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Downtown Redevelopment

The 1980s brought a renewed interest in Palm Beach County’s downtown areas that continues today, especially in cities along the Intracoastal Waterway, where restaurants, shopping, and entertainment are sometimes combined with residences. Since 1980, historic downtowns have been redeveloped in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, and Boca Raton.

Part of improving old areas was preservation. Starting in 1988, the City of West Palm Beach complied an inventory of historic properties and developed a historic preservation program and ordinance. Sixteen historic districts were recognized between 1991 and 2009, starting with Old Northwood.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) was formed in 1989 as a facilitator between local governments and their citizens in town planning, using four-to-nine-day meetings called “charrettes.” Typically the TCRPC worked with a city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), formed under Florida’s Community Redevelopment Act of 1969. During the 1990s, charrettes were used by the municipalities of Jupiter, Lake Park, West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, and Delray Beach, often with success that is still visible today. New projects—such as West Palm Beach’s CityPlace and Boca Raton’s Mizner Park—replaced blighted areas in existing downtown areas.

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