52 Deerfield Moments: #47
Century Village

52 Deerfield Moments: #47 - Affordable Retirement Living

52 Moments in Deerfield History

Affordable Retirement Living

Century Village

Century Village East, is one of the largest retirement communities in South Florida.  It opened in 1979 on 800 acres with 8,508 units to sell, and they sold rapidly.

Comedian Red Buttons became the face of the over – 55 development. He touted inexpensive housing and all manner of recreational and social activities on television and in full-page newspaper ads. Initially, the owners targeted retirees in Miami Beach and brought them here in buses to experience the lifestyle. In a short time, that effort was directed to the northeast and retirees came in droves to enjoy a leisurely life and warm weather.

The community was built by Cenvill Development headed by Florida real estate developer Irwin Levy. Among the controversies that arose was the company’s insistence on owning the streets and utility lines. That resulted in friction over water rates that continues to this day.

A solidly Democrat stronghold, its voters were courted by political powers on the highest levels: Hillary and Bill Clinton visited twice when he was president, Vice President Al Gore in 2000, President Barak Obama in 2011 and Vice President Joe Biden in 2012.