zzz - Lorea Thomson
| Realtor
Updated on
Published in Community Features


The property located at 16133 Jupiter Farms Road in Jupiter has a long history.  It is rumored to have been a gangster hideout in the 1920’s and was owned by legendary actor Burt Reynolds in the 1980’s.  Notorious gangster Al Capone built the original home on the property in 1923.  Reynolds owned the ranch for years and shot scenes from the immensely successful “Smokey and the Bandit” movie, as well as scenes from the television series “B.L. Stryker” there.

Al Capone is said to have built the original home on the property in 1923. Capone was Brooklyn born and he ruled the streets of Chicago.  Capone mostly hung out in Miami, but he did not particularly like it there.  A news report places Capone in Palm Beach County in 1930.  At the time, West Jupiter and West Palatka were the moonshine capitals of the world. Capone also took the name of Al Brown and lived in a summer cottage in West Jupiter off Italian Farms Road (now Jupiter Farms Road, SR#3). The notorious mob boss wasn't looking to expand his territory, he just wanted a place to relax.  Chicago's mob boss moved south to Miami in 1928 and purchased a beach front estate.  Capone died there in 1947.

The veteran actor, known for notable roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Deliverance, The Longest Yard, Striptease and many more, purchased the 153-acre property.  Reynolds owned the ranch for years, complete with a petting zoo, shot scenes for the movie Smokey and the Bandit, as well as the television series B.L. Stryker there.  His father Burt Reynolds’s, Sr., a former police chief of Riviera Beach, also lived on the ranch. 

The Palm Beach County School District bought the land for $3.8 million 15 years ago.  For the many years, the property has been a “much hoped for public middle school for Jupiter Farms”.  The District is has been saying population growth does not warrant a new middle school any time soon.  The School District agreed to sell the land to K. Hovnanian Jupiter LLC for $5 million, contingent upon Hovnanian receiving the zoning approvals.

Palm Beach County Commission approved zoning changes needed to build about 30 homes on the 150 acres in Jupiter Farms.  Developers have cooperated with residents on what to build – estate style homes, horse-riding trails and land set aside for preservation at the former gangster ranch and Burt Reynolds property.  The homes will occupy 40% of the property and 60% will maintain the rustic, natural look of the area.

Plans are for the homes to be on 2 and ½ acres or more and 60 acres to be set aside for preservation land.  Two acres have been set aside for future municipal uses such as public library and/or fire station. With no immediate plans for building those municipal uses, the 2 acres will be used as a communal vegetable garden.

Please direct any inquiries about the property to the real estate professionals specializing in farms and ranches at Waterfront Properties and Club Communities by sending an email to: or calling 561-746-7272.


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