Developer Hardial Sibia’s plan to build a four-story, 93-room Holiday Inn Express in Boynton Beach was approved last Tuesday after six years of opposition from residents that live at the nearby Palm Beach Leisureville—a senior community located a few blocks from the site.
Despite more than 1,400 Leisureville residents having signed petitions and staging protests to try and stop the construction, Boynton Beach commissioners voted to approve the project in a 3-2 vote. The activists are worried about increased traffic posing a danger to pedestrians as well as declining property values and even crime that the hotel could bring into the neighborhood, according to a Sun Sentinel report. The widening of 500 feet of Ocean Drive off of Congress Avenue, to help the flow of traffic to the hotel, is also among their concerns.
Original plans included a bar, a restaurant and a banquet room but these have been eliminated in order to decrease noise.
The hotel, to be built near the Leisureville entrance at 2001 W. Ocean Drive, was also initially planned to rise five stories. The city commission had approved it although the legal limit in the area is four stories, but in 2007, the city’s planning and development board recommended against the variance – The Real Deal.
Sibia has had the land for 10 years and city officials granted Sibia a variance for the project six years ago but he opted to delay the project until the real estate market returned. Now, the developer expects construction to start in January.
Photo courtesy of striderp64 via Flickr