Boca Raton, Florida
a great place to live and an exciting place to add to the visitors’ itinerary.
With a high-speed rail system connecting the dynamic city of Boca Raton to other tourist destinations, this city is a ‘bright’ spot on the Florida coastline and remains a perfect place to call home.
In a state known for its tourist hot spots, one city, Boca Raton, is consistently standing out for all the right reasons.
For the residents of the dynamic and charming city of Boca Raton, living an enviable lifestyle with beautiful surroundings at their doorstep is something that is never taken for granted. Waking up to an oceanfront view and some of Florida’s most desirable beaches is also not lost on Boca Raton’s residents who are lucky to call this gem of a city their home.
Boca Raton, the second largest city in the Palm Beaches, catering to 100,000 residents and covering 29 square miles, has always held a special allure and it is not hard to see why.
With top-rated golf courses that have always drawn in tourists and appealed to locals, and an impressive list of restaurants [including Michelin-rated] throughout the city, the city is experiencing a culinary and cultural revival. All of this is playing out against the backdrop of a stunning coastline that is home to Red Reef Park and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, rich with water life and a butterfly garden to explore.
‘Bright’ economic prospects
Beyond the city’s obvious physical charms, Boca Raton is experiencing an economic boost and growth trajectory that is quickly cementing its place as a thriving, and vibrant city in its own right.
The city boasts a bustling downtown with a host of big city amenities and new businesses, balanced with a small-town warm embrace. Whether it be for residents or for tourists, fortunate to travel through and take in its many possibilities, Boca Raton is the place to be.
A mix of arts, commerce, and culture merge in Boca Raton’s downtown core demonstrated by the Boca Raton Museum of Art and the Mizner Park Amphitheater. Local cafes and shopping provide residents with all that is needed, rivaling larger cities within commuting distance.
New restaurants are setting up shop and the walkability of the downtown area is improving quickly to meet an increasing resident demand for an accessible, cultural, and beautiful city-center hub.
A high-speed ‘bright’ future connecting Boca Raton
Of all the assets that Boca Raton can be proud of, one recent development is causing a ripple of excitement throughout the city, while helping to connect Boca Raton to other Florida cities; the recent addition of the Brightline rail line that has been under construction and is now open to commuters in and out of the city.
“Brightline is one of the newest game-changing projects in the city. It connects people from Miami to Boca to West Palm and just recently opened in Orlando,” Jessica Del Vecchio, City of Boca Raton Economic Development Manager, explains.
“Brightline provides ease of travel not only for tourism and entertainment, but also for the local workforce. It’s all about supporting the corporate community for us, and Brightline provides a convenient option that commuters are finding very valuable.”
Del Vecchio elaborates that “Commuters are leaving their cars behind, because they can work on the train during their commute. This is proving to be a more productive way to start the work day.”
Del Vecchio is quick to point out that this high-speed rail connectivity is helping to bolster the city’s potential business relocation interest. The Office of Economic Development is busy showing office space based on a long list of calls from interested commercial prospects.
Work and commercial prospects look ‘bright’
The landscape of Boca Raton is shifting, Del Vecchio highlights. Driven by both high-speed rail prospects, younger demographics, commercial viability, and the face of the ‘new’ workforce coming out of the COVID pandemic, the city is welcoming not only locally driven talent but also talent that can now access the city and come in when needed as the workforce switches gears to more of a hybrid working model.
“The early ridership numbers [for Brightline] are exceeding expectations and have been impressive,” Del Vecchio states.
“When we talk about new opportunities, the flex-hybrid work style is here to stay. The corporate footprint is evolving for some companies, depending on their industry. Some companies are needing less space than pre-covid because of the flex-hybrid model. While others are needing more square footage because they’re providing more amenities, and collaborative spaces for their employees.” Del Vecchio explains.
Commercial space is prime property, and Brightline is helping to ‘fuel’ this commercial focus for Boca Raton, Del Vecchio outlines with enthusiasm.
“We have 12 million square feet of office space, which provides a lot of options for companies looking to expand or relocate in the city,” she points out.
“The majority of our [commercial] focus has been concentrated in the Northwest Corridor, specifically the Boca Raton Innovation Campus and the Park at Broken Sound.”
The Innovation Campus, Del Vecchio explains, encompasses 1.7 million square feet of office space and is the original IBM campus where the first PC was developed.
“ Rich with history, it’s a beautiful campus and now represents a multi-tenant space that houses many tech and innovative companies including Canon, Shoes for Crews, Mobile Help and Modernizing Medicine.”
Adding to the already impressive commercial space, Boca Raton also has the Park at Broken Sound.
“Located adjacent to the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, the Park at Broken Sound is a park-like setting with 700 acres, waterways, tree-lined streets and is home to many national and regional corporate headquarters,” Del Vecchio details.
ADT and Office Depot can be found at this idyllically set business park, as well as other nationally recognized company brands.
The ‘bright’ downtown core and new business development
As Del Vecchio relays, the ability to hop on and off the Brightline rail line has become a ‘game changer’ for Boca Raton and is at least partially responsible for a new commercial focus in the downtown core, as opposed to the business parks that have been the traditional business focus.
“It comes down to a work life balance,” Del Vecchio conveys. “With the flex-hybrid and remote work models, people now have more flexibility on where to live. They’re seeking out areas that offer a better lifestyle. This means different things to different people.” Del Vecchio adds.
Among these assets, in Midtown Boca is an exciting new project known as “Restaurant Row”. Four new restaurants are slated to open, including a Michelin-rated gem.
These top-rated restaurants will be built adjacent to an office building that is used for commercial activity during the day; and at night, by utilizing the existing parking garage, will be transformed into a culinary delight with a host of dining options to choose from.
“Restaurant Row will activate this business area at night,” Del Vecchio describes.
“Michelin-starred chef Fabio Trabocchio will be opening a pasta house with Italian-inspired cuisine. He has ties to Boca through his wife who is from here, now they’re moving here and opening a new restaurant.” Del Vecchio explains.
Pubbelly Sushi and El Camino will also be included in the Restaurant Row lineup.
New culinary delights are only one aspect that Boca Raton residents and visitors can enjoy, adding to the dynamic downtown atmosphere will be Boca Raton Center for Arts and Innovation.
“The state-of-the-art facility will focus on versatility of the space and will have seating capacity ranging from 99 to 3,500.”
Outlining the boost that this new facility will add to the downtown core of the city, she adds, “Along with Brightline, this new cultural art center will be a destination for arts, culture and entertainment, which will have a positive economic impact on our city.”
A ‘bright’ residential lineup
It is not just new restaurants and businesses that are sitting up and taking notice to what Boca Raton has to offer. New residents are also steadily moving to the area, including a notable uptick in young families, to enjoy the family-friendly amenities.
Not only does the city offer a top-rated school system; the city is also a safe, walkable, and fun place to take up residence for families looking for a balanced lifestyle.
New residential projects in the pipeline are plenty and will keep the city busy through the remainder of the year and into 2024.
“Alina Residences recently completed its phase one and is completely sold out. Phase two was recently topped-off and was 50% sold out at that time,” Del Vecchio notes.
“There’s also Boca Beach House which was 100% sold before they broke ground. These luxury units are on Lake Boca across from The Boca Raton.,” Del Vecchio describes.
Group P6 also tops the list of new residential developments gracing downtown Boca’s skyline.
“Their most recent project is Royal Palm Residences which consists of 48 units, over half of which have already been sold.”
Infrastructure improvements are also top of the mind for the city.
“The Glades Road I95 interchange has been upgraded by the Florida Department of Transportation. These types of infrastructure improvements increase the ease and flow for commuters and improve traffic patterns,’ she adds.
“It’s all about smart growth,” Del Vecchio notes. “There’s something to be said for continuously reinvesting in infrastructure improvements. It allows the city to grow while maintaining quality of life.”
A ‘bright’ future ahead
Looking ahead, Boca Raton is poised to welcome an influx of residents, companies and tourists. With key infrastructure in place, a thriving corporate community, a bustling downtown, and impressive commercial interest, connecting to the future looks ‘bright’.
As Del Vecchio summarizes, “Boca Raton has it all.”
“I have the best job in economic development. Once corporate leadership comes to Boca, they see the unparalleled lifestyle it offers, couple that with the low tax rate and you can see that Boca Raton practically sells itself.” she concludes.
AT A GLANCE
What: a bustling, seaside jewel in southwest Florida attracting both new business and residents with a host of redevelopment projects, culinary prospects, and infrastructure focus
Where: Palm Beach County, Florida