June 2, 2023


Just Do Travel

Hotel, residences at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens? City taking first steps

The changes would be the latest in the makeover of the retail and restaurant complex off PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens.

PALM BEACH GARDENS — City officials have approved the first readings of two ordinances that could bring apartments and a hotel to the Downtown Palm Beach Gardens shopping and entertainment complex.   

The City Council on Thursday gave preliminary approvals to a zoning change and a land-use amendment for the 49-acre site at the intersection of Alternate State Road A1A and PGA Boulevard.

Both would allow a mix of uses on land now designated for business buildings. The site’s owner, Excel Gardens LLC, wants a land-use designation change to mixed-use from professional office, as well as a rezoning of the property to mixed use from general commercial and professional office space.

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Hotel with 174 rooms, tower with 280 residences considered

The land use and zoning changes are pending final approval, with the city’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board scheduled to hear two related petitions at its meeting Tuesday. 

According to city documents, Excel Gardens is petitioning for a planned community development amendment that would allow for the construction of residential properties and a hotel at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens.

It is also petitioning for a site plan amendment that would accommodate a 167,006-square-foot mixed use tower with a 174-room hotel and a 280-dwelling unit multi-family residential tower, city documents show.  

The requests come as the outdoor shopping and entertainment complex nears the completion of a $1.18 million renovation that will include new stores, a four-story parking garage and new tropical landscaping and botanical structures. 

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The renovations are expected to be completed this summer. A resort-style health club, Life Time Athletic, is under construction at the Downtown site and is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Downtown’s parent company has planned for hotel since 2019

Downtown, formerly known as Downtown at the Gardens, opened in 2006 with about 50 stores. The site is currently a mix of retail stores, restaurants and professional office spaces, built around a signature merry-go-round.

Kevin Mysliwiec, senior director of Downtown’s parent company, ShopCore Properties, told the PGA Corridor Association in October 2019 that the company plans to build luxury residences, a boutique hotel and a mixed-use tower on the property. 

“It’s no surprise that the demand and use of retail by consumers has changed,” Mysliwiec said at the time. “Probably half of us, if not three-quarters of us, order something online. A major part of the redevelopment, and the greater challenge, is to understand how to reconstitute the center and actually meet new consumer preferences.”

Like many retailers, Downtown Palm Beach Gardens has faced additional challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic as many customers have opted out of in-person shopping. 

“As we navigate through this pandemic, we continue to look for ways to make the property more inviting, relaxing and safe for our shoppers,” Nina Rogers, vice president of leasing and specialty centers for ShopCore Properties, told The Palm Beach Post in a recent interview.

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