The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners approved the unanimous recommendation by a County Selection Committee that Related Companies, L.P. develop the 400-room Palm Beach County Convention Center Hotel in West Palm Beach, Fla. using the Hilton Hotels brand.
The New York-based real estate development company is known for building the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan and CityPlace, the $600 million retail and entertainment center in Downtown West Palm Beach.
“Related is thrilled to have been selected as the developer of the convention center hotel in Palm Beach County and to continue to realize the CityPlace master plan,” said Stephen M. Ross, Chairman and CEO of Related Companies. “There is no doubt that the hotel is a lynchpin to the success of the county’s very significant investment in the convention center and will be a powerful tourism attractor and key amenity. The development will create over 600 much-needed jobs and give West Palm Beach an important edge in the very competitive meetings and hospitality sectors.”
Related’s development team includes Hilton Worldwide; Coastal Construction and Catafulmo Construction; and Coral Gables-based architects Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, Inc. Key factors that led to Related’s unanimous ranking include the significant financial strength of the company; the team’s relevant experience and qualifications; their demonstrated success executing high-profile public/private projects; their local investment in CityPlace and its operations; the collaborative and successful relationship with the City of West Palm Beach; and their development plan that not only complements the site but provides for an expansion in the future.
“Hilton Worldwide is proud to have a role in this important project for Palm Beach County and to be a part of the exceptional team that is collaborating with Related Companies to develop a first class convention center hotel for the destination,” said Ted Ratcliff, SVP Operations - Eastern North America.
“This project is expected to have a positive economic impact on Palm Beach County’s residents through the direct creation of over 360 full time construction jobs over a two year period, 300 permanent full-time jobs once the facility is operational and the realization of the full potential of the existing Convention Center,” said Shannon LaRocque-Baas, Assistant County Administrator for Palm Beach County. “The unanimous support by the Board of County Commissioners to begin negotiations with the Related Companies ensures that we are on the right track to success.”
Palm Beach County will now begin financing discussion and contract negotiations with The Related Companies, which is expected to take four to six months.
“We are proud to have played a role in West Palm Beach’s resurgence for over a decade and the creation of the convention center hotel is crucial to the sustained economic success of CityPlace, the convention center and the Downtown West Palm Beach,” said Kenneth A. Himmel, president and CEO of Related Urban a subsidiary of Related Companies and managing partner of CityPlace Partners. “These elements will all work in concert to position Palm Beach County for the future and build an even stronger local economy with increased opportunity.”