Boca Raton, Florida
Mizner Park shines as an award winning mixed use development. It occupies the site of what was once a failed 36 acre retail mall constructed in the 1970s. Through a clever and committed public-private partnership between Crocker Partners and the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Mizner Park was envisioned as a way to establish a “downtown” for the city of Boca Raton. Cited by many to be the first of its kind, the private-public partnership created a mechanism for financing and maintaining the development as well as allowing for public amenities and community spaces. Centered around the grand outdoor “Plaza Real” are numerous mixed-use buildings that integrate office and retail space, apartments, townhouses, cinemas, restaurants, museums, and a Center for the Arts complex. Parking for over 2,500 vehicles is accessible along the street and in adjacent structures. In the three decades since its opening, Mizner Park has become a case study for large-scale, mixed-use re-development in its concept, financing and design and has established Boca Raton as a Florida sustainable city.
According to an EPA report on Smart Growth, "The project stimulated development in the rest of downtown Boca Raton. Before the redevelopment of Mizner Park, there were 73 housing units downtown, and office rents were the lowest in Palm Beach County. By 2002, there were 689 housing units downtown with another 900 under construction, and office rents were the highest in all of south Florida. The area saw a 14-fold increase in assessed property values from 1990 to 2002, improving the city's tax base. The success of Mizner Park has sparked other cities in Florida to convert their underperforming shopping malls into new town centers."