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Former IBM campus in Boca: Once tech hub, now set for housing?

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Could IBM’s former office complex in Boca Raton become more than just a hub of technology — and become a hub for housing, too?

Sources say the Boca Raton Innovation Campus , as it is now called, is being marketed for sale by its current owners. This time, potential buyers are taking a look at doing something more with the Boca Raton site than using it only for leased office space. The site could become a mixed-use complex featuring apartments, shops and a hotel, too.

Plans are afoot to seek the city’s OK to build 720 apartments, 20 townhomes, a 120-room hotel and 81,000 square feet of retail space. The property’s owners are San Francisco-based Farallon Capital Management and New York-based Next Tier HD, which bought the property for an undisclosed sum in January 2015. They are said to be working closely with Boca Raton to allow new zoned uses for the 130 acres on which the property sits.

The move is in line with changes made to the nearby Park at Broken Sound, formerly the Arvida Park of Commerce, where the city has allowed homes and shops to built on land that formerly was limited to light industrial research buildings. The city is placing a greater emphasis on housing that sits near public transportation, and the Boca Raton Innovation Campus has a Tri-Rail station directly to its east.

The iconic 1.7 million-square-foot building that once housed IBM’s software and hardware developers could remain intact, or parts of it could make way for other uses. But it’s unlikely large portions of the old IBM building will be felled.

In addition to its historic value, the complex houses a range of corporate tenants with varying lease lengths. Tenants include Bluegreen Corp., Tyco Integrated Security, TransUnion, Modernizing Medicine and MDVIP.

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By: Alexandra Clough on in News