Royal Palm Place – Phase II – IDA Narrative – June 12, 2017

Location, location, location is the general rule in real estate.  Timing, timing, timing generally the rule in politics….Well, the redevelopment of Boca Raton’s downtown may have inadvertently arrived at the intersection of these two defining principles.

Location:  South of Palmetto Park Road, along Mizner Blvd towards the Southwest to the intersection of Mizner Blvd with Federal Highway….a location of current notoriety on two significant levels…

  • the pending CRA approval of the Mizner 200 development project, a project replacing the Mizner on the Green apartments with three  (3) 100 foot towers containing 384 for sale condominium units and projected to add $1 billion dollars in taxable value for Boca Raton on the east side of Mizner Blvd; and,
  • the Phase II Royal Palm Place redevelopment, a redevelopment project for a portion of Royal Palm Place with two (2) 140 foot towers containing 289 rental apartments; 15,716 sq. ft. of retail/restaurant; and 801 space parking structure(s).

Timing:  For near three (3) years now, opposition to the Mizner 200 project has been at a high pitch.  Neighboring properties to the south (Townsend Place) and west (Royal Palm Place) have opposed the Mizner 200 project with vigorous analysis of Ordinance 4035 and its various components.  Last week’s marathon 6 ½ hour CRA meeting resulted in the opposing sides reportedly coming together with what is expected to be an agreed upon solution to the project’s  design elements under Ordinance 4035.

Opposition arguments about traffic, congestion, parking, safety, roadway improvements, etc. seem to have gone by the way-side with a redesign/repositioning of the buildings for purpose of protecting the opposition’s vistas and views; the only real concern of the opposition.  With what is expected to come forward at the August 21st CRA meeting, the CRA members may avoid having to make a King Solomon type decision to ‘split the baby’ but does not absolve the CRA members from having to exercise King Solomon type judgement for what is in the betterment of the entire community.   Traffic, congestion, parking, safety, roadway improvements, etc. still remain troublesome and, apparently, will become even more worrisome with the Royal Palm Place redevelopment application now pending; talk about ‘timing’.

Royal Palm Place Phase II redevelopment has now been actively submitted for consideration to city staff and is destined for eventual presentation at the Community Advisory Board, the Planning and Zoning Board and, eventually, the CRA for approvals.  This Phase II project (2 buildings) is a precursor eventually leading to an anticipated Phase III, expected to include 3 additional structures with vested rights for 140 foot towers.   The CRA members will have to eventually take into considerations those other troubling elements for the betterment of our entire community.

Below is the narrative submitted for Phase II of the Royal Palm Place redevelopment project.  It presents a historical evolution of the project and an analysis of the vested rights held by the Batmasian family for this property.  It also outlines what the family is proposing to do in their attempt to address elements like parking, public space/public realm and other community oriented considerations.  It is recommended that the reader take the time to review the narrative as this application is in real time and will be coming forward in the near future for public comment and input.  Some of this may be overkill for the average reader/resident but it is included to demonstrate the size of this redevelopment project and as a reminder that Phase II represents 40% of the expected five (5) building mass to comprise Royal Palm Place and will eventually be developed.

Royal Palm Place is a gem within the city of Boca Raton.  Its redevelopment is inevitable and should actually be embraced.  The Batmasian family seems committed to advancing this redevelopment in a tasteful and community sensitive manner and, at this moment in time, should be received cautiously but favorably for the betterment of the community.

BocaWatch will continue to monitor the progress of Royal Palm Place’s Phase II submittal…Stay tuned!

Al Zucaro, Publisher

Royal Palm Place Phase II IDA Narrative

** Narrative prepared by Robert A. Eisen, BBA, JD, LLM and Douglas A. Mummaw, B. Arch., AIA, NCARB