By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Woodlands was developed by Ken Behring, a car buff who worked as a salesperson at a Chevrolet and Chrysler auto dealership. At age 21, he started a used car business called Behring Motors in Monroe, Wisconsin. A savvy businessman, he was earning $50,000 a year and had $1 million in assets by age 27.
Behring moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1956 and started Behring Construction Company. He became a land developer, founding Tamarac Lakes, a new active-adult community in 1962. It was built on an area that was formerly wetlands, pastures, and fields. The new development was incorporated as Tamarac, Florida on July 25, 1963.
Behring had a vision of a community of home surrounded by fairways, beautiful wooded areas and winding streams. This was to be the Woodlands where homes initially were to begin at $20,000 aimed at the pre-retirement market, with 900 clustered villas and a number of estate-type home sites in a 640 acre community.
Behring needed more land to meet the growing buyer demand. A drawback to Behring’s expansion was that more than half of the land was west of the Sunshine State Parkway, now known as the Florida Turnpike. A tunnel was the only means of crossing over to the western part of the city. Behring petitioned the Turnpike Authority to add an interchange at Commercial Boulevard and the Turnpike. Ultimately, he had to deed 27.5 acres of prime land (valued at over $1 million) to the Turnpike Authority in order to get the overpass. It opened in November 1971.
See historical brochures and other items Woodlands – History
- Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.