Plans For Boutique Hotel In Pineapple Grove Underway

2002

Staff report

Delray residents will soon have another place to staycation.

Plans to build a boutique hotel in Pineapple Grove known as “The Grove Beach Hotel” or “The Ray” are in the works.

The 143-room hotel proposed by Delray-based Menin Development will be a LEED certified building, feature shops on the first floor and a rooftop garden and bar as well as underground parking garage with 185 spaces.

“We are really excited about this project,” director of planning Tim Stilings said. “It has a lot of great potential. It’s a great location for a hotel.”

The style of the hotel is like nothing else in Delray. Architects behind the project pitched a new style outside of the city’s approved seven architectural styles, which required commission approval. Architect Jose Gonzalez calls it “tropical modernism.”

It will have an industrial character with exposed concrete and metal panels as well as glass and vegetation incorporated into the building. Open gathering spaces with benches, water fountain, bicycle parking and art will be incorporated into the space that is currently a parking lot and strip mall on Northeast Second Ave.

“This is an arts distict,” Mayor Cary Glickstein said. “There should be some latitude provided where the context is appropriate. I think it is unique in a positive way.”

The look received a 4-1 vote of approval with Commissioner Shirley Johnson dissenting.

“We are beginning to look like a hodge podge,” she said.

The project needed several additional approvals from commissioners because it deviated from the city’s rule book. City staff recommended denying some of the needs requested.

One of the issues came to public safety and how the fire department would access the building in case of an emergency from a back alley.

Ultimately, a compromise was agreed upon between Menin and the city. The developer will meet with the city to work on creating a wider alley to ease the public safety concerns. But if the plans fall through, the city can review the project again and vote to deny it.

Commissioner Shelly Petrolia, who is typically critical on new developments and has a track record of voting no on projects like iPic and Atlantic Crossing, gave this project and all of its deviations against the city’s rules a green light.

Several residents spoke in support of the project.

“We think it will be the best hotel in Delray,” local architect Bob Currie said. “It will greatly enhance that part of the community.”

The project still needs to go before the city’s site plan review and appearance board.