Fort Lauderdale zoning board approves second hotel on B Ocean Resort site

Rendering of proposed hotel
Rendering of proposed hotel

UPDATED Feb. 16, 4:10 p.m. Hot on the heels of major renovations to Fort Lauderdale’s B Ocean Resort, the owners of the former Yankee Clipper have received zoning approval for another 224-room hotel and parking structure on the property.Fort Lauderdale’s Planning and Zoning Board on Wednesday approved a site plan for the hotel and parking structure on the site adjacent to B Ocean Resort at 1140 Seabreeze Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

The property’s owner, CRP/InSite Clipper LLC, is a partnership between Washington D.C. investment firm The Carlyle Group and InSite Group, a Fort Lauderdale-based investment and development firm. They bought the property a little over two years ago for $107 million from Starwood Capital Group.

The latest plans, designed by Miami’s Arquitectonica, call for two structures totaling 25,840 square feet. The first building is a 12-story, 192-room hotel at the corner of Seabreeze Boulevard and Harbor Drive, with a 4,400-square-foot ground floor restaurant and an additional street-side dining area. That building will be angled toward the intersection to avoid intruding on views from adjacent properties.

Rendering of hotel and parking structure

It will be joined by a seven-story parking garage with 32 hotel suites wrapped around the western end — as suggested during meetings with city staff and neighborhood residents. “As you’re viewing the site from Harbor Drive,” said the developer’s attorney Robert Lochrie, “you’re not looking into a garage. You’re seeing active hotel units.”

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A single, looping driveway and additional landscaping will replace back-out parking on the site, though a condition from the city’s Transportation and Mobility Department to include an estimated four parallel parking spaces along Harbor Drive was removed by the board. City land use attorney D’Wayne Spence called the condition a “prohibited exaction.”

“If there is not a reason for denial of the application that the condition would relieve us of,” said Spence, “we would not be able to impose that condition.”

Board chair Leo Hansen added that “if you look at it from a landscaping point of view and a sidewalk point of view and a pedestrian point of view, the project would be better off without that parking there.”

The plans are subject to a Fort Lauderdale City Commission vote before construction can begin, but resistance may be minimal. No one showed up to a required public participation meeting, and the zoning board was generally pleased with the designs, voting 7-1 to for approval.

“It really is nice to see a reasonable beach project, and I think Arquitectonica will do a great job,” said board member Steve Glassman before voting in favor of the proposal. “Thank you for the well thought-out . . . project.”