For Full Story: Sun-Sentinel
Article By: Marci Shatzman
A second Tri-Rail station in Boca Raton, announced on June 20th, could bring people to the Town Center mall from across the region.
If planners have their way, the station will be built on Military Trail and Northwest 19th Street, the site of the old King’s Gourmet Deli.
Boca’s Tri-Rail Station at 680 Yamato Road is the busiest on the commuter rail corridor. A second station would include shuttles to the nearby Town Center on Glades Road. The mall is one of the most upscale shopping destinations in South Florida.
Construction is planned for 2022 and 2023 and the station could be ready for passengers by 2023.
The new station is also seen as the cornerstone of plans to develop so-called Midtown into a walkable community with possibly thousands of apartments in the next 10 years.
The site was picked for its proximity to the 19th Street corridor leading to Glades Road and the mall, said Ian Riorden, traffic engineer for Kimley Horn consultants. Design features would include 35 parking spots on site, 40 nearby, a drop-off for passengers and bus pullout onto Military Trail.
“It’s the best site they looked into because it lines up with 19th Street,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams, formerly Tri-Rail chairman.
The land is owned by Crocker Partners, which developed Mizner Park in downtown Boca.
But Tri-Rail hasn’t spoken to the company about buying the site, said Anthony Catalina, director of planning and capital development at South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees Tri-Rail and announced the site choice.
Now that this phase is finished, they’re free to express interest, he said, adding, “I’m sure they’re aware.”
Crocker confirmed it wasn’t notified about the decision to negotiate for the 2.12 acre site, valued at $1,163,969, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s website.
The company stepped away from its role as lead developer of Midtown after it sued the city in May, accusing it of delaying the project. The firm planned to develop the area as a whole, not project by project, and asked for development rights that the city wouldn’t agree to.
The city wanted to tie the number of residential units allowed to the building of a second Tri-Rail station, Crocker Partner Angelo Bianco said.
The cost for building the station and buying the land was estimated at $17 million, said Catalina.
Government agencies have paid for the studies and designs for the Boca project so far, including the Florida Department of Transportation and Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency. Now Tri-Rail will have to line up the rest of the funding through federal, state and local agencies, Catalina said.