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Town Center at Boca Raton
Town Center at Boca Raton in 2009
Map
LocationBoca Raton, Florida, U.S.
Coordinates26°21′57″N 80°08′01″W / 26.365820°N 80.133551°W / 26.365820; -80.133551
Address6000 Glades Road
Opening dateAugust 13, 1980
DeveloperArvida Corp., Homart Development Company[citation needed], and Federated Department Stores, Inc.
ManagementSimon Property Group, Inc.
OwnerSimon Property Group, Inc.
ArchitectRTKL Associates, Inc.
No. of stores and services206
No. of anchor tenants5
Total retail floor area1,778,660 square feet (165,243 m2)
No. of floors2 (3 in Macy's, Nordstrom Parking Garage and Bloomingdale's)
Parking8,000
WebsiteOfficial website

Town Center at Boca Raton, often referred to as Boca Town Center, Town Center Mall, or simply Town Center, is an upscale shopping mall located in Boca Raton, Florida (approximately 30 miles south of West Palm Beach and 20 miles north of Fort Lauderdale), that has been owned and operated by Simon Property Group since 1998. The mall features Macy's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

The mall is the largest enclosed and conventional shopping mall in Palm Beach County, and is the third largest in total by square footage in South Florida, behind Sawgrass Mills and Aventura Mall.

History

The mall opened on August 13, 1980 on a site just west of Interstate 95 directly on Glades Road. Originally, the one-story mall was anchored by Florida-based Burdines, which was constructed in June 1979, a year before the rest of the mall, including Jordan Marsh and Sears (debuted October 29, 1980) as the second and third anchors. This was a similar fashion to Broward Mall two years earlier and Miami International Mall two years later. [1] At the time of opening, the mall had 100 stores and featured a Mediterranean Revival theme with a round black station clock, living vegetation below a series of atriums, and several distinctive wishing fountains. The mall was developed by Federated Stores, the parent company of Burdines, on land owned by Arvida Corp., serving as a retail hub for the flourishing western Boca Raton area prior to becoming a super-regional shopping center on its own right.

While the Sears, Bloomingdale's, and eventually Nordstrom locations remained the same throughout most of the mall's history, the other three anchor pads changed as a result of mergers, acquisitions, and relocations. In 1991, Jordan Marsh shut down due to Allied Stores and then was sold to Mervyns in 1992, which in turn closed in 1995 and was refurbished by a larger Saks Fifth Avenue, which had a two-year construction period until 1999 including a new second floor entrance to the new parking deck. This caused razing the original building to make way for another new concourse featuring Florida's first Nordstrom store in 2000. The mall was renovated as a result, and parking layouts were rearranged to allow a three-story parking garage at Nordstrom, and a two-story garage at the recently refurbished Burdines (now Macy's) and larger Saks (formerly JM). Then, Lord & Taylor shuttered entirely in 2004 during a retreat into the Northeast, and was succeeded by Neiman Marcus, who wanted to be in Boca since 1987 and opened in 2005. The Burdines location was converted to Burdines-Macy's in 2003 and then simply Macy's also in 2005. Moreover, the food court's seating was reconfigured to accommodate more people, and a Waldenbooks (which closed in 2010) opened on its southern side. Mall entrances were remodeled with sun canopies and decorative towers to add exterior appeal. Another garage by Bloomingdale's and lifestyle center called The Terrace at Town Center were completed in 2007 featuring Crate & Barrel and Youfit Health Clubs. Macy’s expanded again that same year, adding a third floor. The mixed-use development is in between the expanded Bloomingdale's and the Nordstrom parking garage.

On January 4, 2018, it was announced Sears would shutter as part of an ongoing decision to eliminate its brick-and-mortar format. A year later, Sears Holdings unveiled it's plans to raze the previous Sears outpost for a 250,000 square foot open air concept called The Collection at Boca Town Center.[2] It will provide shopping, dining, and entertainment similar to the lifestyle center in Aventura Mall.[3] Simon is attempting to block plans for the project stating it violates a 1985 agreement with the mall for using the space for something other than traditional retail.[4]

By 2023, since the government lockdown, Town Center at Boca Raton had announced several newest additions, among them are Offline by Aerie, Laderach, Garage, Honey Birdette, Blue Nile, ThirdLove, Marc Jacobs, Vince, as well as entirely new store formats for Lululemon Athletica and Cartier.[5]

Incidents

2007 murders

In 2007, several murders at the mall drew national attention. In March, a 52-year-old woman was kidnapped and murdered. In December, a 47-year-old woman and her 7-year-old daughter were also kidnapped, and later found bound and shot in the head in the woman's SUV in the mall parking lot. This case was featured on America's Most Wanted and caused host John Walsh to say he believed a serial killer to be in the city. Though there is no forensic evidence to suggest the murders were committed by the same person, the similarities in the cases led police to believe they were related. In addition, a similar incident occurred at the mall in August, in which a woman and her 2-year-old son were kidnapped and tied up in their car, but left alive. To this day, the murders all remain unsolved.[6][7][8][9]

2019 active shooter scare

On October 13, 2019, shoppers allegedly heard quick pops reminiscent of gunfire, leading to a mall-wide panic.[10] SWAT teams conducted grid searches across the mall, later evacuating patrons and employees on a store-by-store basis.[11] After clearing the mall, investigators determined that there was no evidence of any gunfire, and that the only injury, other than minor injuries as results of tripping and falling in the midst of the chaos, was a trauma wound faced by a man evacuating, running into a door.[12][13] Police found that the noise came from a janitor in the food court who popped a balloon stuck to his trash cart.[14]

2022 shooting

A shooting took place on mall property on April 6, 2022, injuring one person in the leg and prompting a large police presence.[15] The mall was briefly locked down, leading some visitors and staff to shelter in place, but an active shooter threat was quickly dismissed and the incident was categorized as "isolated".[16]

References

  1. ^ "New Burdines Store Will Open June 7". The Palm Beach Post. Boca Raton, Florida. May 24, 1979.
  2. ^ Randy Schultz (March 5, 2020). "What Will Take Over the Sears Space at Town Center Mall in Boca Raton?". Boca Magazine. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "Sears at Town Center at Boca Raton mall, owned by Seritage Growth Properties, to close". South Florida Business Journal.
  4. ^ "Boca Raton's Town Center mall sues owner of Sears property". The Palm Beach Post.
  5. ^ https://www.sun-sentinel.com/2023/03/01/boca-ratons-town-center-mall-adds-four-new-stores-find-out-what-new-eatery-is-coming/
  6. ^ Jacobson, Kate. "Killer in unsolved 2007 Boca slayings bought plastic ties, duct tape in Miami-Dade, officials say". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  7. ^ Fooksman, Leon. "America's Most Wanted host: Serial killer at work in Boca". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Angel, Greg. "Have the murders of a mother and daughter shopping at a Boca mall gone cold?". WPEC. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Four years, no answers in Boca's Town Center murders". palmbeachpost. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Solomon, Johnny Diaz, Aric Chokey, Brooke Baitinger, Lois K. "Active shooter scare sends crowds fleeing at Town Center mall in Boca Raton". sun-sentinel.com. Retrieved October 14, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Vigdor, Neil (October 13, 2019). "Man Hurt in Florida Mall Panic, but No Sign of Shooting, Police Say". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "1 person injured after false panic over shooting at mall, police say". ABC News. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm One Person Injured". Time. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  14. ^ Christian, Miranda (October 15, 2019). "Police: Loud noise at Town Center Mall was caused by janitor who popped balloon". WPTV.
  15. ^ "2 teens arrested after man shot in leg during fight at Town Center mall in Boca".
  16. ^ "Police identify one of the suspects, motive in Boca Raton Town Center shooting". April 7, 2022.