The Real Deal Miami

West Palm Beach trims search for hotel developer to two candidates

February 13, 2013 10:00AM

A rendering of West Palm hotel

West Palm Beach’s search for a downtown waterfront hotel developer has come down to two choices, according to the Palm Beach Post. The city will now choose between two teams: one made up of Navarro Lowery Properties of West Palm Beach, Hyatt Hotels and Concord Hospitality, or another made up of Crocker Group, Song + Associates and the Carlton Fields law firm.

The former team has made an offer of up to $6 million to build a five-story 260-room Hyatt hotel and the latter has proposed a 12-story building with 200 hotel rooms operated by an undetermined hotelier at a cost of up to $15 million.

The city has a five-story limit for buildings on the hotel’s proposed Olive Avenue location but Tom Crocker, managing partner of the Crocker Group, said that he will pay for a campaign to convince voters to give the site a height exemption for the 12-story building he has proposed.

“At the end of the day, if you present something that makes economic sense and looks right, feels right in the city … they’ll vote for the thing that’s best for them,” Crocker said. “That’s why we’d be willing to mount that campaign and spend the money to get it done — because we know we’d win.”

The president of Navarro Lowery, Frank Navarro, has continued to pitch his project as the most realistic, both because his proposal complies with the city’s building laws and because it already has a hotelier on board. [Palm Beach Post] —Evan Bleier