Boca Midtown project dead, one lawsuit lingers

76

Staff report

Plans to revamp an area known as “Midtown Boca” near the Town Center Mall are dead.

Crocker Partners recently announced it will no longer pursue plans to redevelop the area, which totals about 300 acres.

Crocker Partners’ currently owns Boca Raton properties valued at about $750 million, including Boca Center, which was to be the centerpiece of Midtown, One Town Center and The Plaza, also in Midtown, as well as the nearby One Boca Place.

“After trying to work with City Council for 4 years, revitalizing Midtown is off the table — a tremendous missed opportunity for the City and the community,” said Angelo Bianco, Crocker Partners Managing Partner.

But, the company will pursue one of its three lawsuits against the city of Boca Raton.

The company has discontinued two other lawsuits against the City since the remedies sought in those cases are moot with Midtown plans blocked by City Council. The first sought to have the court compel City Council to adopt updated development regulations, as required under the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan amendment designating Midtown as a Planned Mobility District (PMD). The second suit requested that ordinances passed by City Council in violation of the Sunshine Act and which precluded residential development, be invalidated.

“City Council has made it clear that despite the Comprehensive Plan’s vision for Midtown, revitalizing the area is not of interest to it. Council members never even responded to proposals made nearly a year ago to resolve the dispute with Crocker Partners,” said attorney for Crocker Partners Henry Handler.

Bianco said the overall redevelopment plan for Midtown would have exceeded a $1 billion investment from private investment.

The landowners’ conceptual plan called for high quality housing allowing people to live near work, millions of dollars in new infrastructure funded by the landowners, plus alternative modes of transportation and pedestrian-friendly improvements making it easier to get to and around Midtown and take cars off the road.

The project included multiple property owners including Crocker Partners, Trademark, owner of Glades Plaza; Cypress Realty, owner of Strikes and Nippers, and Town Center Mall’s Simon Properties.