7960684300?profile=original Architect Doug Mummaw sits before a rendering of the new Royal Palm Place, which he calls

‘classical architecture with a modern interpretation.’ Mummaw, whose office is in the plaza,

has done nearly all of his work in his native Boca Raton.

Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

By Brian Biggane

    Boca Raton native Doug Mummaw recalled it was “me and a drawing board” when he launched his architectural career 30 years ago.
    Hard to believe what’s transpired since?
    “Actually, it’s impossible to believe,” he said. “To sustain 30 years is quite an undertaking. We’ve counted three major recessions, not to mention the dips along the way. Coming out of the last recession, where 40 percent of my friends are no longer employed as architects, it’s quite a remarkable accomplishment.”
    From the redesign of the Fifth Avenue Shops to an estimated 6,000 offices throughout Boca Raton to much of East Palmetto Park Road, Mummaw’s work has largely changed the face of the city in which he was born and raised, having attended Boca Raton High School and Florida Atlantic University on his way up.
    And the crowning achievement of his career might be seven buildings he’s designing. A complete makeover of Royal Palm Place over the next 10 years, they will be what he calls “a classical vertical village” that will put forth a combination of restaurant, retail and residential offerings in the area east of Federal Highway and south of Palmetto Park Road.
    “I’m so proud of this city; I believe in its growth,” Mummaw, 50, said of Boca Raton, where he estimates he’s done 98 percent of his work.

    “I was here when Boca Mall was here, before Mizner Park. I believe in good growth, smart growth. Our motto is ‘Proven Design Matters,’ so we want everyone to have the benefit of excellent design. And to see that in our community is exceptional.”
    Computers were around when Mummaw got his start in the business, but with a price tag in excess of $150,000 for a mainframe system they were out of his reach financially. He recalls buying his first computer, plotter and software package for $30,000; nowadays a laptop with all that and more goes for $2,500.
    Having decided he wanted to pursue architecture in his early teens, he got hands-on experience  in plumbing and electrical work from friends and family members in the trades.
    “And I was always interacting with the drawings,” he said. “I was drawn to the artistry of it, and I could draw. Once you can create something, and draw it, then you see it built, you know you’re in the right industry.”
    His staff in his Royal Palm Place office has grown to 15 and is multicultural, including Brazilians, Colombians and Jamaicans. “We have our own little World Cup,” he smiled. “[North] Americans are now in the minority.”
    Half that staff is working on the Royal Palm Place master plan, which will feature 900 units and 225,000 square feet of entertainment, retail, restaurants and a promenade, with ample parking as well.
    “It’s basically the reinvention of Royal Palm Place,” he said. “We’re going to wind up with an eclectic group of buildings that relate to classical architecture with a modern interpretation. Our client loves classical architecture.”
    He expects drawings to be submitted for approval by the end of November and approval within a year. Two buildings should be completed by the end of 2018.
    Mummaw and Associates Inc. threw a party for itself and an estimated 200 clients in late October to celebrate the 30-year milestone.
    “Our guests are not just the people I’m working with now but people that some of my consultants have worked with for 30 years,” Mummaw said. “People that we’ve had relationships with for decades. When you have those kinds of strengths with people you’ve worked with, that’s incredibly important.”

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