Have any of you been following the social media comments on the RAM Real Estate Company selling their downtown Boca Raton MARK at CityScape apartment building for $82 million dollars…..?

Tainted characters like Deputy Mayor Weinroth and the Planning and Zoning Board Member Glenn Gromann, shills for unbridled development, have been touting the success of this sale as if it were utopia for the residents; as if it were manna from heaven; perhaps for the developer but not a right outcome for the residents…..As always, missing in their braggadocio and in-your-face postings are quality of life issues.

We residents are left with an ugly building in the heart of the downtown on a fraction of the original parcel of land that has now made RAM a literal fortune minus construction costs….

Having purchased this 4.5 acres for $42 million; a site, that when purchased, contained one office building at Federal Highway and East Palmetto Park road. RAM through the influences of their ‘hired guns’ have rezoned the property into 3 smaller parcels; first, bringing the residents an ugly 140 + 20 foot high-rise architecturally insignificant apartment building housing 208 rental apartments, 18,000 square feet of retail and a 686 space parking garage; that is arguably the ugliest addition in our downtown ever…..

So what else can be said….let’s see….

The property cost $42 million….that the Mark alone sold for $82 million; that a separated 1 acre parcel of the 4.5 acres was sold to the Kolter Group for $5.5 million; now the site of the downtown Hyatt hotel; that the then existing office building recently sold for $25.75 million bringing the total sale price for the 4.5 acres by RAM to $113.25 million, and RAM is now literally out. Not a bad outcome by any stretch of the imagination.

To be fair, RAM did hold the property from 2006 to now; did retain the best ‘hired guns’ money could buy to massage the local politicians for favorable positioning; and does provide a boost to the tax base within the Community Redevelopment Agency. The tax base increase is arguable; had the building been limited to height and density under Ordinance 4035, the tax base would also have been increased as well but the residents would have been provided some ‘success’ as well; an outcome that never seems to come to the residents….

The Mark was an experiment under the Interim Design Guidelines; guidelines that still remain interim….Coming up in November will be a new set of public hearings on whether the guidelines that allowed for this ‘ugly’ project are to be made permanent, abolished, or modified; an outcome that we, the residents, have a considerable stake in and an ongoing need to continue with our diligence.

BocaWatch will keep you posted….

No matter the result….March ‘17 cannot come soon enough….Like in national politics….the theme for our local politics is “throw the bums out”.