Fort Lauderdale OKs plan for Bahia Cabana Hotel on the beach

Project set to replace site of hotel and restaurant that suffered hurricane damage and was demolished

Rendering of the project
Renderings of the project (Adache Group Architects)

Fort Lauderdale commissioners approved a site plan for Bahia Cabana Hotel, a mixed-use project with 124 hotel rooms and six apartments in the city’s south beach area.

The site has been vacant since the 2019 demolition of the old Bahia Cabana hotel and restaurant, a longtime local landmark that Hurricane Irma shredded in 2017.

At Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners made their approval of the site plan subject to conditions that include securing off-site parking spaces for the Harbor Drive development.

Florida Holdings LP, a Bahamian limited partnership, acquired the property through a limited liability company called 3001-3018 Harbor Drive LLC, the entity that applied to the city for site plan approval. The developer paid $17.2 million in July 2018 for the 1.8-acre site that’s directly on the Intracoastal Waterway and across the street from the ocean.

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Kelly Clarkson, David Cassidy and Rodney Dangerfield were among the old Bahia Cabana’s celebrity following, according to the newspaper Broward Palm Beach New Times.

Designed as a mixed-use building, the new Bahia Cabana Hotel would be 10 stories tall, or 115 feet. A ground-floor café would be open to the public. Meeting space, a gym and spa are planned for the second floor.

The hotel rooms would be located on the third through seventh floors. The six apartments would be located on the eighth and ninth floors, and the tenth floor is designed as a bar area with an outdoor terrace and enclosed seating.

Bahia Cabana Hotel would front Harbor Drive with a 30-foot-wide pedestrian plaza. On the waterfront backside of the Fort Lauderdale Beach building, a swimming pool deck with seating and landscaping is planned along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Other than a pickup and drop-off driveway, no parking spaces are part of the planned mixed-use development. So, one of the conditions of the city’s site plan approval is an agreement between the developer and an owner of parking spaces to provide at least 98 off-site spaces for Bahia Cabana Hotel.