1,500-room hotel proposed for downtown West Palm Beach

1,500-room hotel proposed for downtown West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Plans for a new hotel in downtown West Palm Beach are underway, raising questions about its impact on traffic.

Driftwood Hospitality Management, based in North Palm Beach, submitted plans to the city for a 14-floor, 1,500-room hotel. The company described the Canopy by Hilton hotel a lifestyle boutique hotel.

The project is planned for the vacant lot on Trinity Place and South Dixie Highway, right next to Two City Plaza.

Even though the project is still in concept phase, the city has said a traffic study is not necessary or required. Mayor Jeri Muoio credited downtown zoning as a reason.

"I don't think I've ever been in any downtown (city) that doesn't have any traffic, and we like to have traffic," Muoio said. "We like to have people in our downtown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to address the issue."

A representative for the residents of Two City Plaza said he would like to see some sort of study. According to FDOT statistics, 15,000 cars travel on Okeechobee Boulevard near the proposed location and 12,000 cars travel on South Dixie Highway.

Driftwood Hospitality says when planning their hotels they are mindful of their neighbors. As the conversation continues, Driftwood hopes they can work together.

If the city approves plans, the group could break ground late 2016 with an opening set for December 2017.

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