November 2013

  • Nov

Kolter Group plans 13-story Hyatt Place Hotel for downtown Boca Raton

November 18, 2013

By Emily Roach, via Palm Beach Post
BOCA RATON — Hyatt plans to bring a 200-room hotel to downtown Boca Raton near the Mizner Park shopping center and Sanborn Square park.

A development application filed with the city Tuesday proposes to build a 13-story hotel, parking garage and 8,000-square-foot restaurant at the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road, within the city’s Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency boundaries.

The nearest hotel in the area is the Boca Raton Resort and Club, but Hyatt Place is a brand for business travelers and families with more modest budgets. It will be perched in the middle of the downtown shopping and entertainment area.

“A lot of regulars come to Mizner and Royal Palm Place. This opens up a whole new tourism opportunity for Downtown Boca,” Downtown CRA manager Ruby Childers said. “This would certainly bring a whole new level of visitors to downtown.”

The 146,250-square-foot hotel would have parking on floors two through five, and hotel rooms on top of the limited-access garage, according to the development application. The pool will be located on the roof.

Hyatt has been active in Palm Beach County in the past five years, opening a Hyatt Place in downtown West Palm Beach in 2009 and Delray Beach in 2012.

The Kolter Group is developing the hotel. It also developed the other Hyatt Places, as well as luxury condos and multifamily communities in several Palm Beach County locations, and is planning to develop the Briger tract in Palm Beach Gardens, which is set aside as a biotech research hub to expand The Scripps Research Institute.

The downtown Boca Raton property is part of the Ram Realty project that includes The Mark at CityScape, a residential condo [sic] [recte apartments] under construction to the southeast of the corner.

Childers said the property is zoned for hotel use under the downtown regional impact zoning throughout the CRA area, which is a T-shaped area running west to east from Crawford Boulevard to Northeast Fifth Avenue and north to south from the Boca Museum of Art to the Camino Real area.

  • Nov

Luxury apartment project signals continued growth on uptown’s edge

November 11, 2013

By Eric Frazier, via Charlotte Observer

If you’re one of the many uptown workers whose drive home winds out of the city via Third Street, you might be wondering what’s going in at East Third and South Kings.

Construction workers have been scurrying around the 2.5-acre lot next door to the ABC store. They’re making way for the latest upscale apartment complex development to crop up in the increasingly popular area near the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the Metropolitan residential and retail center.

The Crest at Metropolitan, a 261-unit luxury apartment complex, is slated to begin leasing in the fourth quarter of 2014. It will include two buildings, one five stories tall, the other six, with 7,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floors.

The project, a partnership between Lennar Multifamily Communities and Ram Real Estate based out of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., seems to me yet another symbol of the increasing confidence homebuilders and commercial developers are showing in the health of the Charlotte economy.

New apartment complexes are sprouting all over South End. And with perhaps less fanfare in the midtown area, the same dynamic seems to be at work. Crescent Communities’ 308-unit Crescent Dilworth luxury apartment project, on the other side of the greenway near Morehead Street, is slated to open in spring 2015.

The developers are betting that Charlotte’s economy, and its workforce uptown, will continue to grow. All those urban professionals need places to stay, and they love living close to work so they don’t have to drive in from far-flung suburbs.

That’s what Lennar and the Ram group are betting on with their new project, going in on a parcel bought for $8.25 million in December 2012. It will feature studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and generous balconies with views of uptown.

Charlotte’s economy is not only recovering but diversifying to add bigger slices of growing job sectors like energy and health care to the traditional mainstay of banking, said John Gray, director of investments with Lennar Multifamily Communities.

The activity in what he called the new Metropolitan submarket shows developers are backing that belief with their wallets.

“It’s a pretty attractive area,” he told me. “I wouldn’t be surprised long-term if there’s a lot of redevelopment in that area.”

(It’s hard not to wonder what that will mean for Cherry, the historically black neighborhood sandwiched between Myers Park, the Metropolitan, and now, The Crest at Metropolitan. Homeowners’ property values and tax bills are sure to keep rising, along with interest and offers from developers wanting to buy land).

Given the travails of the recession years, there could be worse problems to confront. The growing momentum around the greenway is a good, strong sign that better times lie ahead.