To play the slideshow requires Flash 8 or higher. Click here to install/upgrade.

Downtown Boca Raton

William Crocker started building in Boca Raton in 1966; when he retired in the mid-1980s, son Tom Crocker (1953- ) took over Crocker and Company. Tom Crocker worked with Boca Raton's Community Development Agency to replace the failed Boca Raton Mall with a 28.7-acre mixed-use project, Mizner Park, completed in phases throughout the 1990s. Today the center includes 272 homes, a public promenade and park, stores and restaurants, 262,000 square feet of office space, a movie theater, the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater, the Centre for the Arts, and the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

Prior to development of Mizner Park, there were 73 housing units downtown; office rents were the lowest in Palm Beach County. With its voters’ approval, the City of Boca Raton spent $50 million in infrastructure improvements and $68 million in bond financing to make the project feasible. Controversies resulted in new state laws, restructuring of the city’s government, higher local taxes, lawsuits, and heavy city debt. But Mizner Park fulfilled its promise as a stimulant for downtown redevelopment. By 2002, there were 689 housing units downtown and 900 more under construction, and office rents were the highest in south Florida. The resulting 14-fold increase in assessed property values from 1990 to 2002 improved the city's tax base, although the timing initially proved to be poor economically. After property values rose again, in 2005 Mizner Park started paying for itself. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Mizner Park for removing a blighted property while creating a dynamic meeting place for the community.
 

 

Site Map  |   Home  |  Native Americans  |  Journal  |  Pioneer Life  |  Land Boom & Bust  |  World War ll  |  Progress  |  People  |  Agriculture  |  Communities  |  Geography  |  Maps & Photos  |  For Teachers  |  Credits  |  Disclaimer  |  Copyright  |  Links  |  Timeline E-L  | 

phone: 561.832.4164  |  fax: 561.832.7965  |  mail: P.O. Box 4364, W.P.B., FL 33402  |  visit: 300 N. Dixie Hwy, W.P.B., FL 33401

© 2009 Historical Society of Palm Beach County  |  all photos courtesy HSPBC unless otherwise noted