Boca Raton Real Estate

Much of the Boca Raton real estate, as it exists today, bears little resemblance to its humble beginnings. The area which is now home to many Boca Raton real estate owners, was first occupied by the Calusa Indians, first settled in 1895 by Thomas Rickards, a civil engineer, and first populated with the completion of Henry Morrison Flagler´s Florida East Coast railway in 1896. The railway, still operating today, allowed families from Georgia and South Carolina to emigrate with the intention of farming this new area and with the use of the railway, shipping their produce of citrus, pineapples and vegetables to northern locales daily. Today, Boca Raton real estate is booming with history and culture, and certainly holds its value well. Many real estate owners have admitted that they fell in love with Boca Raton because of the gorgeous homes that exist there.

History of Boca Raton, Florida  

Despite no shortage of available supplies, the initial efforts of Rickards lasted only 10 years, before he and his family left the community for North Carolina (officially becoming the first "half-back"). Before his departure, however, Rickards took time to mentor a group of settlers from Japan who had immigrated to the area at the urging of Jo Sakai, a Japanese businessman with a degree from New York University´s school of finance. Sakai named the area "Yamato", Japanese for "large peaceful country". One of these Japanese "truck" farmers, George Morikami, continued to buy land after his arrival and upon becoming a U.S. citizen, at age 82, presented the community with 150 acres of land just north and west of the settlement. This is today the site of Delray Beach´s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Boca Raton TodayIt was not until the 1920´s that the little town of Boca Raton began to undergo the dramatic changes that would influence and create the town as it exists today. These changes were promulgated by the incorporation of the town, and the purchase for purposes of development of oceanfront property by a group of Palm Beach and northern investors headed by society architect Addison Mizner, who had already built 40 palatial estates in Palm Beach, and whose plans included the construction of a deluxe beachfront hotel property (the Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn).

Following his success in Palm Beach, Mizner formed the Mizner Development Corporation, whose stockholders and directors included Irving Berlin, Elizabeth Arden, W.K. Vanderbilt, Paris Singer, and T. Coleman DuPont.  The actress Marie Dressler became the unofficial "hostess" of Boca Raton, and actually sold real estate for Mizner. The corporation proceeded to build twenty-nine homes in "Floresta", now adjacent to the Boca Raton Museum of Art, and at least 12 more in "Spanish Village", in addition the " Cloisters" which is now the site of the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Despite the fact that due to rampant speculation in Florida, the Development Corporation went bankrupt in 1927, and Addison Mizner died of heart failure in 1933, the transition of Boca Raton to a resort and residential community continued, creating the Boca Raton that exists today.

Boca Raton Beach

The final major impetus in the development of Boca Raton came in the 1960´s, when IBM selected Boca as the location for the development of their personal computing machines, and Florida Atlantic University was established. Despite the fact that IBM subsequently moved from the area, the influx of residents that they helped to create continued to this date, as Boca Raton has grown to a community in excess of 180,000 people.  

Lynda A. Perry
Lynda A. Perry
Realtor®