Published On: Sat, Oct 17th, 2020

Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation Receives Unanimous Approval from City Council to Move Forward with Draft Ground Lease Agreement

A multiyear collaboration between the nonprofit and the Boca’s cultural organizations seeks to deliver on the founding promise of Mizner Park

By: Robert S Weinroth

Last week, the Board of the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation provided an update to Boca Raton City Council on the project’s progress. Council voted 4-0 in favor of moving forward with the development of a draft ground lease agreement, for consideration at a future Council meeting.

The concept for the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation (The Center) was announced by the Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corp (BRADEC) in 2018, to create a hub of arts and culture at the north end of Mizner Park.

This vision aims to deliver on a promise made to residents more three decades ago, when Mizner Park was first developed. BRADEC will now move forward with Boca Raton City Council and City staff on discussions regarding a ground lease agreement, building on Council’s conceptual expression of support for the project one year ago.

“The work has just begun for the City’s partnership with the Boca Raton Arts and Innovation Center,” says Boca Raton Deputy Mayor, Andrea Levine O’Rourke.

Andrea Virgin, President Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corp

“It offers us what I believe is an important component to the history of Boca Raton. This is an opportunity to follow through with an identity that we set out to create 30 years ago when Mizner Park was voted on by the public to be an Arts Park. This gives us the chance to finish what we started at Mizner Park decades ago. It will enable us to expose all ages to all forms of art, culture and innovation. This opportunity puts real weight behind the frequently used words ‘world class’ and ‘vibrant’. I believe Boca Raton is poised and ready to research this beautiful plan for an Arts and Innovation Center at Mizner Park. I deeply believe that cities are defined by their art and culture. It provides richness, it provides memories, it creates heart and the soul, and it is an essential human element of communities. The Boca Raton Arts and Innovation Center Board has brought forward, not only a well needed performance space, it also has educational, innovation and business aspects.”

“The BRADEC team has created a compelling vision of the future for the performing arts in Boca Raton. I’m so excited to support this wonderful opportunity and look forward to continuing to work with Andrea Virgin and her team to make this vision a reality for our residents,” noted Boca Raton Council Member Andy Thomson.

The Center is designed as a permanent home for Boca Raton’s professional cultural institutions, that will be flexible and adaptable for corporate, nonprofit and private events, along with conferences, festivals and conventions that cater to the creative industries.

The Center’s design envisions advanced broadcast and projection technology, and sustainable and adaptable building systems. Its venues are planned as right-sized for Boca audiences, while able to flex and combine to serve up to 6,000 simultaneous event attendees. A prime example is the beloved Mizner Park Amphitheater, which will be able to accommodate 3,500 attendees in its traditional configuration, while enabling the transformation of the Amphitheater Stage into a climate-controlled, 450-seat indoor performance and event venue.

“The City Council expressed its continued support for progress of the transformative vision of the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation. The BRADEC team and many supporters have refined their vision for a cultural cornerstone for Boca and South Florida. We can look forward to their efforts to build on the community support and obtain the philanthropy needed to advance this plan closer to the reality we hope it can become,” says Mayor of Boca Raton, Scott Singer.

Andrea Virgin, President of the BRADEC, offered the following, “On behalf of our organization, the donors who’ve funded this Vision, and the countless stakeholders who’ve participated in its shaping, we are very grateful for the Council’s support in moving this partnership forward and look forward to working with staff to work out the details.”

Also, Dan Guin, Chair of the Advisory Board and Executive Director of the Cultural Consortium of Boca Raton was thrilled with the outcome adding, “As a resident and arts executive that has been an advocate for adequate cultural facilities in this community for over half of my life, I’m thrilled at the City Council’s decision to begin negotiations for a ground lease with the Boca Raton Center of Arts and Innovation. It’s beyond time that the artists of this community have a home to do what they do best: enrich lives!”

Should a ground lease be approved by the City Council, active capital fundraising would commence in earnest next year, in conjunction with design development, with the goal of unveiling the reimagined Mizner Park Amphitheater first in 2025 — the same year of the City’s Centennial.

The full Center is projected to open in 2026.

To learn more about BRADEC or the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation, please visit their website BocaRatonArtsCenter.org/.

About the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation:
Conceptually announced in 2018, the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation is a non-profit mission to create a comprehensive, economically-vibrant, innovative and sustainable cultural destination in Boca Raton that will enhance the arts and cultural infrastructure in the city; benefit the residents, patrons, visitors, organizations and civic and business communities; and be a landmark along the Gold Coast for future generations of audiences, artists, businesses, technologies and institutions.

The Center imagines six diverse & adaptive performance & event spaces — indoor & outdoor — ranging in seating capacity from 99 to 3,500 seats. These can be programmed as individual spaces or combined to host events for nearly 6,000 total attendees.

The venues include a state-of-the-art, 1,100-seat concert & performance hall, designed as a multi-form theater; an amphitheater stage that can be transformed into a 450-seat “Black Box” space through use of an innovative bi-fold door; the 3,500-seat Mizner Park Amphitheater, which can be programmed simultaneously with the “Black Box” space; a jewel-box, 99-seat performance hall that can be converted into a large rehearsal studio; an outdoor rooftop terrace, which can accommodate an estimated 200 patrons; & a large, open-air lobby situated above ground level, protected from the elements by an innovative canopy feature.

For more information on this project & how to get involved, visit their website BocaRatonArtsCenter.org/.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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