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A company led by Malcolm Butters, the CEO of Coconut Creek-based Butters Construction & Development, paid $11 million for a mostly vacant retail building in Boca Raton to redevelop it as an office tower.

CRVII Boca TC, managed by M. Timothy Clark of Austin, Texas-based Cypress Real Estate Advisors, sold the 35,669-square-foot former health club at 1751 N. Military Trail to Boca Midtown Place LLC, managed by Butters and partner Mitchell Konsker in New York. A note attached to the deed says the maximum development potential on the site under the current zoning is 120,000 square feet.

The deal was brokered by Roxanne Register and Jon Cashion of Katz & Associates.

The property last traded in 2011 when it was foreclosed upon. CRVII Boca still owns the neighboring property at 21046 Commercial Trail, which has a Bowlero.

The site Butters’ company acquired totals 4.19 acres and was developed in 1985. Nippers Bar & Grill operates in part of the building, but the entire facility used to be a Bally Total Fitness. It’s located just south of Glades Road, near the Interstate 95 exit and the Town Center at Boca mall.

Butters said he plans to build a high-end, Class A office building of about 120,000 square feet there. This would be the first major new office building in Boca Raton in more than 12 years, he said.

“We have four or five office buildings in Boca that we own or manage leasing for and all of them are 90%-plus occupied and rents are climbing,” Butters said. “The story of office space dying [during the Covid-19] pandemic is over exaggerated.”

Butters said this is a great office development site because it’s near Interstate 95, many restaurants are in walking distance such as in the neighboring Shops at Boca Center, and the mall is close enough to visit to run errands.

He’s still working on building designs with architects. Darcie Lunsford, an executive VP at Butters, said it will be a “highly amenitized” building with an urban style, featuring a courtyard and a rooftop space. It will be called Midtown Place at Boca Raton. They are aiming for a 2023 delivery, she said.

“The tenants are flocking from the Northeast to South Florida and they want something new and really modern and sophisticated,” Lunsford said. “This is going to be a more cutting edge and urban design, like you might find in Miami or New York.”

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