BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS12) — A plan decades in the making is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Boca Raton City Council has agreed to move forward with drafting a ground lease to transform the north end of Mizner Park into a hub for arts, culture, and entertainment.
The proposal, by the Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corporation (BRADEC), would include establishing the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation.
“This center will be something that if your imagination can come up with it, we can do it,” said Andrea Virgin the president of the BRADEC board.
The Center's design would include a multi-form main theatre with retractable seating; a feature that would allow endless possibilities when it comes to performances as well as provide the flexibility to adjust seating and accommodate different size audiences.
“These seats can suppress, can shift to the side so you can have anything from a traditional performing arts experience to a custom-made fashion show stage or you can completely suppress the seats underground and have a product launch, a career fair. You can have a banquet, a fundraiser,” Virgin said.
Since the pandemic, Virgin says the group of developers adjusted their original plans to really utilize outdoor space and provide the option to hold social gatherings, without compromising the safety and health of others.
“Whatever is going on inside, we could have a presentation for a ballet or a lecture or a political debate, that could be broadcasted outside with social distancing in mind with a new beautiful canopy to protect against weather.“
She says that canopy would have kinetic moving elements to shield audiences from sun, rain and wind while creating a comfortable cooling effect.
“COVID has reminded us how important it is to focus on the outside just as much as the inside,” Virgin added.
There would also be an incubator and workshop space where all members of the community could come and create art of their own.
Virgin says the goal is to have the Center fill the arts and culture gap between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
She says in order to make this next-century venue happen, they first have to finalize the ground lease with the city, raise the private and public funding then build the facilities.
The goal is to have it done by 2025 which also happens to be the 100 anniversary of the city of Boca Raton.