By Jeff Levine, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea News Columnist
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Hotels: Will the Holiday Inn finally be turned into a high end hotel? At a Commission Workshop on Monday night, potential buyers of the property shared their vision for the long deserted site. Most people found the presentation to be very impressive, with one caveat. The proposal includes the possibility of closing a part of El Mar Drive to build a larger resort facility. Dozens of residents in attendance spoke during the workshop. Almost all loved the overall concept, however most objected to closing off any of El Mar Drive.
The Lauderdale-by-the-Sea hotels property discussed includes 4116 Ocean Drive (former Holiday Inn) and 4108 and 4110 El Mar Drive (former Villa Caprice). The properties are on opposite sides of El Mar Drive, at the south end of the street.
The meeting, which lasted almost two hours, was held under unusual circumstances because the presenters, Concord Wilshire Partners, do not yet actually own the property. They do have a purchase agreement to buy the property from the current owners FDG South, pending Concord Wilshire receiving requested approvals from the town. Time is of the essence because the town has been attempting to foreclose on the property, as FDG South owes roughly $7 million in code violations. A 120-day stay was issued in order to give FDG South and Concord Wilshire the opportunity to finalize an agreement.
LBTS Mayor Chris Vincent ended the meeting on a conciliatory note reminding that this was just a preliminary presentation and that he expected both sides would be able to work together to come up with compromises that would meet the needs of residents and Concord Wilshire.
Below you will find a portion of the information presented at the workshop regarding the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Hotels.
COMMISSION WORKSHOP: Monday, June 24, 2019 Jarvis Hall
Proposed Development for 4116 Ocean Drive (former Holiday Inn) and 4108 and 4110 El Mar Drive (former Villa Caprice)
Background: The FDG South LLC (FDG) is the current property owner of 4116 Ocean Drive (former Holiday Inn) and 4108/4110 El Mar Drive (former Villa Caprice). These three properties have amassed approximately $7 million dollars in liens for code violations.
At their December 11, 2018 meeting, the Commission directed the Town Attorney to file foreclosure action against FDG South. Consistent with the Commission’s policy direction at the March 12, 2019 meeting regarding a stay of the Town’s foreclosure lawsuit against FDG, the Town Attorney filed a joint motion for a 120-day temporary stay of the foreclosure action to allow FDG South an opportunity to bring their properties under a purchase and sales contract. FDG was successful and entered into a contract to sell the properties to Concord Wilshire/Pillsbury Group (Concord Wilshire).
Pursuant to the Court Order granting the 120-day stay of the foreclosure action, Concord Wilshire is required to timely submit applications for site plan approval and code compliance lien mitigation. The deadline for filing these applications with the Town is June 28, 2019. If this deadline is met, the Town has agreed to file a request with the Court for an additional stay of the foreclosure action. During which time, the Town will process the site plan, lien mitigation and any other applications necessary for the hotel redevelopment of the properties, as well as provide an opportunity for FDG to finalize their purchase and sales contract. In the event Concord Wilshire fails to timely file applications for site plan approval and code compliance lien mitigation, the 120-day stay of the foreclosure action will run and the foreclosure litigation will proceed.
PRELIMINARY HOTEL REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL:
Over the past three months, the Town has been working with the Concord Wilshire team while they develop a proposed site plan for a new hotel development on the Holiday Inn and Villa Caprice properties. As further explained below and referenced in the attached Exhibit 1, the proposed hotel development is premised upon vacating a portion of El Mar Drive starting at Palm Avenue and ending at the northern boundary of the Holiday Inn and Villa Caprice properties. Prior to officially filing their proposed site plan and related right-of-way vacation applications with the Town, both staff and Concord Wilshire seek and request policy direction from the Town Commission on the proposed right-of-way vacation and related site plan.
The proposed hotel development, detailed in the attached Exhibit 1, includes 230 hotel units and encompasses both the Holiday Inn and Villa Caprice properties. As proposed, the existing structure on the Holiday Inn property will be demolished and replaced with a new 100,000 square foot structure at the grandfathered height (five stories). The proposed hotel development also includes additional building square footage to be constructed at the maximum allowed height of three stories and no higher than 33 feet above normal grade level. In addition, the “Villa Caprice” property will include two three-story structures, a pool and a beach restaurant.
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