Years of complaints over Palm Bay’s ‘Compound’ prompt city leaders to workshop solutions

Meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. Thursday

PALM BAY, Fla. – Concerning the uncertain future of an undeveloped Palm Bay neighborhood known as “The Compound,” city leaders plan to discuss what’s next for the troubled area during a workshop Thursday evening in the wake of recent high-profile crimes.

The more than 12-square-mile plot of land in southwestern Palm Bay was originally planned for development in the 1980s, but after the company behind the project went belly-up, it has since become known for wild parties, ATV enthusiasts and as a dumping ground for crime.

Earlier this month, the remains of 44-year-old Nancy Howery were found buried in at least five locations in The Compound. Less than three months earlier, a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old were found dead in the area — both shot, police said — on Christmas.

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Palm Bay Councilman Kenny Johnson said it’s long overdue to find a solution.

“I’m tired of seeing dead young men or women, whoever, out in The Compound, but with the right investors we can grow that area,” Johnson said.

Thursday’s meeting will involve discussions of how to control access to privately-owned lots on public roads, with city leaders also to overview police security checks, the clearing of overgrown vegetation, asking property owners if they’d be interested in selling their land and how to attract development, all among steps taken to enact positive change.

This comes as a possible prologue to the formation of a committee to address The Compound and pitch long-term solutions, such as the potential transformation of the land into an industrial or ATV park.

The workshop gets underway at 6 p.m.

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About the Authors:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.