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More Malls

The thousands of jobs provided by the arrival of big industry in the ’60s and ‘70s—especially IBM in South County and Pratt and Whitney in North County—increased the needs for goods and services of various kinds. When IBM came to Boca Raton, the nearest major shopping was at the small Boca Raton Mall (now Mizner Park) and the Palm Beach Mall in West Palm Beach, which is now closed and under re-development as an outlet mall.

Town Center opened on Glades Road in 1980 with Burdines, Sears, and Jordan Marsh as anchors. Although the mall was outside the city limits, the area between I-95 and Florida's Turnpike was known as Central Boca Raton. Winter residents to the Boca Raton area increased, and Town Center expanded in 1989. But by the late 1990s, it could not compete against a revitalized downtown and the Boynton Beach Mall, which opened in 1985. The Simon DeBartolo Group of Indiana, which owned the Palm Beach and Boynton Beach malls, bought Town Center and renovated it for a second grand opening in 2000.

In North County, growth was slow through the 1980s in Palm Beach Gardens, until the opening of the 1.3 million square foot, upscale Gardens Mall in 1988 initiated a new wave of residential and commercial development. Taubman Centers built the Mall at Wellington Green in 2001, with half a million square feet and tenants comparable to the Gardens.

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