After watching the deterioration of the downtown areas of other cities, the City of Boca Raton determined that it would create an atmosphere conducive to redevelopment. The City became the master developer as the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency. In March of 1988 the CRA obtained approval for a Downtown Development of Regional Impact (DDRI) for the Community Redevelopment area. The DDRI included master plans for roads, infrastructure and landscaping to identify downtown as an attractive destination for its citizens and tourists.
In 1989 the CRA entered into a public-private partnership which brought about the development of one of the pivotal elements of Boca Raton's redevelopment strategy. Mizner Park, which was developed as a mixed use residential, commercial and cultural center, became the catalyst necessary to give people a reason to come to the downtown.
The Mizner Park grounds are beautifully landscaped with decorative walkways and fountains that entice pedestrians to stroll throughout the site. In addition to various restaurants, cinemas and entertainment opportunities, Mizner Park provides an amphitheater, which is located on the north end of the grounds. This outdoor venue is the scene of many free concerts and other family recreational events throughout the year.
Downtown continues to thrive with the improvements to Palmetto Park Road. Now completed, what was once strictly a vehicular thoroughfare has been transformed into a unique, pedestrian-friendly promenade. The Palmetto park road promenade streetscape consist of wider decorative paved sidewalks, tree-lined vistas, decorative benches, trash receptacles and light fixtures. The Palmetto Park Road project and other downtown streetscape improvements, such as those planned along Dixie Highway, are part of the City's Visions 90 Downtown Capital Improvement Program to beautify the downtown area and improve its infrastructure.