Project Lighthouse: A Performing Arts Center and More for Wellington


By Krista Martinelli

At the beginning of 2023, a grass roots group was starting to pick up steam.  Their Facebook page is “Project Lighthouse-Community Vision”, and their vision is to build a 6-story performing arts center with a rooftop restaurant in Wellington.  This facility and possibly other buildings, if all goes as planned, will be constructed on the 10-acre plot of land behind the Hampton Inn and near the Mall at Wellington Green.  Currently the land is owned by the Village of Wellington. 

“It’s a grass roots group, so we are all volunteers.  One of the big differences between this effort and previous attempts at a similar project is that this time there are no funds being raised, no staff members are paid and it’s truly a grass roots effort to advise the Village of Wellington with what the community would like to see,” says Project Lighthouse co-chair Steve Traynor. 

The name “Project Lighthouse” came from Village Council member John McGovern, who coined the phrase in saying that Wellington has always been a beacon for the Western Communities. 

The Mission Statement?  “Project Lighthouse will provide the citizens of Wellington a multi-use facility that includes innovative new services such as: a performing arts and convention center, business space, retail space, as well as residences. This in turn drives consistent revenue growth for our local businesses and is a compelling investment opportunity for developers. This facility will ensure that the Village of Wellington continues to serve as a Lighthouse for the Western Communities.”

A few members of the Project Lighthouse grassroots group

The grassroots group has been building up momentum and generally meets on Saturdays at 12:30pm at Village Music & Café in Wellington to discuss plans.  Lately, they have been letting the community know about the “vision” by sharing short (1-2 minute) videos on social media from different perspectives on how the performing arts center would benefit Wellington.  These videos have featured Emily Shecter, 22-year-old Wellington resident and FAU theater major; Donna Willey, owner of Village Music in Wellington; Bob Reyes, owner of Cugini winery and co-chair of Project Lighthouse and others.

The group has been coordinating with a local architectural firm and a seasoned developer from South Florida.  They have also been speaking with a Performing Arts Facility management team.

While the Kravis Center operates with an approximate 6 million dollar deficit every year, the Project Lighthouse plan would be self-sustaining with no deficit.  And as an important side note, 3.6 million of those dollars raised for the Kravis Center every year come from Wellington.  In other words, there’s a huge interest and need for such a facility within Wellington.

To follow the progress of this group, join the Facebook page.  Stay tuned for more information as the architectural renderings should be ready to share in 2 to 4 weeks.