DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - The landscape in the heart of Delray Beach is on the verge of change. City officials and developers have broken ground on a new 134-guest room hotel which, they said, is evidence that there are bright spots, even in a lagging economy.
The groundbreaking took place Wednesday evening at 104 Northeast 2nd Avenue, the home of the new Hyatt Place. When complete, there will be nearly 900 hotel rooms in the city of Delray Beach. City officials hope that each one of those rooms will pump more money into the local economy.
Scott Webb, president of West Palm Beach-based Kolter Commercial Group is leading the newest venture. Crews will begin excavation as early as next week to make way for the Hyatt Place hotel. Webb said that this property is the first of its kind developed in Palm Beach County since 2009. "You have all the amenities and factors you need with a hotel and this site is just perfect," said Webb.
Laurie Hollar owns Trendy Apparel, directly across the street from the construction site in an up and coming arts district known as Pineapple Grove. "We like the location. There's always something going on the avenue," Hollar said.
Hollar and other nearby business owners are hoping the hustle and bustle of busy Atlantic Avenue will spill over into Pineapple Grove, just a few blocks to the north. "It's just what the doctor ordered, basically. If the Avenue thrives, I can't see why Pineapple Grove can't do the same thing," said Geri Cue, owner of Pilates by Geri.
Kolter Commercial is the owner of the new Hyatt Place. Webb said the hotel is expected to bring between 35 and 50 new jobs to this area. A grand opening is set for September 2012.
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