SoSo Neighborhood (WPB) Homes for Sale

The Hottest Spot in West Palm Beach

SoSo is a fantastic place to live because it has the community and neighborhood feel, while being so close to all West Palm Beach downtown, City Place, and other areas have to offer. You’re gonna love it!

Variety is the Spice of Life

South of Southern Has It All

It’s hard to pin down “SoSo,” the cutesy name (some think too cute) given to the part of West Palm Beach that sits south of Southern Boulevard.

It’s often considered one neighborhood. One association of residents represents the area, in addition to other spots that may or may not be part of SoSo, depending on whom you ask.

But, if you take a look around, it’s quickly obvious that SoSo is highly varied in almost every way — the architecture, the streetscaping, the historic character. It’s almost a city of its own.

There are narrow lanes lined by tall hedges that curve mysteriously out of sight. There are lush, intimate nooks, with dead-ends on streets you expect to go through. There are wide, grand lawns capped by spectacular mansions along Flagler Drive. There are Spanish Mission homes from the 1920s and ranch-style homes built in the ’50s.

And the whole 1.5-mile stretch, more than 2,000 homes, shares a spine along Dixie Highway with places of business from bakeries to Cuban restaurants to dentist offices.

Some people love their neighborhoods for its cohesion. But residents in SoSo like it largely because, in one sense, it lacks it.

Jeff Fischer, a member of the South End Neighborhood Association, said he likes “the fact that you can drive down every street and see a multitude of builders and styles and classic structures and Old Florida and Spanish. … It’s just such a variety.”

But the south end has its glue: its annual picnic, held in the spring, draws hundreds from the neighborhood, he says. Political interests also help keep residents involved.

Just as in style, SoSo also is wildly varied in price tag. Over the past three months, 18 homes sold. The lowest (3-bed, 1-bath, 1,200 square feet) went for $105,000. The highest (4/3, 3,800 square feet) went for $1.55 million.

There are now 62 homes on the market, with a universe between the two extremes — one (a 2/1, 800 square feet) is listed at $154,900, and another (a 5-bed, 8.5 bath, 6,500 square feet) is listed at $4.45 million.

It’s not hard to explain that huge range, given the nature of the neighborhood, with the Intracoastal Waterway on one side and a heavy contingent of concrete-block homes situated farther from the water, said Linda Cullen, a Realtor with The Corcoran Group who specializes in historic homes.

“The reason that there’s such a disparity between the price is that of course you’ve got the water, but what you have in between Dixie and Olive (Avenue) are a whole bunch of what we call Ross houses,” somewhat more plain homes built by a developer of that name.

Many of those homes, though, have been modified to make rooms larger or to add on.

“As time goes on the real, true Ross house that hasn’t been modified is harder to find,” Cullen said.

Because of the proximity to the water, and a quality elementary school, homes in the area have tended to retain their value, Cullen said.

A big draw, especially for younger families, is South Olive Elementary, which is A-rated. The area is also served by Conniston Middle (most recent grade of B) and Forest Hill High (C).

Lately, many landowners in SoSo have demolished and rebuilt from the ground up — larger homes sometimes termed “McMansions,” that, while aesthetically pleasing on their own, are not always beloved by surrounding neighbors.

The south end also includes the Belair Historic District, which covers the 200 and 300 blocks of Pilgrim and Plymouth roads. Platted in 1923, it includes more than 50 homes in the Mission Revival, Mediterranean Revival and Frame Vernacular styles — the oldest of which is the Richard Hone/Brombacher House built in 1895 on Plymouth. Most of the historic homes in the district were built in the 1920s and ’30s.

“The area was originally a pineapple plantation that was part of a land grant from President Chester Arthur in 1885,” city planners wrote at the time of historic designation.

Aaron Wormus, another member of the association board, said while there might be several centers of social activity, the association has a bonding effect.

“Our meetings really hold it all together, and when issues come up, people will come to the meetings and will speak against it,” he said. “Even though it is a big area, that kind of helps it gel together.”