West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio believes a hotel with Intracoastal water ways can potentially be a big deal for the downtown area.
So the City Commission will be hearing three proposals for one to be built where City Hall used to be. Included in the plans is the old Helen Wilkes hotel site.
Three business groups have proposed plans, and now it's up to the commissioners to decide which one to go with.
First off, there's the Kolter Group, which seems to be the favorite among the business groups. It's proposing a 15-story building with 120 hotel rooms, 260 residential units, and ground-floor stores. The concern here, however, is that there might be more condo units than hotel rooms, which would defeat the purpose.
The Navarro Lowery Properties of West Palm Beach (along with Hyatt Hotels and Concord Hospitality) is proposing a five-story, 205-room Hyatt. This proposal claims it could be built the quickest among the three -- by 2014, although some have expressed a concern that the building isn't tall enough.
Finally, Song & Associates (along with Crocker Group and the Carlton Fields law firm) is proposing a 12-story building with 200 rooms and stores in the lobby. Of the three, this proposal is the underdog of the bunch, with committee members voicing concerns over the project's design, which would seem out of place in West Palm Beach. One committee member said it had a "Manhattan feel to it" that wouldn't look right in downtown.