Here’s what we think….


Boca Raton gets it. The city gets the importance of preserving the past, incorporating the now and looking toward the future.
That was recently demonstrated at an architectural roundtable hosted by Mayor Susan Haynie.
The result was the notion that Boca needs to build a downtown that attracts and retains people.
Haynie invited local architects including Derek Van Der Ploeg, Jorge Garcia, Jose Fernandez, Jess Sowards and Kristo Stamatovski and the public to discuss downtown Boca’s architecture.
The consensus of the panel is that dwelling on the past can prevent new, creative buildings from cropping up. The architects said it is important to evolve in style.
Residents have told city officials they are concerned about how the downtown building boom looks in appearance. Many are fearful that the buildings are too dense and don’t fit in with the “Boca brand.” They feel the Addison Mizner touch that built Boca is being lost as old buildings are being replaced and revamped.
Concerns from residents began over the architecture of The Mark at Cityscape. It was the first building approved under the city’s temporary rules and was approved for increased height. The 12-story building with 208 rental apartments is located at 11 Plaza Real South.
Some residents and officials expressed concerns over the building’s look once it was completed, which began discussions around what is the look Boca is going for.
The architects agreed that Addison Mizner was a visionary, but his vision back then wouldn’t necessarily be able to be carried out today.
They explained that the materials and technology used to design and build structures today outdate what Mizner used.
Panelists and residents agreed that Boca needs an updated look that blends the past and the future.
To do that, architects said it is important to break up building mass that makes developments look dense by using different building heights to create a skyline. Residents want to see a walkable downtown filled with landscaping.
Some of the downtown projects in the works:
Palmetto Promenade, a nine-story, 378-unit apartment building at Northeast Third Avenue and Palmetto Park Road;
Via Mizner, a 12-story, 366-unit apartment building at Camino Real and Federal Highway;
Hyatt Place Hotel Boca Raton, a 12-story, 200-room hotel at Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway;
327 Royal Palm, a nine-story, 24-unit condominium tower at 327 East Royal Palm Road.