It's official. The Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort will undergo a major facelift and renovation project this summer and reopen in the fall of 2015.
The Longboat Key Town Commission approved the project, which asks for 85 of the town’s 250 tourism unit pool as part of a $30 million renovation-and-expansion project. The six commissioners in attendance voted to approve the project. Mayor Jim Brown was ill and unable to attend the meeting.
Delray Beach-based Ocean Properties Ltd., owner of the Hilton and the Resort at Longboat Key Club, submitted a site plan application in September for its long anticipated project.
The Hilton project is the first applicant to take advantage of the town-wide 250 tourism until pool that’s been waiting for applicants to apply for additional units since 2008.
The site plan application submitted Sept. 4 calls for redeveloping existing Hilton buildings and the 102-rooms that currently sit on the site, while also acquiring 85 of the town’s additional tourism units that would be used for a new tower on the property.
The application states: “The Longboat Key hotel must be completely redeveloped and modernized to attract the affluent, upscale visitors that historically supported the local economy of Longboat Key.”
Pending approval, the project could begin in the first or second quarter of 2014.
Town Manager Dave Bullock and town planning staff worked with Hilton project engineers as needed throughout the summer to help move the process along. The application as submitted doesn’t require any departures from town codes.
The project and it’s anticipated filing is a longtime coming.
The commission approved an ordinance that modifies the outline development process (ODP) that distributes the pool of 250 tourism units earlier this year. And in May, Planning and Zoning Board members reviewed code and Comprehensive Plan changes that now allow the Hilton to seek a fifth floor and an additional 15-feet in height as part of its project through the site plan process.
The changes were needed because town code previously didn’t allow Hilton officials to make such a request because a judge has ruled the town’s ODP process can’t be used to approve such a project until the town makes sweeping code and Comprehensive Plan changes.
The change allows the Hilton and other T-6 zoning (six tourism units per acre) properties to request to redevelop through the site plan process.
Fore more information, pick up a copy of Thursday's Longboat Observer.
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