Do you know why Burt Reynolds decided to move to Jupiter

Dear Town Council,

My congratulations to each of you in your election victories and wish you the best in making sound decisions for Jupiter’s future. She is a special place. Different.

Yesterday, I was reading an article about an appearance Burt Reynolds made Saturday at the Norton Museum and he was explaining why he moved from Hollywood to Jupiter. He used to land here and just being here lowered his blood pressure. Many of us feel that way. Jupiter is different and that difference should be embraced.

Jupiter Full Moon Blue Clear Sky Over Lighthouse
Jupiter Full Moon Blue Clear Sky Over Lighthouse

I have built or sold real property my entire life. I own and operate a boutique real estate brokerage and embrace being different. Different….by design is one of our tag lines. I always used to tell clients that South Florida starts at PGA Boulevard. North of there lies paradise. We are different and you used to be able to feel it. Our beach wasn’t developed, Our green space was important. Our parking was free. Our traffic was manageable. Our blood pressures were lower. We were special. We were different.

We still are, but the times they are a changing. You can feel it in the air. You can see it on the streets. That line of demarcation between South Florida and paradise is getting fuzzy and I don’t like it. My blood pressure doesn’t like it. Yours is an important job as the future of our town is at stake and as you know it is not an easy job. You simply cannot make a decision that will make everyone happy so your decisions should be focused on Jupiter. What is best for her, her legacy, her future. What can you do to keep Jupiter special? Different.

I first became worried as I watched Harbourside go up. I became more concerned the first time I toured the property. After all, this was to be our centerpiece. It was to be integral in the long term success of the riverwalk. It was to tie us to the water which is our lifeblood. Yet the development for the most part, in my opinion, fails miserably. It is physically separated from the water by a road. I have enjoyed a margarita or two on the patio in front of Calaveras Cantina, one of our signature waterfront restaurants. The problem is, as I sit on the patio there is a road, there is landscaping, there is the riverwalk, there is a dock, there is a 100’+ boat. I cannot even see the water at our signature waterfront restaurant and that to me is a shame. Where’s the water? It isn’t special. It isn’t Jupiter.

There are a lot of smart, talented people who care about Jupiter. Her future. Her legacy. We should listen to them. Invite them to participate. We don’t owe developers anything. We owe Jupiter and should all work together in a process focused on her. Her beauty. Her difference. We shouldn’t try and make decisions without these people. We should be out seeking them. Inviting them to participate. If we had done that we might have a project in Harbourside that was different, special. We may not have crammed all of this building on a site and hidden the water. We just might have embraced it and I could enjoy my margarita on a patio and actually see the water. Maybe I would have fewer choices but they would be better choices. Maybe it could have helped keep Jupiter different.

Like Burt Reynolds I don’t actually live in Jupiter. I live in Tequesta and perhaps that makes me an outsider. In reality, I live and breathe Jupiter more than many of her residents. Often I am asked by clients “do you work for the Chamber of Commerce?” I want to offer my services in any way that I can to help keep Jupiter special, different. There are many others like me and we should embrace our differences and use our resources to be different, to think different, to handle development differently. Use me, use us, what can we do to help you, to help Jupiter?

I ask that whatever decisions you make you please focus them all with traffic and parking foremost on your minds. Nothing is more important to one’s blood pressure readings. Please, no more paid parking in Jupiter. No more parking garages or spaces whose design is so tight one feels they are going to hit something unless they are driving a Mini-Cooper. It is a mistake and it isn’t different. Yesterday, I was in the Funky Fishing Village and parked in the 2 acre lot the Jupiter CRA still owns on Love Street. People were circling for parking. The same parking lot a developer wants to use for more building of things that do not make Jupiter special or different. Anyone with common sense can tell you that removing a 2 acre parking lot that is crammed full of cars with more circling for parking and replacing it with more development requiring more parking is a crazy notion.

I am on US 1 every day. I see the draw bridge just north of A1A go up. I see the traffic back up. I see southbound traffic lined up trying to take a left hand turn onto A1A. I see northbound traffic backed up as far as the eyes can see. A few weeks ago we attended the Jupiter Seafood Festival and like many responsible people we arrived using Uber. When we left I was going to put in a request for Uber and someone overheard me and told me she had been waiting for 45 minutes for her Uber driver that was on the way. When I looked north on A1A I could see why as it was gridlock and not much movement. We decided to walk to Guanabanas and it was backed up the entire way. When we arrived at Guanabanas you could see traffic was jammed all the way to US1 and beyond. At some point major work will be needed on the drawbridge.

Nothing should be approved in the Funky Fishing Village without a thorough parking and traffic study in place. Maybe this has been done and if so please get it out there so we can see it. It’s called concurrency and nothing should be done without it. It’s development 101. Level of service standards need to be developed for parking and traffic. And yes, the developers who want to develop need to pay for these studies. Let’s see a detailed master plan not just for the Love Street parcel, not just the Suni Sands parcel but the entire Funky Fishing Village. Let’s be transparent. Let’s work together and do what’s right for Jupiter. For our blood pressure. Let’s be special. Let’s be different.

We want to help. Use us. Think outside the box. Let’s keep Jupiter special, different.






Published by

Tom Priester

After spending years among the top individual performers at one of Palm Beach County’s largest and most successful real estate brokerages, Tom Priester knew there was another way to do real estate. A better way. Real estate services focused on the customer. Like the old days when the customer truly was #1. He tired of listening to why he should be going out to have his customers sign one sided buyers’ brokerage agreements. He tired of hearing how he should be selling customers why paying higher commissions, like 7% and 8%, was to their benefit. He tired of hearing how he should sell his clients on why they should be paying hundreds of dollars in additional “transaction fees”. The business had slid way too far from being focused on the customer. His customer. So he decided the time was right to be different… design. To start his own unique boutique real estate firm truly focused on his customers. They will now have access to a process focused on them. Only the best marketing techniques to sell their homes. No cutting corners. Commission structures based on his clients needs not his. Paradise Sharks was born out of Tom’s passion to return this business to the customer. Where it belongs. If you want a real estate experience that benefits you, just give Tom a call at 561 308-0175 or send him an e-mail at You can always pay more and receive less but that just would not make any sense. Would it?

5 thoughts on “Do you know why Burt Reynolds decided to move to Jupiter

  1. I agree with this article. We have been coming to Jupiter for years. It seems all these new condos and buildings have went up without any consideration of the traffic and parking problems that go with it. Jupiter’s quaintness is why we bought property there. It is being taken away by people who are only worried about the almighty dollar. I hope someone can put a stop to all of this.

  2. Well written and I truly feel your pain. My wife and I fell in love with Jupiter many years ago and were thrilled to call her home, until the winter of 2014/2015 when the last straw was broken. Traffic in Jupiter has become unbearable and the quality and quantity of friendly people has been diluted. We’ve retreated North to the new paradise…Sebastian and couldn’t be happier, blood pressure is back to normal again. I’m very sorry for your loss but don’t see Jupiter returning to the charmingly different place it once was. By the way, if anyone from “South Florida” asks, Sebastian sucks, don’t go there.

  3. Lori and Ken,

    Thank you both so much for the comments and Ken I promise that Sebastian is “our secret”. I was disappointed by the turnout at last nights’ town council meeting and it truly is sad that nobody cares or wants to get involved. Jupiter’s population has grown by 50% in a very short time span and traffic and parking are still bearable but if somebody does not demand proper planning it’s not going to be pretty. I was also disappointed that my letter to the town council received one response from our newly elected mayor. It was simply “Thanks for the note and perspective”.

  4. For many years recently, Burt Reynolds lived north of Tequesta in Martin County. Before that, he lived in Jupiter Farms. When did he live in Jupiter?

  5. Robert,

    The home Burt sold last September is not north of Tequesta. It is in Tequesta off US1 across from Jonathan Dickinson State Park. In the Jupiter/Tequesta area lines separating Jupiter/Tequesta and Palm Beach County/Martin County can be tough to follow. We have Jupiter and Tequesta addresses that are in Martin County. My home is in Palm Beach County but the property I back up to is in Martin County. Burt’s home is in Martin County.

    It had been Burt’s home for 36 years as according to public records he purchased the property back in 1980. When the home was sold in September to Charles Modica my understanding is Burt has been allowed to stay in the property. Mr. Modica is interestingly enough the developer “in the news” as he is the owner of both the Love Street and Suni Sands projects in Jupiters Funky Fishing Village.

    Burt purchased a 138 acre parcel in Jupiter Farms well before the Tequesta purchase. That property is in Jupiter and Palm Beach County and it is part of Jupiter history. The story goes that Al Capone used the property as a hideout in the 1920’s and built the original house on the property in 1923. Burt shot scenes for movies and television shows on the property and even had a petting zoo.

    K Hovnanian Homes is developing part of the original Reynolds property in Jupiter Farms with 30 homes on 1.5 acre lots at prices that start around $900,000. The name of the development is quite appropriate, “Reynolds Ranch”. With Paradise Sharks “New Construction Splash” program we provide cash credits to our clients on new developer sales where we act as your broker. These cash credits currently start at about 1.5% of purchase price or in the case of Reynolds Ranch about $13,500.

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