The Real Deal Miami

Proposal for Fairfield Inn and Twin Peaks restaurant in Fort Lauderdale goes back to drawing board

Fort Lauderdale committee wants a revised site plan for DMD Ventures’ mixed-use development

From top left, rendering of proposed boutique hotel and renderings of Fairfield Inn & Suites and Twin Peaks restaurant

Davie-based Double Mountain Development Venture’s plan to add a Twin Peaks restaurant and a Fairfield Inn & Suites at the northeast corner of East Cypress Creek Road and North Andrews Avenue will need a bit of a rethink before Fort Lauderdale will grant its approval.

That’s according to city staff at Tuesday’s Fort Lauderdale Development Review Committee meeting.

The BRR Architecture-designed plan for the 2.08 acre site calls for a 10-story, 74,965-square-foot hotel, a 230-space parking garage and an 8,756-square-foot restaurant with outdoor seating along Cypress Creek Road, but city staff said they wanted to see the streetscape enhancements moved to the other corner of the site, where they anticipate pedestrian traffic to ramp up in the coming years. “The more visible that is to Andrews, as opposed to Cypress Creek, the better,” said Principal Planner Jim Hetzel.

The property is in the middle of an area set aside for an eventual “Uptown Project Area” that will alter land-use designations to create a more mixed-use, transit-oriented corridor that the city hopes will create a sort of “urban village.” But due to an incomplete annexation from Broward County control, the site’s zoning regulations are somewhat finicky. “It’s still in the city,” said Hetzel, “but we have to apply county zoning.”

The plan for the site’s parking garage, as presented, depends on including eight compact parking spaces, a proposal that’s more or less guaranteed to be in line with the eventual land-use changes. But current regulations stipulate that parking spaces for compact cars are only permitted when expanding existing garages, which means the proposal would need a special exception to maintain those parking spots.

The city’s Urban Design and Planning Department also asked for more information regarding a billboard that sits on the site. Double Mountain claims that the lease agreement for the sign, between the previous site owner and Clear Channel Communications, is not legitimate, but the developer’s attorney, Dwayne Dickerson of Dunay, Miskel & Backman, said they’re still completing their due diligence, stressing that the developer is hoping to come to an amenable agreement with Clear Channel.

Also taken up at Tuesday’s meeting was a plat review for a 213-room boutique hotel designed by FSMY Architects at 441 South Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. City staff noted that the developer, Sophia Enterprises, LLC, will need to contract with an archaeologist to determine whether the site holds any archaeological significance, but otherwise had only routine requests for the proposal.