Restaurant Row may be heading to Boca Raton’s city center, near one of the nation’s most successful shopping malls.
A 20,000-square-foot complex by Crocker Partners is being planned near the Town Center mall. Representatives have been marketing the site at trade shows, and thus far, interest in this restaurant-only destination is strong, they say.
The property would be located on Butts Road at Town Center Drive, on the site of The Plaza office building.
Crocker built The Plaza, sold it and then bought it back in 2014, along with the One Town Center office building and the mixed-use Boca Center nearby.
Why build a complex dedicated to restaurants?
“We’re trying to create more dining options for shoppers who go to the mall and more amenities for office tenants,” too, said Angelo Bianco, managing partner of Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners.
Indeed, this central Boca Raton corridor is surrounded not only by upscale residential communities but also by a range of office complexes and colleges, too. Lynn University is nearby, as is Florida Atlantic University.
Interest in this restaurant project is strong among national restaurant tenants of all types, said Tom Prakas of Prakas & Co., which is marketing the site.
Four spaces are planned in the proposed restaurant complex, with each space slated to be 5,000 square feet. But Prakas said he has interest from steak houses that seek 10,000-square-feet spaces, equal to two of the restaurant slots. Other interested tenants are wine-centric restaurants and American bistros.
Prakas and Bianco said the luxury Town Center mall is a big lure, as is the area’s central location and wealthy residents.
‘It’s one of the greatest demographics in the entire United States,” Bianco added. “There’s just incredible interest” in the site, he said.
It’s not clear when Crocker could deliver the planned development, which is part of a larger effort to recast this section of town into a new district dubbed Midtown Boca.
Crocker would like to build apartments and shops in this part of the city, in and around the Military Trail corridor. Nearby, developers who own the Glades Plaza and the bowling alley also are working on plans to build apartments and shops, too.
City approval for all this new development still must be obtained, including a rezoning of the area, which extends from Interstate 95 west to St. Andrews Boulevard, and from Glades Road south to Via Verde Trail. The changes would allow 2,500 residential units distributed among four owners, whose land holdings encompass about 300 acres.
Some residents have expressed concern about increased traffic with the proposed new developments. Bianco said since so many people commute to Boca Raton for work, creating more in-town residences could cut down on traffic, especially as the city seeks to boost public transit.
In any event, Prakas said the interested restaurants are part of big national companies that can wait until approvals are obtained and plans are completed. Stay tuned.
Alexandra Clough writes about the economy, real estate and the law.