Recent News

  • Jan
    7

Ram Sells Citra at Windermere

January 7, 2015

Ram sells multifamily development to JRK Property Holdings

  • Ram sells Citra at Windermere to JRK Property Holdings
  • Citra is a 360-unit Class “A” multifamily asset located in Windermere, FL

Palm Beach Gardens, FL, January 7, 2015 – Ram Realty Services, a leading developer and real estate investment manager throughout the Southeast, has announced the sale of Citra at Windermere to JRK Property Holding. Engler Financial Group, LLC brokered the sale.

Citra at Windermere is a core, Class “A” garden apartment community located in Windermere, Orange County, Florida along Winter Garden Vineland Road. The ground-up development comprises 360 units across18 three-story buildings as well as clubhouse, dog agility center, fitness studio, pool, outdoor kitchen and entertaining area, and detached garage buildings. Citra features “best-in-class” amenities, condo-quality finishes, and energy-efficient construction.

Ram secured the 22-acre parcel on which Citra stands from Avatar Properties, Inc. and a private investor in August 2012. Development commenced in September of 2012 with substantial completion in February 2014. Ram engaged a rapid lease-up strategy that saw an average of nearly 30 leases per month.

The buyer, Los Angeles-based JRK Property Holdings, owns and manages 55,000 multifamily units nationwide as well as multiple hotels and over 2 million square feet of office, industrial, and storage properties. In 2013, JRK was recognized as the 20th largest owner of apartment properties according to National Multifamily Housing Council rankings.

About Ram

Founded in 1978, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. The group also selectively acquires debt secured by retail and residential properties.  Ram is currently investing Ram Realty Partners III LP, a value-added fund targeting retail and multifamily properties in select high growth markets in the Southeast.  Since 1996, the company has deployed $1.7 billion in real estate transactions.  Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ramrealestate.com.

  • Jan
    5

Mainstreet at Midtown Announces Line Up for Annual Concert Series

January 5, 2015

(January 5, 2014) PALM BEACH GARDENS  Music On the Plaza is back! On Thursday, January 8, Midtown begins its popular free music series, Music On The Plaza, running each Thursday from 6:00–8:00pm. The outdoor concerts run for 12 weeks, providing audiences with new, exciting, and carefully selected local, regional, and national talent.

Kicking off the 2015 season is South Florida piano-pop act, The Jacob Jeffries Band. Jacob is one of the area’s award-winning favorite original artists with the ability to write and perform feel-good music — think The Beatles, Ben Folds, and Tom Petty.  Other acts in January include The Matt Farr Band playing soulful rock, The Screaming J’s from NC playing boogie boogie piano and Ancient Sun from Orlando playing trippy eclectic groove rock.

Attendees are encouraged to enjoy food and beverages from Midtown restaurants Christopher’s Kitchen, Chipotle, J. Alexanders, Saito’s and Cantina Laredo. Christopher’s Kitchen will offer discounts on beer and wine, other specials will be announced on the night.

The free concerts attract an all-ages crowd. “We have seen an increase in young families attending over the years. They bring their young children to listen and dance to the music before bedtime, says Belle Forino, Marketing Manager of Midtown.

To celebrate the first show of the season, Midtown will have goody bags for children under the age of 5 and free face painting from 6:00-7:30pm. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and shoes for dancing. Parking is free. Midtown is located at 4801 PGA Blvd Palm Beach Gardens. We are on the north side of the road between I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. More information can be found on the Midtown website: midtownpga.com

 

JANUARY LINE UP:

January 8 – JACOB JEFFRIES     http://www.jacobjeffries.com

January 15 – THE MATT FARR BAND   http://www.mattfarr.com

January 22 – THE SCREAMING J’S   http://www.reverbnation.com/screamingjs

January 29 – THE ANCIENT SUN    http://www.reverbnation.com/ancientsun

 

DETAILS AT A GLANCE:

DATE: Thursday January 8, 2015

TIME: 6:00-8:00pm

PLACE: Maintstreet at Midtown. 4801 PGA Blvd Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

EVENT: MUSIC ON THE PLAZA – 6th SEASON OPENING NIGHT

COST: FREE with Free parking

AGES: All ages welcome

PH: 561.630.6110

WEB:www.midtownpga.com

 

For more information about Midtown events:

Contact: Belle Forino, Marketing Manager for Mainstreet at Midtown.

Office: 561.630.6110

Direct: 561.282.4623

Email: bforino@ramrealestate.com

Web:http://www.midtownpga.com

Location: Midtown: 4801 PGA Blvd Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

  • Jan
    1

Mission Capital Advisors Arranges First-Mortgage Financing for The Ellington

January 1, 2015

Via rejournals.com 

Mission Capital Advisors announced that its Debt & Equity Finance Group arranged first mortgage financing for The Ellington located at 3670 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.

The Mission Capital team of Tom Hall, Ari Hirt, Steven Buchwald and Jamie Matheny secured the loan on behalf of RAM Realty Services, a Florida-based real estate firm that developed the property in 2005.

The subject loan is collateralized by The Ellington’s fully occupied retail component, as well as 254 stalls in the adjacent Midtown Parking Garage.

The Ellington is a mixed-use development with street level retail below 55 luxury residential units located on the corner of Woodward and Mack avenues in a high-traffic area of Midtown Detroit. The property’s tenants include Bank of America, Starbucks and JP Morgan Chase, and it is shadow anchored by the first-ever inner city Whole Foods Market.

“As real estate fundamentals remain strong, we are seeing a variety of lenders increasingly willing to provide loans to owners of retail properties,” said Hall. “RAM could not have timed their project any better with The Ellington’s debut coinciding with the current trending of Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. With an influx of entrepreneurs and young professionals along with planned transportation enhancements, Midtown has become a prime retail market.”

Earlier this year, Mission Capital successfully secured long-term, low-interest financing at suburban Detroit shopping centers in Troy and Farmington Hills, Michigan.

“This deal represents the most recent example of our ability to secure favorable financing on retail properties across the US,” said Hall.

Mission Capital has been extremely active this year in assisting clients with retail opportunities across the country. Recent deals completed by the firm include $7.5 million in cash-out financing for a Texas shopping center, and $12 million in financing for retail shopping centers in Ohio.

  • Dec
    29

As Boca allows taller downtown buildings, more in line for new heights

December 29, 2014

By Anne Geggis via the Sun Sentinel

Even before downtown Boca’s tallest building is completed, four new projects that will equal it in size are in the pipeline.

The 12-story apartment building, the Mark at CityScape, is scheduled to open early next year near the southeast corner of Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway.

Officially, downtown Boca’s buildings are supposed to go no taller than nine or 10 stories that measure 100 feet, plus some height for decorative elements.

But under temporary rules, the city is allowing builders to construct taller buildings downtown if certain design guidelines are met.

The Mark at CityScape was approved in 2012 to reach 12 stories at 140 feet — or 40 feet taller than the official height limit for downtown. When the building opens next year, the city plans to re-evaluate whether such taller buildings are ideal for Boca Raton.

The other four planned or proposed downtown projects:

• Construction has started on the 366-unit apartment complex, Via Mizner, at the corner of Camino Real and Federal Highway. It, too, will reach 12 stories.

• The City Council in September approved a hotel for the southeast corner of Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway. The plan calls for 12 stories. It will be next to the Mark at CityScape.

• Next month, a representative for the Tower One Fifty-Five condos will ask the City Council for permission to have the development rise three stories higher than the nine stories for which it has been approved. It will be in the 100 block of East Boca RatonRoad.

• A fourth proposal, for another 200 apartment units, could reach 13 stories at 300 S. Federal Highway.

The city considers the Mark at CityScape a test case, of sorts. Specifically, when the building is finished, the city plans to examine how the plans materialized.

Councilman Mike Mullaugh said some people “can look at a plan on a piece of paper and visualize the building. I am not one of those people. Let’s see what it looks like … and see if we should adopt them [the new guidelines] permanently.”

Still, some residents question whether taller buildings are being approved too quickly.

Downtown resident Ann Witte said she doesn’t understand why Boca is allowing buildings to rise up to 13 stories — or 140 feet, plus 20 feet for decorative elements — without seeing how the Mark at CityScape first works out.

“It seems very odd to be approving other developments under a rule that is being tested, and the test [case] has not been completed or evaluated,” Witte said. “The purpose of a test case is to see how things work.”

Others, however, are thrilled with the prospect of Boca on the rise.

“Boca is a city, and to have that city, you need density to support a downtown,” said Jonathan Kolbe, who works at a Boca architectural firm and lives just outside the city limits. “The suburban model of what was done in the second half of the 20th Century is proving itself not to be sustainable.”

He started the Facebook page “New Boca” because of his excitement about downtown’s new residential construction.

“What we’ve done in South Florida is expand by subdivision after subdivision,” he said. “There are places for density and there are places for family-friendly, quiet neighborhoods. Downtown Boca, in my opinion, is the place for density.”

City Council members said extra building heights aren’t so developers can build more square footage, though. Instead, council members said, the greater heights should allow more graceful flourishes with varied building facades within a project.

Instead of buildings that rise straight up, the tallest parts of the new buildings will be set back far from the street. As the buildings get taller, the building widths will get skinnier, to give the effect of wedding cake layers, the reasoning goes.

Ram, the Palm Beach Gardens-based company developing the Mark at CityScape, said that the building will be getting more decorative elements and landscaping before the first tenant arrives March 1.

“When you’re walking down the street, you won’t feel like you are walking next to a building that’s going 12 stories up,” Councilman Robert Weinroth said. “You are only going to see four or five floors from the street. It’s not going to block the light from the sun and you are not going to feel like you are going into this concrete cavern.”

Still, in a city that prides itself for its unique “Boca” look, how high buildings should rise has become an urgent question.

Developers also want to build a set of four spired structures, with the tallest rising 460 feet, just outside Boca’s downtown. But because Boca’s codes don’t even contemplate those heights, it has not started making its way through the city’s approval process.

Jim Wood, a downtown Boca resident, said several people moved to downtown assuming buildings wouldn’t rise more than 100 feet.

“The citizens should have the opportunity to weigh in on whether they want buildings at 100 feet or 160 feet,” said Wood, who moved downtown in 1998. “The 100-foot buildings are already starting to block out the view of the sky.”

But some say there are practical reasons for wanting to build higher.

“The views are better,” said Derek Vander Ploeg, on why he was back in front of the Planning and Zoning Board this month to get permission for his development, Tower One Fifty-Five, to rise higher.

  • Dec
    9

Ram Realty agrees to submit a Habitat Conservation Plan to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for Coral Reef Commons

December 9, 2014

Miami, Fla. – November 24, 2014 – Today representatives from Ram Realty Services met with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and agreed to submit an application for a permit and a Habitat Conservation Plan for the proposed Coral Reef Commons in South Dade.

“We will be submitting a comprehensive package detailing our environmental findings on the property and working on the additional environmental analysis necessary to identify how best to minimize and mitigate for any impacts,” said Peter Cummings, chairman of Ram Realty Services. “This plan will be created in conjunction with our permit application and is subject to final approval by the agency.”

Ram will continue to coordinate with Miami-Dade County on its local approvals.

“We intend to fully cooperate with the agencies involved, and we look forward to reaching an amicable agreement and showcasing how Ram balances its commitment to the environment with its dedication to creating high quality communities.”

  • Dec
    4

South Florida rents rise faster than much of US

December 4, 2014

via Sun Sentinel Paul Owers

Apartment rents in South Florida are rising at a faster rate than many of the nation’s largest metro areas.

Palm Beach County rents grew 5.3 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, according to MPF Research in Carrollton, Texas. That ranks ninth among the 50 largest metros.

Broward County saw a 4.4 percent increase year to year, ranking 13th nationwide.

Oakland, Calif., led the country with growth of 9.1 percent. Denver and San Jose, Calif., tied for second at 9 percent. The national average is 3.7 percent.

The housing bust fueled a resurgence in the apartment sector, with former homeowners turning to rentals in large numbers. A lack of existing supply quickly led to a landlord’s market that still remains in place.

While the ongoing housing recovery will slow demand for rentals, millennials and others who prefer to remain mobile will keep the apartment market robust, said Jay Parsons, director of analytics & forecasts with MPF.

“It’s certainly not going to knock it off a cliff,” he said Wednesday.

Palm Beach County’s average rent at the end of the third quarter was $1,281 a month, according to MPF. Broward’s average rent was $1,301.

To satisfy demand, developers are building thousands of apartments across Palm Beach and Broward counties. Many of them are luxury units, which are contributing to the region’s steady rent growth.

Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram Real Estate is close to completing two downtown projects: Alexander Lofts in West Palm Beach and The Mark at Cityscape in Boca Raton. Both are expected to open early next year.

The 85-unit Alexander Lofts will occupy a former Southern Bell headquarters at Fern Street and South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. The studio, one- and two-bedroom units are priced from $1,200 to $1,750 a month.

The 208-unit Mark project is at the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road. The studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units range from $1,400 to about $3,000 a month. Four penthouses will fetch more than $5,000 a month.

“We feel like there’s a lot of pent-up demand for apartments in the downtown,” said Hugo Pacanins, Ram’s managing director of multifamily development. “People are interested in a more urban lifestyle, and there really wasn’t anything [new] to offer them.”

In Broward, the Stiles real estate firm broke ground this year on a 254-unit apartment building at 215 SE 8th Ave., a block north of Las Olas Boulevard. Meanwhile, The Related Group of Florida recently completed the 249-unit New River Yacht Club in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with rents ranging from $1,600 to more than $4,500 a month.

Miami-based Related also said it will start construction this month or next on Icon Las Olas. The long-delayed project was expected to be condos, but Related plans to make it high-end rentals, at least for now.

“We’re seeing the market respond with a willingness to pay very, very strong rent for a quality product,” said Joseph Thomas, a vice president for the Marcus & Millichap firm in Fort Lauderdale.

Powers@sunsentinel.com, 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

  • Nov
    14

How ISIS helped turn a WPB condo into an apartment building

November 14, 2014

via The Palm Beach Post by Alexandra Clough

There are no more plans to build a condo named Isis Downtown in West Palm Beach. Nor are there plans for a condo named 3 Thirty Three Downtown on the same spot.

Instead, the land at 333 Fern Street will be a rental apartment building.

About 30 pre-construction condo deposits were made for the 200-unit project, once dubbed Isis, a name derived from the Egyptian goddess. Prices ranged from $300,000 to more than $750,000.

But then ISIS, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, emerged in the early summer. As the murderous jihadist group rampaged its way through parts of the Middle East, Isis Downtown’s developers quietly changed the condo’s name to 3 Thirty Three Downtown.

The developers hedged on marketing. Then summer came, a time when condo sales are slow.

“We quit spending money the minute the ISIS thing happened. We knew we had a very unique problem and we took our time sorting it out,” said Bob Vail, president of Kolter Urban in West Palm Beach.

Indeed. Tim Harris, a real estate associate with Douglas Elliman in Palm Beach and the past president of the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches, called the name  “scarily negative”  in an August interview.

After a re-evaluation, both Kolter and its joint venture partner, Ram of Palm Beach Gardens, decided a couple of weeks ago to change from for-sale condos to rental apartments.

The Isis debacle may have started things off on a bad foot, but market conditions convinced developers to make the switch.

“It’s a combination of the social change, with more people wanting to remain mobile” by renting an apartment, rather than being tiedto a purchased condo unit, Vail said.

In addition, Vail added, younger people wanting to live near downtown’s nightlife are more likely to rent than buy.

Perhaps most importantly, Kolter’s experience selling two waterfront condos in Palm Beach County reinforced that people who buy condos want water views.

Kolter’s luxury condo at 4001 North Ocean in Gulf Stream  on the ocean has only one villa left for sale. The project has 34 condos and four villas, with prices ranging from $1.4 million to $3 million. (The price for the remaining villa: $1.9 million.)

Meanwhile, in North Palm Beach, pre-construction condo sales at the 22-story luxury Water Club are going strong. Some 58 contracts worth about $55 million have been sold. The twin-tower condo has 166 units, right on the water.

But only about 25 percent of 3 Thirty Three’s units in downtown West Palm Beach had an eastern view that would offer water views, Kolter realized.

Now that 3 Thirty Three Downtown is an apartment, the construction process will move quickly, without the need for time-consuming condominium documents, for example.

(Vail said the name could change. But for now, the property still is being referred to as 3 Thirty Three.)

The 16-story building will commence groundbreaking in the first quarter of 2015, with completion set for sometime in late 2016.

Units range from 825 square feet to 1,700 square feet in space. Rents are expected to be about $2 a square foot, Vail said.

As part of the switch, amenities will be expanded to include a larger fitness room to accommodate year-round use by apartment-dwellers, Vail said.

  • Oct
    22

Ram Promotes Key Team Members

October 22, 2014

  • Jim Stine promoted to President
  • Hugo Pacanins named partner and promoted to Managing Director – Multifamily
  • Jennifer Stull named partner and promoted to Managing Director – Asset Management
  • Suzie Albright promoted to Vice President of Operations

Palm Beach Gardens, FL, October 22, 2014 – Ram Realty Services, a leading developer and real estate investment manager throughout the Southeast, announced several promotions to its senior management team. In an internal meeting, Ram CEO Casey Cummings addressed the culmination of a longstanding plan to strengthen Ram’s leadership team and establish a hierarchy qualified to manage Ram’s expanding asset portfolio and development initiatives.

“I am excited this evolution of our team has come to fruition,” stated Cummings. “We believe that one of the best indicators of the strength of an organization is its ability to promote from within. These are four very important positions within our company that are all being filled with existing Ram team members.”

Noteworthy Promotions

Jim Stine, previously Ram’s Chief Investment Officer, has been promoted to President. In his new role, he will assume leadership over most functional areas of the firm. Stine joined Ram in 2010 after spending 25 years with Stiles Corporation. During his time as CIO, he had management responsibility for the origination of new real estate investments on behalf of Ram.

Hugo Pacanins, formerly Vice President of Residential Development, has been promoted to Managing Director – Multifamily and named partner of the firm. He will have full responsibility for the multifamily development program including markets in Florida, Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, and Atlanta. Pacanins joined Ram in 2005 playing a key role in several prominent multifamily and mixed-use developments. He was promoted to VP in 2008, managing Florida-based multifamily development and redevelopment projects.

Jennifer Stull, former Vice President of Residential Asset Management, has been promoted to Managing Director – Asset Management and named partner of the firm. As Managing Director, she will be responsible for asset management over the entire portfolio of commercial and multifamily properties. She will also provide leadership to the property management group and Ram’s marketing department. Stull joined Ram in 2002 and has been responsible for multifamily asset management. In conjunction with the promotion, Jeff McCammon – previously Regional Director of Investments – will assume the role of Multifamily Asset Manager.

Suzie Albright, previously VP of Financial Administration, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations, a new position within Ram. She will have direct responsibility for property and corporate accounting, property management, and information technology. Albright joined Ram in 1999.

About Ram

Founded in 1978, Ram is an affiliated group of companies and partnerships that acquire, develop, manage and finance retail and residential properties in the Southeast. The group also selectively acquires debt secured by retail and residential properties.  Ram is currently investing Ram Realty Partners III LP, a value-added fund targeting retail and multifamily properties in select high growth markets in the Southeast.  Since 1996, the company has deployed $1.7 billion in real estate transactions.  Ram is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ramrealestate.com.

  • Sep
    30

Hyatt Place is Coming to Downtown

September 30, 2014

Source: Boca Raton Magazine

The vote Monday on the most prominent piece of land in Boca Raton was oddly anticlimactic.

For decades, the city council had sought a suitable project for the southeast corner of Palmetto Park Road and Federal Highway. Success finally came Monday afternoon. Acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, the council unanimously approved DDRI I.D.A. No. CRP-08-03R2—the plan for a Hyatt Place hotel.

The 200-room hotel will be 140 feet tall, with structures on the roof making the overall height 160 feet. It will be part of Ram Realty’s mixed-use Mark at Cityscape project. Hyatt Hotels pitches its Hyatt Place brand to business travelers, but the Hyatt Place in Delray Beach, which opened in 2012, also draws vacationers. The hotel’s general manager says things have been “terrific.”

Since Boca had tried to fill that downtown hole for about 30 years, you might have expected applause and Champagne after Monday’s vote. Instead, the discussion featured only a few questions from council members and just the faintest squawking from holdout critics who misunderstood setback rules for the hotel. The clerk recorded the vote, and CRA Chairman Scott Singer moved on to the next agenda item.

But make no mistake; this is a big deal. In downtown Boca, this vacant lot has stood out like a missing tooth. The city believed that you couldn’t just fill it with, well, anything. It had to be special. There were repeated references Monday to a “landmark project” on a “landmark corner.” Councilman Mike Mullaugh called it a “new benchmark” for downtown development.

Despite fears among some residents that a hotel will overwhelm the property, the Hyatt Place seems like a good fit. The one in Delray Beach works well in the Pineapple Grove neighborhood north of Atlantic Avenue. Though the Boca Hyatt Place will be one-third larger, the site also is more urban. In addition, the design is stylish, and the developers worked with the city’s staff and consultants to maximize the hotel’s compatibility with what the city wants to be a pedestrian-friendly section of downtown after all the buildings is done.

“We wanted to break the project down to a human scale, and I think we achieved that for the most part,” says Paul Slattery, whose Boca Raton firm did the architectural work for the Hyatt Place, as it did for the Hyatt Place in Delray. The main issue, he says, is how to “mass” the building—to make it work with the surroundings.

A key meeting, Slattery says, took place in February with Urban Design Associates, the city’s downtown consultant. Councilman Robert Weinroth praised the cooperation between the development team and the city. Slattery agreed: “It was a good team effort.” Changes were made to ease the impact from traffic. Example: Valet parking will be available only for the restaurant, not the hotel itself. Other requirements will encourage carpooling and the use of bicycles and buses.

Though Hyatt Hotels is a global company with more than 550 properties, the team for this Hyatt Place is intensely local. The engineering firm, like Slattery’s company, is from Boca. The landscape architect is from Delray Beach. West Palm Beach-based Kolter is developing the hotel, as it developed Hyatt Place Delray.

Slattery says Hyatt Place Boca will be a “visual landmark,” with recessed lighting at the top making the building visible to guests arriving on Palmetto Park Road after leaving Interstate 95. He says construction should start in March, with the hotel opening 16 to 18 months later, in time for the 2016 high season. If that happens, expect the city to throw a party that will be 30 years in the making.

  • Aug
    26

Boca’s first downtown hotel moving closer to reality

August 26, 2014

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.