This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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Given the controversy surrounding architech Libeskind‘s visit to Boca, Israeli owned Elad is trying a different PR strategy. As reported by Randy Schultz, Elad’s PR firm, O’Donnell Agency, has sent the mailing at the end of this article to 12,000 Boca Residents.
Interestingly these mailings did not go to any residents of downtown Boca, the proposed location of the new project, that Boca Watch has contacted. Instead the mailings went to City of Boca residents outside the downtown and to residents outside the City of Boca Raton. Why? Let us know what you think!
Tami Brehse of the O’Donnell Agency indicated that residents that received mailings also received phone calls asking them to support New Mizner on the Green. Do you want phone calls from developers?
This type of PR is invasive and offensive to many of us. At the December 8 meeting of the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency, Helene Eigler eloquently expressed her feelings regarding the mailings: “I was offended”.
It is possible that this type of agressive PR works in Israel, but it offends many of us in Boca Raton. Why can’t Elad work with the City and Boca Citizens to develop a project that complies with our height Ordinance (100 feet maximum) and design Ordinance (Mizneresque architecture)?
Why propose a four building project with an average height of 412 feet (including rooftop “architectural features”) that use the “form following ego” architecture that is more appropriate in Kepple Bay, Singapore than downtown Boca Raton?
Misinformation–City Costs Will Outweigh Revenue from New Mizner on the Green
Elad touts revenue increases due to their project in their PR material, including the mailer below. All Citizens know that new developments have City costs as well as providing City revenue. Elad makes no mention of cost of public services and provides no basis for their estimates of revenue.
The best data currently available (confirmed by Boca’s City Manager) indicates that a 100,000 square foot of residential condominiums generates $37,000 in tax revenue for the City as a whole and $98,000 in City cost for public services. This means that for every 100,000 square feet of condominiums that Elad constructs, the City as a whole will have to pay $61,000 in additional costs for city services.
Elad plans to construct many hundred thousand square feet of condominium. This will impose new costs and possibly higher taxes on Boca Citizens, particularly those living outside the downtown.