The residents of Briny Breezes, a tiny beachside South Florida community consisting of trailer park homes, have turned down a $502 million offer from an unnamed developer who had hoped to purchase the coveted spot of land.

The offer was made earlier this month with community managers emailing the 600 residents about the offer while warning them that there was ‘no clear idea of what the buyer proposes for redevelopment.’ 

The residents gathered for a meeting where the offer of $502,496,000 was discussed, but many refused to even contemplate selling. 

”Not on my slice of paradise! It’s Old Florida. It got stuck in the ’70s. You can take your golf cart and drive right to the beach and put your feet in the sand. Anyone interested would have to come in north of $1 billion. We’re down the street from Trump, all the neighbors are millionaires,’ Chuck Swift, a resident since 2016 said. 

‘We’re the last vestige of Old World Florida. We’re a kitschy place. I’d love to stay here forever,’ added resident, Lynne Weiner, who has lived in Briny Breezes since the 1950s, said to the Sun Sentienal.  ‘This used to be a really, really nice neighborhood. Now, it’s just a really nice location.’

A developer has offered $502 million to purchase the Briny Breezes trailer park town

Residents of the tiny beachside community of 600 in Palm Beach County, South Florida have turned down the offer

Residents of the tiny beachside community of 600 in Palm Beach County, South Florida have turned down the offer

A group of regular visitors bought the property in 1958, and it became incorporated as a town in 1963, the year this photograph was taken

A group of regular visitors bought the property in 1958, and it became incorporated as a town in 1963, the year this photograph was taken

The residents say their slice of paradise is not for sale although some residents believe that an offer of more than $1 billion with favorable terms and conditions could be worth considering

The decision by the residents not to sell their community comes as South Florida faces a housing affordability crisis and high demand for land. 

Nestled conspicuously amid multimillion-dollar mega-mansions in Palm Beach County. and splashy high-rise condos, the quaint coastal trailer-park town of Briny Breezes seems out of place. 

One of the last remaining coastal trailer-park communities between Miami and Palm Beach, Briny Breezes is an island of unpretentiousness surrounded by glitz and glamour.

Residents cruise the narrow streets on golf carts, passing palm trees and tiny, neatly manicured yards. They wave to each other, exchange goodies and chat about the next neighborhood outing — water aerobics at the community pool, shuffleboard near the clubhouse and bowling nights.

The 43-acre town sprouted from a strawberry farm in the 1920s, back when Florida’s charm was its subtropical weather and quiet, coastal bliss — long before the days of Art Deco, Miami Vice and Walt Disney World. 

Briny Breezes is nestled conspicuously amid multimillion-dollar mega-mansions in Palm Beach County including Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, pictured

Briny Breezes is nestled conspicuously amid multimillion-dollar mega-mansions in Palm Beach County including Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, pictured

Just up the road from Briny Breezes are some of the most luxurious homes in the state

Just up the road from Briny Breezes are some of the most luxurious homes in the state

Luxury homes sit on the intracoastal waterway in some of the priciest plots of land in the state

Luxury homes sit on the intracoastal waterway in some of the priciest plots of land in the state

Splashy condos, seen left, sit right across the street from the quaint coastal trailer-park town

Splashy condos, seen left, sit right across the street from the quaint coastal trailer-park town

So-called ‘tin-can tourists’ came down yearly with their trailers to escape the Northern cold. 

A group of regular visitors bought the property in 1958, and it became incorporated as a town in 1963. It is run as a corporation by a board of directors, and the residents own shares based on the size and location of their lot.  

With 600 feet of oceanfront property and another 1,100 feet along the Intracoastal Waterway, land like this in Southeast Florida is gold. 

While some residents were inclined to consider a counteroffer, the majority of shareholders did not want to accept the original offer.

Still, it would not be a bad return on investment if you consider that some bought their homes as recently as 1997 for $35,000. 

‘This is pretty much it for an affordable community along the coast,’ said Debbi Murray of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. ‘It’s just another piece of Floridiana that is going to disappear.’

And it’s not just a Florida phenomenon, said John McIlwain, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.

‘There’s huge pressure on that land and the values have been skyrocketing. We’re seeing this up and down the coast,’ McIlwain said. ‘These holdouts really don’t stand much of a chance.’

With 600 feet of oceanfront property and another 1,100 feet along the Intracoastal Waterway, land like this in Southeast Florida is gold

With 600 feet of oceanfront property and another 1,100 feet along the Intracoastal Waterway, land like this in Southeast Florida is gold

Some bought their homes as recently as 1997 for $35,000, yet they have turned down the offers to become millionaires - at least for now

Some bought their homes as recently as 1997 for $35,000, yet they have turned down the offers to become millionaires – at least for now

One of the last remaining coastal trailer-park communities between Miami and Palm Beach, Briny Breezes is an island of unpretentiousness surrounded by glitz and glamour

One of the last remaining coastal trailer-park communities between Miami and Palm Beach, Briny Breezes is an island of unpretentiousness surrounded by glitz and glamour

One resident in attendance at the meeting, James Arena, a real estate agent, predicted that there would be further offers in the future.

‘There were a couple of people that were inclined to counteroffer, but the majority of shareholders did not want to accept the offer or a counteroffer,’ he said. ‘They were laughing at the offer.’ 

‘They’ll come back with more money and better terms, that’s for sure,’ he predicted. ‘They can take their $500 million and triple it and maybe they’ll have a chance, maybe.’

‘The offer recently received was unsolicited and extremely underwhelming in price, tax consequences and development terms. The board presented this to the shareholders to be fully transparent. The board voted to do nothing further with the offer, rejecting it with no counteroffer,’ said Michael Gallacher in a statement to the Sentinal.

In 2007, the residents agreed to sell their town and its 488 trailers to Ocean Land Investments, a Boca Raton developer, for $510 million. 

In 2007, the residents agreed to sell their town and its 488 trailers to Ocean Land Investments, a Boca Raton developer, for $510 million but the developer backed out

In 2007, the residents agreed to sell their town and its 488 trailers to Ocean Land Investments, a Boca Raton developer, for $510 million but the developer backed out

For many residents of Briny Breezes, their lifestyle is more important than money.

For many residents of Briny Breezes, their lifestyle is more important than money.

The average payout was anticipated to be about $1 million, with owners of smaller, interior lots getting less and owners with larger oceanfront and Intracoastal lots getting a larger piece of the pie. 

However, the developer backed out, which meant plans evaporated for the ‘Brinyites’ to become instant millionaires when their beloved land would become a luxury resort.

Since that offer was made 16 years ago, property values have risen significantly.

While shareholders feel there is no price to put on their paradise, many have indicated that an offer much closer to $1 billion with favorable terms and conditions might be considered. 

However, in February 2023 in a straw poll, residents were asked if they wanted to list the property for sale. Fewer than 30 percent wanted to do so.

For many residents of Briny Breezes, their lifestyle is more important than money.   

‘Most of the people who live or reside in Briny are blessed. The lifestyle is more important to them than the money,’ Keith Black, a former board member explained.

He said that offers do crop up from time to time but many are too small to warrant consideration.

It’s not all paradise in Briny Breezes.

The community is located in a hurricane evacuation zone and has few ways in or out and it can be difficult to obtain home insurance.

Developers would need to clear their plans through the state before any dirt is moved, and neighboring communities would also have a chance to weigh in. 

Yet, the residents are committed to staying in their community for as long as they possibly can.