By Anne Geggis | Via the Sun Sentinel
Downtown Boca Raton’s first hotel will add 12 stories to the skyline, according to plans that will go before the City Council next month.
If built, the Hyatt Place Hotel Boca Raton at 120 E. Palmetto Park Road will be the third downtown building to rise higher than the 100-foot limit that historically has kept Boca a decidedly low-rise city. This could be as tall as 140 feet with another 20 feet for architectural features.
Plans show the 200-room hotel will be one building at the southeast corner of Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway. The site is now being used as a staging area for construction of the Mark at CityScape, a 208-unit rental complex.
This project will also include an 8,000-square-foot restaurant. City documents have the logo of upscale restaurant chain Del Frisco’s on them. But a representative from the company would not confirm plans to open the restaurant in Boca.
The restaurant will have valet parking, but the hotel will have a garage where guests will park. City documents show that the project has 32 more spaces than the number that city codes require.
Last week, the city’s planning board added its unanimous support for the project that also got a green light from the city’s Community Appearance Board. A downtown hotel has long been a goal for the city.
“That has definitely been a missing piece,” said Alana Cohen, a member of the Downtown Boca Raton Advisory Committee and owner of Cohen Window Fashion, which will be almost directly across the street if the hotel is built. “Most cities have a downtown hotel.”
The plan won high praise from the city’s design firm, Urban Design Associates, for its streetscape, the way the building is stacked and the details of the project’s doors, windows, overhangs and balconies.
“This projects shows a remarkable architectural sensitivity to the site and its context,” wrote Eric Osth, an architect with the Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates. It “is a welcome addition to the uses in Downtown Boca Raton, strengthening it as an important destination in the region.”
Cohen said parking is a key consideration for the city.
“It will be a win-win, absolutely, as long as we remain pro-active and keep the parking situation under control,” she said.
The planning board did allow the hotel to have one fewer lane for leaving the property than city codes require. It was allowed in the name of making the driveway more pedestrian-friendly, according to city documents.
The project got the planning board’s approval with the condition that the developer add a bicycle rack on the premises.