Friday, September 22, 2017

2,400+ Hotel Rooms Planned for Booming West Palm Beach

Tourism is booming in Palm Beach, and so are plans for construction of several of new hotels. Plans are being dusted off for a hotel on Clematis Street, in the heart of downtown. Meanwhile, a new hotel outside the downtown is in the works.

In addition, a controversial plan to build a hotel at the Palm Harbor Marina on the waterfront downtown just won a major legal battle, paving the way for construction of the 8-story, 108-room hotel.

Combined with all other planned or proposed hotels, West Palm Beach could be looking at more than 2,400 hotel rooms opening during the next two to three years.

The timing is good: A record-breaking 7.35 million visitors came to Palm Beach County in 2016, a 5.8 increase over 2015’s level, according to county tourism officials.

The increase marks the eighth consecutive year of tourism growth in the county, according to Discover the Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing organization.

Downtown, Robert Samuels of Provident Jewelry is reviving plans to build the Hotel Clematis, a 94-room boutique hotel at 335 Clematis Street.

In 2012, Samuels received city approval to build up to 10 stories, but wasn’t able to line up a suitable hotel partner with financing. That’s ready to change with the growth of the downtown and the strong demand by major chains seeking urban locations for their hip boutique brands.

Also helping bolster construction: A recent report showing a big jump in hotel occupancy and room rates. The report showed average daily room rates in West Palm Beach now close to the mid-$200s per night, up from $140 six years ago. Average occupancy also rose to more than 70 percent, up from 47 percent.

Hotel Clematis is designed to have an entrance and elevator on Clematis, allowing diners to go directly to the planned third-floor restaurant and garden terrace overlooking the busy street.

Meanwhile, over at the Palm Harbor Marina, it’s full steam ahead for a long-planned hotel. The marina is at 400 North Flagler Drive.

Plans include a grand ballroom, a trendy restaurant and bar and a rooftop pool. The developer expects the hotel to open by 2019. Although a hotel brand has yet to be selected, the Marriott and Wyndham brands are both in contention.

Other new hotels will include:

• Developers of the old city hall site plan to build a 210-room Autograph Hotel by Marriott, plus 251 apartments, 19,000 square feet of retail and 11,493 square feet of restaurant space. The property is east of Olive Avenue between Banyan Boulevard and Second Street.

• One West Palm, a twin-tower, mixed-use project by Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene. Greene plans to build 201 hotel units, plus 209,405 square feet of office space and 328 apartments. 

• Sunview Companies of Miami plans to build two eight-story hotels along the Rosemary Avenue corridor. A 224-room Indigo Hotel would be at Railroad Avenue, between Third and Fourth streets, while a 218-room Aloft would be on the west side of the block, facing Rosemary Avenue.

• Finally, a group planning to build a 14-story, 150-room Canopy Hotel next to the Two City Plaza condominium is moving forward with building permits.

Investors say hotels are good for downtown businesses, and vice versa.

Having the 400-room Hilton West Palm Beach hotel now open adjacent to the convention center allows the venue to book larger events, which in turn creates greater demand for hotel rooms.

So strong is the success of the Hilton’s first year that The Related Cos. is likely to build another, 200-room Hilton brand next door, according to Ken Himmel, chief executive.

But new hotel plans aren’t limited to downtown West Palm Beach:

Outside of downtown, an investment group wants to build a 160-room hotel along Interstate 95, on vacant land behind Rachel’s Gentlemen’s Club, an upscale strip club at 2905 45th Street.

Last year, as spring training fever heated up with construction of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, they decided to get the 2.7-acre vacant land ready for development, a process that will be completed within six to eight weeks.

The 45th Street hotel marks the second new hotel tied to baseball.

Last month, the Houston Astros paid $6.5 million for one of three towers that make up the Forum office complex at the northeast corner of the boulevard and Congress Avenue. The empty office tower will be transformed into a 197-room hotel.

It will be used by the Astros to house players, coaches and support staff during spring training every January, February and March. The rest of the year, the hotel will be available to the public.

The Astros would like to open their hotel by 2018.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Developer Preparing to Build 25-Story Atlanta Tower

Charlotte-based Crescent Communities is adding to Atlanta's development wave with a 25-story residential tower named Crescent Lenox that it is preparing build at 3387 Lenox Road, across from Lenox Square Mall.

The 352-unit glass and stucco tower will rise 385 feet tall between Oak Valley Road and Wright Avenue, on a piece of property that has been vacant for years.

The building’s primary resident entrance will be on Oak Valley Road; but the primary vehicle entrance and likely address will be on Wright Avenue, just a block from the Lenox MARTA rail station.

The apartment tower will have 56 studio apartments and the remainder will be one- and two-bedroom apartments. They will rent for $2-plus a square foot.

So far, Atlanta's apartment boom has been quite impressive, but not for the total number of projects.

It’s where the projects are clustering that’s unique — mostly within the in-town Atlanta neighborhoods or near MARTA stations in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, Chamblee and Brookhaven.

In other words, more apartment developers are focusing on walkable areas close to transit.

It may be getting late in the multifamily cycle, but Atlanta developers continue rolling out plans for new apartments.

Last year, developers had begun construction on 1,799 new apartments units in Buckhead and Brookhaven.

Although more Atlanta projects are preparing to enter the construction phase, nationally the fundamentals that sustained the apartment surge may be weakening.

Construction outpaced net absorption of by more than 5,000 units during the third quarter.

Even without the tsunami of new supply hitting the market, vacancy is on the way up. This does not portend good things for the next couple of years as new completions increase and flood the market.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Aston Martin Guns for Piece of Miami's Luxury Condo Market

Aston Martin is the latest luxury brand to gun for a piece of South Florida’s condo market. The British car maker — known for giving James Bond his wheels since Goldfinger — announced that it will partner with wealthy Argentine developers on a 66-story condo tower called the Aston Martin Residences at the mouth of the Miami River in downtown Miami.

The 817-foot luxury tower will include a spa and pool deck on levels 53 through 55, units with private elevators, 561 indoor parking spaces and a lighthouse on the top floor. Prices will range from $2,000,000 to $8,500,000 for conventional units; with penthouses priced up to $50,000,000.

A team from Aston Martin will design the building’s common areas and amenities, including lobbies, fitness centers and spa.

The company wants to make its mark “in all the cities where it’s important to be, and Miami is one of those,” said Katia Bassi, a vice president at Aston Martin.

Argentina’s Coto family, which paid a record $125 million two years ago for the vacant waterfront land next to the Epic Hotel, says it has enough horsepower to get the 391-unit project going.

Three factors will work in the tower’s favor, developer German Coto said at a press conference:
•    A brand name with global appeal.
•    A coveted location where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay.
•    The Coto Family, with pockets so deep they can afford to build the high rise without a loan.

“We plan to give buyers a unique experience,” Coto said. “That’s why we thought about Aston Martin, because we’re talking about luxury, we’re talking about authenticity.”

Renderings show a soaring, sail-shaped structure, necessitated by the long and narrow site on the Miami River’s north bank.

Pricing hasn’t been set but will be competitive with the most expensive downtown condos - that means at least $1,000 per square foot.

Click to enlarge
The Argentine developer plans to break ground this summer, with a completion date for the massive tower set in 2021, when the financial climate is expected to have improved.

The Aston Martin’s brand, as well as a prime location, will help the project stand out in a crowded market.

The Miami River, once an industrial waterway popular with drug runners, is now teeming with development. New condo and restaurant projects are going up on both banks. Developers eager for waterfront land have been snatching up properties.

The Coto family, one of Argentina’s wealthiest, owes its fortune to a national chain of supermarkets in Argentina. Coto Supermercado says it has annual sales of over $5 billion and employs 25,000 workers. It is also developing mixed-use residential and commercial projects around new supermarkets.

-    Developers are building Porsche Design Tower and Residences by Armani/Casa in Sunny Isles Beach.
-    Another team is developing Fendi Chateau Residences in Surfside.
-    Doronin has enlisted the Italian fashion house of Missoni for his Edgewater tower.
-    Two projects branded by Ritz-Carlton are also underway.

When built, the Aston Martin project will also connect a gap in Miami’s Riverwalk. The vacant site hasn’t been linked up to the city’s growing public walking trail. As part of an agreement with the Miami River Commission, which unanimously approved the project in April, the developers will build the riverwalk at 24 feet wide.

“It’s a grand building, the kind you’ll see on postcards,” said Horacio Stuart Aguirre, the river commission’s chairman. “And it does not detract from the enjoyment of the waterfront by regular people.”

Friday, September 1, 2017

Children's Healthcare to Build Revolutionary Center for Pediatrics

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is preparing for vertical construction on its new Center for Advanced Pediatrics--a revolutionary new pediatric ambulatory care center. The new 260,000-square-foot facility situated at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road in Brookhaven will bring together pediatric clinics and specialists under one roof.

The 8-story outpatient clinical facility will focus primarily on treating children with chronic and complex diseases, and will put complex care specialists, state-of-the-art technology and leading edge research for outpatient pediatric care under one roof for the first time in Georgia.

DeKalb County approved the project in late 2016. The Center for Advanced Pediatrics will house 457 physicians and employees and anticipates managing more than 100,000 patient visits in the first year.

Many patients come to Children’s with complex conditions that require frequent visits to multiple specialists and clinics. These kids and their families face the stress of coordinating with different care teams while also juggling logistics such as parking and traveling from one physician’s office to another.

“The Center for Advanced Pediatrics will be a pediatric destination for the Southeast because it will have both complex care and research capabilities in one facility,” said Patrick Frias, M.D., Chief Operating Officer of Children’s.

“This innovative facility will improve the patient experience and create a destination where much of what these families need medically for their pulmonology, neurology, cardiology and diabetes are just a few of the specialties that will move into the new building, which will be centrally located to Children’s three hospital campuses, Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite.

Almost an entire floor of the new building will be dedicated to treatment and research for breathing and airways, bringing together the areas of pulmonology, allergy/immunology, cystic fibrosis and sleep.

Basic imaging and phlebotomy services will be available in-house for quick and easy access. A pediatric research center in the building will provide a convenient, dedicated location for patients to participate in clinical research trials.

In addition to physician space, the new facility will have state-of-the-art telemedicine capabilities, flexible exam rooms, a teaching classroom and a demonstration kitchen to enhance specific clinical programs. Additional features of the site include gardens and green space around the building and a dedicated parking deck.

The first phase of the project includes constructing a 5-story parking deck, streetscape, landscaping, and building storm water management facilities. Additionally, utilities including the rerouting of sanitary sewer lines and storm water lines will be constructed to accommodate the future development, according to city documents.

The site where the building is going up is located on the property where the former 19-story Executive Park Motor Hotel was located and imploded in 2014.

The center is expected to be completed in late 2018.