Boca Raton isn’t just attracting your grandma’s friends anymore.
That was the message given by a panel of real estate experts during “The State of the South Florida Real Estate Market” event held at The Addison last month.
Experts said buyers are younger, aren’t necessarily looking to live directly on the beach and are turning to Boca because of its livable, walkable environment.
Boca Mayor Susan Haynie, President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm, Johnathan Miler, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida Brokerage Jay Parker and Executive Director of Luxury Sales at Douglas Elliman Senada Adzem addressed a crowd of real estate professionals on the South Florida market with a focus on Boca.
“Boca Raton is very special,” Mayor Haynie said, giving a history lesson about The Addison being Addison Mizner’s office while he was building the Boca Raton Resort. “Our downtown is becoming the vibrant vision of our community.”
With the state’s fastest growing university, FAU, Boca Regional Hospital, the airport and other amenities, Haynie said the city has something for everyone whether you want to live on the beach, on a golf course or in a more urban downtown core.
Parker said more than 1,000 people are moving to South Florida daily and Boca is being asked about from buyers now more than ever.
“People’s decisions are based on lifestyle,” he said.
Part of the panel discussion focused on the Residences Mandarin Oriental, 85 luxury residences in the Mandarin Oriental hotel that will be heading to Boca Raton. Parker said the amenities offered in the project provide a package deal for people seeking dining, spas and golf in one place.
The project is part of Via Mizner, a mixed-use property with shops, restaurants and luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental. The Residences will sit atop The Shoppes at Via Mizner, which plan to have upscale shopping, dining and specialized services on the first four floors. The units will connect to the hotel via a skybridge.
The units will range in size from one bedrooms to five bedrooms. The penthouses will be as large as 8,800 square feet with smaller 1-bedroom units totaling 1,453 square feet. The residences include open floor plans, terraces, summer kitchens, private elevator foyers to each residence, automated “smart home technology,” gourmet kitchens with European cabinetry, high end appliances, stone or wood flooring and high-end countertop finishes.
Owners will receive the following amenities: preferred access to the hotel restaurants and bars, preferred access to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, resident-only lounges and gathering areas
rooftop pool with private ocean-view cabanas, fitness center with private instructors, outdoor garden and relaxation area, lobby-level wine cellar with private tasting room, in-residence dining with access to hotel catering, a private chef for dinner parties, business center and meeting room and 24-hour concierge, doorman, valet and security.
Residents will also get membership privileges to Via Mizner Golf and City Club. The golf course, located about three miles from the property, is an existing 18-hole course that will be completely redone and designed by golf icon Jack Nicklaus. The club will also have a pool, tennis courts, dining and a club house.
For an additional fee, residents can choose from the following services, daily housekeeping, a butler, home care and maintenance, pool service, in-room massage, house cars for use around Boca Raton and dog walking.
Adzem said her European buyers are interested in Boca because it is a safe place to live. Buyers from the Northeast, she said are interested in the city because of the resort-style environment and low taxes. She said those used to spending summers in the Hamptons are looking to Boca for a similar vibe for less.
She also said her buyers are younger than they were years ago. Her average client is 48 with a family, which is a shift away from already retired or looking to retire to South Florida, she said.
She said those younger families are shifting away from golfing country clubs.
“They don’t want to feel that they are driving a half hour to their home,” she said of the large communities.
But if golf is what you are looking for, Haynie said Boca has something for every buyer.
“If you want a golf course community, we have that, residences for families, we have that, downtown that is a walkable and livable, we have that,” she said.