The Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort is getting a complete makeover and more beds.
Town staff met Tuesday afternoon with Andy Berger, vice president of operations of the Delray Beach-based Ocean Properties Ltd., which owns the Longboat Key Hilton, attorney John Patterson and architect John Wurst, of the Coral Gables firm, Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, to discuss how to proceed with the plan.
“Ocean Properties has decided to go forward as rapidly as possible,” Patterson told the Longboat Observer. “We’re hoping for commencement of construction in May 2013. That’s the end result we have to get to.”
Current plans for the Hilton include tearing down existing structures, with the exception of the northern-most building, which will be completely renovated. The new Hilton would bring guests through a reception area with water features and include a large courtyard; angled rooms that maximize waterfront views and meeting space approximately double the current 1,500 square feet. Building heights would not change, remaining at the current 55 feet over parking.
“Overall, it’s a very contemporary look,” Wurst said.
Drawings for plans could be finalized within six weeks to two months. Ocean Properties will most likely file its application with the town in December. It will then go through the outline-development plan and site-plan processes separately to allow construction to begin in May.
The resort will close for between nine and 12 months during construction.
If plans for the Hilton are approved, the resort would be the first property to receive additional tourism units from a pool of 250 tourism units available Key-wide that were created in 2008 via a referenda vote. The resort submitted an application to the Planning Zoning & Building Department in August 2009 for 85 additional units, however, the application was never deemed complete.
Berger and Patterson met with town officials to discuss plans in March. At the time, they cited improvements to the hospitality industry and the overall economy as key factors in the decision to move forward.
Ocean Properties Ltd. owns 37 properties in Florida and more than 100 in the United States and Canada. Locally, in addition to the Longboat Key Hilton, it owns the Lido Beach Resort and the Holiday Inn Lido Key. The Longboat Key Hilton was first built in 1972 and currently has 102 rooms.