Palm Beach Post Questionnaire – How will this center reinvigorate Boca Raton

Palm Beach Post Questionnaire – How will this center reinvigorate Boca Raton
  • How will this center reinvigorate Boca Raton, as you’ve said before?

Boca Raton has long been one of the anchors of the Gold Coast, and really began to come into its own as a City about 30 years ago when Mizner Park, one of the first mixed-use developments in the United States, was built. However, the full concept of Mizner Park was to be a cultural park, with the north end envisioned for the uses proposed by The Center. Without that foot-traffic-generating anchor for over 30 years, the City has for decades not realized its fullest potential.

One doesn’t have to look only to NYC and Chicago to recognize the impact that results from a major center like this. Kravis Center, Broward Center, the Arsht Center, and the New World Center are all anchors in their respective cities, pumping activity through restaurants, hotels and shops while also providing companies, their employees, their families, students, etc. the vibrant amenities they desire in their communities.

The Center, by coming to Downtown Boca Raton, will catalyze the area in a similar way. Commercial tenants have less turn over or are replaced with higher quality restaurants, shops, etc; hotels have more heads in beds; Brightline becomes a reason to make Boca a destination as opposed to a departure point; K-12 students get access to an unprecedented level of technology-forward art and culture; university students from three major colleges/universities have an opportunity to be inspired, work and create in, apprentice for The Center while also providing them a reason to stay post-graduation; companies have a greater reason to stay in Boca or relocate to the area given the amenity it represents for their employees and families; and truly so much more.

In addition to The Center’s direct impact, by bringing this 9-figure investment and its associated foot traffic to Downtown Boca Raton, additional private investment by several private developers is already underway to further the reimagination of Mizner Park and Boca Raton overall.

Considering the renaissance that South Florida is experiencing since the great migration due to Covid, The Center, positioned to break ground by 2025, will be one of first and many reasons Boca Raton joins that renaissance in a very future-forward way.

  • How will it generate local revenue?

Unlike traditional performing arts centers, which generate direct, indirect, and induced spending mostly nighttime and weekends through restaurants, hotel stays, shopping in the area, supportive uses, etc; the Center is unique in that it will be generating activity day or night, weekday or weekend, and all year long through its future-forward design, which enables maximum flexibility. For example, in the Main Hall, a flat-floor product launch for 2,000 attendees during the day can be converted in a matter of 30 minutes for a performance for 1,100 at night.

Specifically, by its fifth year of operation, The Center will generate an overall annual economic benefit of $342.5 million, and, assuming these benefits will continue into the future, The Center would generate an overall $10.3 billion in economic benefits to the local economy over a thirty-year period.

  • How can it help further grow South Florida’s creator economy?

Creators want and need infrastructure. Whether it’s a need for creative co-working space, a place with the highest internet speeds, a place for human connection, a place to be inspired, the ability to see programming and exhibitions that push the boundaries, or a place that has second-to-none access to technology, The Center aims to fill those needs.

  • What is the timetable for the project?

With the 94-year ground lease in place, The Center will be earnestly embarking on finalizing the planning and design of the project as well as securing the capital necessary to construct. This will take approximately 2-3 years, with a groundbreaking expected in late 2025, the same year Boca Raton celebrates its centennial celebration. Construction will take another 2-3 years, allowing for grand-opening in 2028.