Lake Worth, FL- One of Southeast Florida’s most diverse suburbs

Lake worth stood at only  38 residents in 1912. But this quickly  changed as the town grew rapidly benefitting from the Florida land boom in the 1920s. Lake Worth’s population more than quintupling from 1,106 in 1920 to nearly 6,000 in 1930. Sadly the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane devastated Lake Worth. The storm, combined with the Great Depression led to a severe economic decline within the community. Yet Lake Worth saw rebirth after WWII  growing to 7,406 in 1940. The 1970s-1990s was a period of neglect for Downtown and the inner-city neighborhoods and Lake Worth gained notoriety as the “skin-flick capital of the country”. But cheap real estate brought many immigrants to Lake Worth greatly diversifying the City. Most immigrants came from Central America and the Caribbean. By the late 1990s dwtn began to revitalize and Central Lake Worth is more or less a stable place with some seedy and disinvested pockets remaining. 

Unlike other suburbs between Miami and West Palm Beach with urban Dwtns, Lake Worth has great connectively, bike infrastructure, and solid public transit. It is also much more diverse and affordable than its comparable suburbs. Lake worth also has solid cultural and retail amenities located mostly on Lake and Lucerne Aves. But to truly be a good urban district, Lake Worth needs more urban infill along Lake and Luceren Avenues, a total urban rehaul of Dixie Hwy, which is very auto centric right now, more park space, and more retail amenities.



Click here to view my Lake Worth Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Pretty good density, especially for a Miami suburb.
* Generally sidewalks and ADA curbs are in place but few up to date ADA curb cuts.
* Solid public transit access and only a 30 min train ride to dwtn West Palm Beach. 50 Min train to Ft. Lauderdale.
* Great connectivity and great bike lanes system Dwtn.
* Great racial and economic diversity here.
* Rentals are moderately priced, especially for Miami Standards. 1-beds rent in the 1Ks, 2-beds in the 2 & 3Ks, 3-beds are slightly more expensive.
* Also a decent amount of moderately priced for sale housing. 1-bed condos sell anywhere btwn 50K-800K depending on size and condition. 2-beds btwn 150K-800K, 3 & 4 beds anywhere btwn 200K-1M.
* There also seems to be a fair amount of voucher hsg available too.
* Decent cultural amenities with a good array of restaurants (esp. Hispanic), bars, and cafes. Also a couple live music venues, a theater company, plenty of art galleries, and several local museums.
* Retail amenities include a Publix supermarket and many grocerias, plenty of drug stores, a decent # of boutiques and banks, several antique and home good stores, a book store & record shop, tons of consignment stores, several dessert joints, a dwtn post office and public library, and a couple of gyms.
* Quality historic homes and a good amount of quality historic commercial remains.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Park space is limited to a Dwtn plaza and decent waterfront park.
* No hospital near dwtn and few medical offices.
* Dwtn Lake Worth is generally pretty safe but has its issues and a fair amount of blight that remains for its disinvestment btwn the 70s-90s.
* In-fill is a mixed bag. Some decent stuff along Lake Ave the biz district but lots of crummy autocentric bldgs along Dixie Hwy.
* Urban mass is bad along Dixie and a mix-bag along Lake and Lucerne Ave.

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