential personality, tinged with commercialism on the ground floors.
You will notice shingles advertising medical offices, law firms, and small businesses, most of which will be working on the ground floor of the buildings — with residents transforming into business persons as they step down the stairs of their homes first floor and towards the ground.
The neighborhood has live/work townhouses in 80 commercially zoned three-story buildings along with more than 200 multiple story residential townhouses.
Antigua, offers residents Abacoa’s unique culture of modern-cum-traditional communal life where merchants literally live above their shops, which include, to name a few: appointment only art galleries, hari stylists, florist, photographers, law firms, HOA service providers, and more.
Antigua’s Outdoor Living Rooms — a Unique Layout
Antigua features admirable features of combining urban with traditional yet keeping the noisy and stressful lifestyle at bay. The main street boulevard slows down traffic; its 10 feet worth of lane on either side makes it safe for pedestrians and turns it into a bustling hub of activity which includes the club house and cabanas, the main park, and a heated swimming pool!
Antigua boasts Abacoa’s most discernable terminated vistas and outdoor living rooms. The layout of the streets is such that the buildings run alongside them at length and without break. This creates an outside “room” for the community of Antigua and hence aids in sustaining interactivity between people in a private setting. Prime examples of such ingenious outdoor rooms include Antigua Green, St Luke Mews, and the many small parks integrated with residential townhouses.
On the other hand, prominent buildings like the Club house (a community civic structure) are placed such that they becomes a focal point (aka terminated vistas), a point of reference and walking destination for all neighbors.
Buying the Town at Antigua
In 2009, Jim Castronovo, one of Antigua Board of Directors narrated an anecdote from his friend Jasey Campbell:
“When he, his wife, and baby moved into their Antigua townhouse, his mother-in-law had commented, “Wouldn’t you rather be living out in Jupiter Farms where you can get more space for the same price?” My friend responded to her by saying, “No, because I’m not just buying the townhouse. I’m buying the town.”
Nobody could have said it better.
Campbell was then the president of the Antigua Homeowner’s Association.
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