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Old November 3rd, 2005, 07:54 AM   #1
DShoost88
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Boca Raton

Alright, I know. In a forum for Miami it can be easy to forget about the region that the Miami metro area covers. I'm welcoming comments or concerns about the direction and future of the city of Boca Raton.

For some, here are a few fun facts:
- Boca Raton became a city in 1925.
- The city's incorporated population is about 85,000 covering an area of about 28 square miles. The total population (unincorporated included) is about 310,000 covering an area of about 88 square miles.
- It is the Spam capital of the United States.
- Home of the world famous Boca Raton Resort and Club, Florida Atlantic University, Town Center Mall at Boca Raton, and the successful mixed-use community of Mizner Park (among many other successful and world-class establishments).
- The city began a unique trend in the 1960's with strict guidelines on commercial exposure and landscape requirements seen by city roads/highways.

Some concerns of mine for the city are the improvements that must be made to mass transit. I've learned that Tri-Rail has selected their station on Yamato Road (in Boca Raton) to be a hub for their rail and commuting services. They are to construct an air-conditioned five-story complex that will include 50,000 square feet of office space and an additional 20,000 square feet of restaurants and eateries. For commuting services they have designated 10 to 15 slots for buses with adequate shading and bench space to accomadate a large number of commuters, all directly next to the rail platform. A project that I have not seen mentioned, however that I am optimistic will be conducted, is an elevated rail line of some sort connecting the station directly to the FAU campus located roughly one mile to the south. A direct link could be constructed at or above the newly constructed Tri-Rail platfrom and take passengers south, over I-95 and accross Spanish River Blvd. directly to the heart of the FAU campus. A direct link must be constructed to the campus to relieve the large number of commuters that go to the school everyday, the planned university hospital and relocation of the Boca Raton Community Hospital onto the FAU campus, and most importantly the planned 40,000-seat enclosed dome stadium on the north end of the campus. Other plans for the university include constructing a cancer research center, adding nearly 2400 dorm rooms, building a much needed student union, and welcoming retailers onto the university campus. Another benefit of an elevated rail system from the Boca Raton Train Station through the FAU campus is it can extend south to Glades Road: the most traveled on artery in Palm Beach County (aside from possibly Okeechobee Blvd). In the long range plans for Palm Beach County it is outlined that there will be some sort of RBT (Rapid Bus Transit) or perhaps light rail running along Glades Road from US-1 in the east to SR-7 (aka US-441) to the west. From 441 the RBT/Light Rail would continue southward into Broward County (a whole other thread on transit). A sort of "mini-hub" (for lack of a better word) could be created by the elevated rail and the RBT/light rail at the enterance of FAU @ Glades Road.

I hope I'm not the only skyscrapercity user that is concerned about this wonderful city I proudly call home. So please, I welcome any additional thoughts about improvements, kudos, projects, or plans for the city of Boca Raton. Thank you.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 11:20 AM   #2
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I thought the spam capital of the US was Hawaii
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 04:45 PM   #3
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How do they figure out who is the spam capital? Geeze the amount of the crap that I get drives me nuts and I dont live in the capital. Actually the REAL spam capital of the world is Austin Minnesota home of Hormel foods who produces the real SPAM
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 05:28 PM   #4
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It had something to do with the amount spam email scams that are run out of Boca Raton.
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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Anyone else get emails from Nigeria?
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Old November 11th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #6
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Any info on additional development in downtown Boca?
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Old November 16th, 2005, 12:18 AM   #7
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--> Article from the Boca Raton Newspaper; they want to create a "spine" in downtown Boca connecting Mizner with Royal Palm Place. To sum it up, the spine (or pedestrian friendly connection) is essential to attracting a healthier looking and more urban downtown.

‘Spine’ walkway could be backbone of a vibrant downtown Boca Raton
Idea for a pedestrian connector linking north and south ends of the center city has been around since the 1960s

Published Monday, November 14, 2005 1:00 am
by By Dale M. King

Milo Smith may finally get his wish.

Back in 1968, the land planner came up with a proposal to pump life into young downtown Boca Raton by creating a “spine,” a pedestrian connector linking the north and south ends of the center city.

It was an intriguing idea – and parts of a spine have already been incorporated into the north and south ends.

Nearly 40 years later, the City Council – acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency – is looking to complete the walkway that will link Mizner Park to the revived Royal Palm Place, former Royal Palm Plaza.

“Leif [City Manager Leif Ahnell] and I have been meeting with interested parties,” said Development Services Director Jorge Camejo. The Downtown Visions Committee is also considering ways of making the spine happen.

Earlier this year, the CRA voted unanimously to authorize spine negotiations involving the Downtown Visions Committee, city Development Services and downtown property owners.

“We did a charrette [planning document] for the spine about 15 years ago,” said Mayor Steven Abrams.

Even before that, Smith proposed linking Boca’s downtown by means of a pedestrian walkway. That plan was scuttled after Boca Raton Mall was completed in 1972, according to Camejo.

But then the mall folded in the 1980s, making way for the construction of Mizner Park on the same piece of property by the end of the decade.

About that same time, developer George Barbar proposed a massive downtown project called Barbar Center, which would have provided the middle section of the spine.

The council approved Barbar Center, but voters forced the issue to a referendum – and it was rejected.

“This is where the spine slipped a disc,” quipped Mayor Abrams. Traffic engineers suggested bringing the spine up First Avenue. But it would have crossed Palmetto Park Road very close to Federal Highway. Too close, they said, for two traffic signals, since traffic would back up through the major crossroad.

Deputy Mayor Susan Whelchel, who pushed the issue to a CRA vote months ago after meeting with Camejo and a group of property owners, said she viewed the walkway as central to a pedestrian-friendly redesign of Boca’s downtown, including the redevelopment of Palmetto Park Road.

“It’s extremely exciting that we have a council ready to deal with it,” she said. “We don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like or exactly where it’s going to go, but we’ve authorized Jorge to come up with a plan.”

She said finishing the spine “is the right thing to do for the survival of our downtown.”

Councilman Bill Hager, who is also CRA chairman, said he feels residents and business owners have ramped up their support of a pedestrian-friendly link.

Councilman Peter Baronoff said progress on the spine would be a necessary step to “branding” the downtown – a project he brought up and endorsed enthusiastically during council planning meetings in May.

The spine won’t sprout overnight. Currently, there is no way to build a walkway without demolishing an existing parking lot or business.

But planning officials have a focus. Camejo said precursors to a spine already exist “south of Palmetto Park Road and north of Second Street to Mizner Park.” It’s the two blocks in between that need work.

“The ideal would be some extension of Second Street, either with a traffic circle, straight or with a jog.”
Adding a curvature to the “spine” isn’t out of the question, he said.

“The policy makers are anxious to have something come about,” the development director added. “We have to create an incentive.”

Camejo said he and Hager will meet “to map out an action plan.”
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Old November 16th, 2005, 02:41 AM   #8
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that sounds pretty nice... are we talkin kinda like a lincoln road kinda thing?
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Old November 17th, 2005, 03:54 AM   #9
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I'd imagine similar to a Lincoln Road; however, since it makes up the heart of Boca, it may be a little more urban than that segment of Miami Beach. (To be honest, I am not at all familiar with Miami Beach, so it may be similar to Lincoln Road). I hope it's more like a locust walk (if you're at all familiar with the University of Pennsylvania campus, the Locust Walk is no access to cars).
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Old November 17th, 2005, 03:59 AM   #10
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Oh, another thing: what do you guys think about the North Federal Highway Plan? Does anyone have any pics of North Federal Highway development throughout Boca Raton? And what's going on with the renovation of the Boca Resort and Club? I read somewhere about them building a newer, state-of-the-art hotel on the ocean. (Sweet)... Another new addition to the city made on 11/19: A carousel at Sugar Sand Park. After reading the spread about the possible "new theme park" at Metro Zoo, it got me wondering if they could convert Sugar Sand Park into a mini-theme park. Comments anyone?
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 02:53 AM   #11
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OKAY PEOPLE, SINCE I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO POSTS IN THIS FORUM ANYMORE... I'm sure all of us from S. Florida know about the Marlins' anticipated move from Miami. As they mention the possiblity of moving as far away as Vegas, there is still a possibility of them staying down here in Florida. The question is "where?" (WTF is this doing on the Boca forum, right). I say, if they're looking for a place to construct a stadium, why don't they talk to FAU in Boca? The FAU campus is planning their 40,000-domed stadium. The access from 95, the convenience of the "finally" opened Tri-Rail Station, and the land availability on the university campus (and around the campus) is perfect for multiple stadium construction. What do you guys think?
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 03:07 AM   #12
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they want a baseball only facility and i doubt west palm beach or fau is willing to pay and build them a stadium. and also it wouldn't be a wise decision since there attendance would probably decrease even more.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 04:09 AM   #13
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Enjoyed my drive through Boca the other day, on US 1. Saw a Ferrari F430, a Bentley GT and a Viper (which, in Boca is probably the car you take grocery shopping).

Coming back through on 95, the Yamamoto interchange has a frozen-in-the-80's look about it. No recent construction anywhere.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 04:11 PM   #14
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building a stadium in boca is way to fukin far from the small fan base they actually have and are desperately trying to keep and build on... moving the stadium that far would just kill the team, as all the fans outside of north broward would just say fuk it and attendence would move even lower... if thats possible

get out to those games people! its our fault we lost beckett and lowell
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:02 PM   #15
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Hey Nimbyhater. What do you mean they wouldn't come to a stadium in Boca? What about the Anaheim Angels? Their stadium (let alone the city of Anaheim) aren't very noteworthy places; however, there is a very strong fan base and plenty of people from far away (as far north as Valencia) that do go to Anaheim for a baseball game. As long as the stadium has a decent location (parallel to a highway, as Angel Stadium is on the 405), has a defining characteristic that makes it unique from other stadiums (such as Anaheim's waterfall in the back field), and the cost to build is reasonably cheap (the domed stadium at FAU is estimated to cost between $105 to $148 million, 1/4 the cost of the Miami proposal), the Marlins could have a stadium in Boca and I bet that fans will come. And another plus about a stadium at or near the FAU campus is the zoning surrounding it; there are not that many people nearby that would say NIMBY, NIMBY. And the city of Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, and the State of Florida would probably accept Boca as a doable proposal. With the strict guidelines Boca Raton has set on landscaping, signage, and architectural appeal, a new stadium here could really be an A+ for city-leaders looking to make Boca Raton the "world-class city" it is destined to become.

And Dale, about your drive through Boca recently. I totally agree with you about US-1. I've made the drive myself from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport all the way up to Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, and the section of Federal Highway in Boca Raton is by far the most attractive (aside possibly from downtown Ft. Lauderdale). As for I-95 and Yamato, a lot of new stuff is supposed to happen there in the next couple of years. The city is anticipating to construct a mixed use village around there to increase the effectiveness of the SFRTA (South Florida Regional Transportation Authority) Hub. I also recall reading several months ago that the T-Rex corporation has some plans on building upward as well.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:57 PM   #16
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DS -

Good news about those changes @ 95/Yamato !
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:53 PM   #17
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Orange county has nearly 3 million people, I would hardly say Anaheim is isolated considering it has a population nearly as large as the city of Miami.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #18
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i was in boca raton twice (4 and 5 years ago) for training trips at fau. boca raton is a nice area. it looks great for a smaller city in the miami metro area. the beachfront area is nice as well.

anyone have any pictures?
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Old November 24th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DShoost88
Hey Nimbyhater. What do you mean they wouldn't come to a stadium in Boca? What about the Anaheim Angels? Their stadium (let alone the city of Anaheim) aren't very noteworthy places; however, there is a very strong fan base and plenty of people from far away (as far north as Valencia) that do go to Anaheim for a baseball game. As long as the stadium has a decent location (parallel to a highway, as Angel Stadium is on the 405), has a defining characteristic that makes it unique from other stadiums (such as Anaheim's waterfall in the back field), and the cost to build is reasonably cheap (the domed stadium at FAU is estimated to cost between $105 to $148 million, 1/4 the cost of the Miami proposal), the Marlins could have a stadium in Boca and I bet that fans will come. And another plus about a stadium at or near the FAU campus is the zoning surrounding it; there are not that many people nearby that would say NIMBY, NIMBY. And the city of Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, and the State of Florida would probably accept Boca as a doable proposal. With the strict guidelines Boca Raton has set on landscaping, signage, and architectural appeal, a new stadium here could really be an A+ for city-leaders looking to make Boca Raton the "world-class city" it is destined to become.

And Dale, about your drive through Boca recently. I totally agree with you about US-1. I've made the drive myself from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport all the way up to Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, and the section of Federal Highway in Boca Raton is by far the most attractive (aside possibly from downtown Ft. Lauderdale). As for I-95 and Yamato, a lot of new stuff is supposed to happen there in the next couple of years. The city is anticipating to construct a mixed use village around there to increase the effectiveness of the SFRTA (South Florida Regional Transportation Authority) Hub. I also recall reading several months ago that the T-Rex corporation has some plans on building upward as well.
this would be logical reasoning for any sports team or city in the world... but u must remember this is miami... MIAMI! if people had a stadium next door and games were free people, mite go to one a year... mayb... cant build a stadium that far away...
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Old December 5th, 2005, 04:40 AM   #20
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