Located in the central part of Palm Beach
County, the City was founded by Lawrence Carter Swain, as
a “Good Place to Live”, and was originally incorporated
The City is governed by a Mayor and five
council members who establish policy for the City while
the daily operations are administered by a city manager.
The City provides a complement of municipal services including
Public Safety (Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services),
parks and recreation, planning, building, engineering, and
With a land area of approximately six square miles and a
population of over 38,000, the City of Greenacres is the
eighth largest of the 38 municipalities in Palm Beach County.
The City has 17,108 dwelling units providing
diversity in type (single family, condominiums, villas,
townhomes and apartments) and price range. The majority
of the commercial establishments offer a variety of services,
restaurants, retail, and amusements, mainly located along
Lake Worth Road, Forest Hill Boulevard, Tenth Avenue North,
and Jog Road.
The City is home to five elementary schools,
three middle schools and a high school, as well as numerous
houses of worship, a library, and a post office. The City
has 11 parks with a combined area of over 93 acres providing
a variety of recreational opportunities for day and night
time play for residents of all ages. Adjacent to the City
is Okeeheelee Park, a regional county park providing over
1,700 acres of recreation. The City’s Community Center
is host to a variety of youth, adult, and senior classes
The City of Greenacres has been named a
"Tree City USA" since 1992 by the National Arbor
Day Foundation due to the demonstrated commitment to plant
and maintain trees in public spaces.
The City has been recognized for five
years, most recently in 2012, as one of the "100 Best
Communities for Young People" in the nation by America’s
Promise-The Alliance for Youth, the nation’s largest
alliance dedicated to children and youth.
While providing the best, and most cost
efficient public services and facilities, the City is recognized
as a safe, attractive, well-maintained and financially stable
community that is A Great Place to Be.
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Greenacres Historical Events
The City of Greenacres was founded by Lawrence Carter Swain who moved his family to this area from Massachusetts. During the 1920’s, the Town of Palm Beach and other coast resort areas were booming. The wealthy were well provided for in terms of housing and community services. However, there were few homes that were built or available for the middle class. Motivated by the desire to provide a community for the middle class Mr. Swain began accumulating property in this area, ending up with approximately 1,000 acres of property. This land was divided into sections or "plats". Plat II laid out one-half mile west of Military Trail, became the "Original Section" of the City and still exists today.
Officially incorporated as “Greenacres City”. Mr. Swain’s office staff voted on a list of potential names. The City’s slogan, “A Good Place to Live” was also chosen at that time.
First recorded devastating hurricane, known as ‘The Big Blow’ hit the City on September 19, 1926.
On September 16th, almost two
years to the date, a second devastating hurricane
hit; both hurricanes virtually destroying the City.
A third disaster hit the City
in April when the Florida State Legislature abolished
the City’s Charter. A group of disgruntled
residents presented a petition to the Legislature,
which resulted in the City losing its status as a
municipality. However, the community was re-established
as a City within the same year and was reincorporated
in 1947. The City prospered and kept pace with its
growing and diversified population by continuing
to increase service delivery to the residents.
A City Hall complex was built
on Perry Avenue and Fourth Street; and the Community
Hall was built on Martin Avenue and Fourth Street.
City Hall housed a public library and other City
departments, with the exception of the Fire and Public
Greenacres established a full-time
Police Department that replaced the Town Marshal.
. In 1974 the City began providing full-time fire
protection by hiring its first Chief and six (6)
Greenacres was the seventh
largest and fastest growing municipality in Central
Palm Beach County. Planning for a new City Hall (located
at the intersection of 10th Avenue North and Sherwood
Forest Blvd.) began as it was determined that
the old City Hall structure would not be able to
accommodate future growth.
In 1984, residents approved a bond
referendum to issue General Obligation Bonds to construct
the City Hall on 10th Avenue North, the Public Safety
Complex (located on Jog Rd.), and development of
recreational facilities. This era brought about great
interest to invest in the City’s future. In
1985, the City embarked upon the implementation and
development of the Department of Public Safety. This
new idea combined the police, fire and emergency
medical services, an innovative concept that provided
for dual certified officers, improved emergency response
time, and tremendous cost savings to Greenacres residents.
City residents voted in favor of a referendum changing the City’s name from the “City of Greenacres City” to the “City of Greenacres”. During the 1990’s, the City continued to experience tremendous development and growth through annexation of unincorporated Palm Beach County property in an effort to square off the boundaries. The 1990 Census population figure of 18,683 was much lower than anticipated and brought great concern to City Officials. Council authorized the City to conduct a “Special Census” in 1993, which validated an additional 3,000 residents, bringing the new population count to 21,966. This increase in population provided valuable revenue from the State of Florida to the City for the remainder of the decade.
City Officials organized another
American Assembly process to gather consensus and
visioning for the City; improvements were made to
Ira Van Bullock ball fields; construction of the
Community Center on Swain Blvd. was completed; construction
began on the Greenacres Freedom Park aka Pinehurst
Park; Public Safety Station No. 2 was constructed
on Haverhill Road; annexation of unincorporated property
in the southern portion of the City continued; and
the City enhanced recreational and educational programs
City Officials authorized on-going enhancements to the parks system, along with street improvements, voluntary annexations and new developments; and authorized the construction of a new Municipal Complex and Public Works facility off of Melaleuca Lane. The construction was completed in July of 2007.
Today, Greenacres enjoys a population
of more than 38,000 residents and has five (5) elementary
schools; three (3) middle schools; and one (1) high
school, with eleven (11) neighborhood parks. City
Officials and City Staff take great pride in the
sense of community, its improved neighborhoods and
parks, landscaping and beautification programs,
as well as the efficiency in service delivery that
make Greenacres… “A great Place to
For more historical information, visit www.pbchistoryonline.org/page/greenacres
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- 43.6 acres of vacant land remain in the City.
- Residential uses account for 65% of the City’s
- Commercial Uses account for 9%.
- Public/Institutional accounts for 10%.
- Recreation and Open Space account for 3%.
- Roadways and waterways account for 13%
- Since the incorporation of the City of Greenacres in
1926, the City’s land area has grown, from 263
to 3,724.8 acres.
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CENSUS 2010 DEMOGRAPHIC
Greenacres, Florida Fact Sheet
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