A hotel and condominium linked to the famed Cipriani family will rise in West Palm Beach, bringing a stylish and modern complex to the center of a downtown once known as an old-timey county seat.
In November, Mr. C Hotel & Residences will begin selling 146 luxury condominium units ranging from $2 million to $6 million, with the mid-range price expected to be about $4 million, said David Martin, chief executive of the project’s co-developer, Terra Group in Miami.
The 25-story condo and hotel will be built at 320 Lakeview Ave. and along the east side of South Dixie Highway, stretching from Lakeview to Okeechobee Boulevard.
The 1.3-acre property, which now consists of several old buildings as well as a former BB&T bank branch, was purchased in recent years by the Morrisons, a longtime Palm Beach family and local real estate investor. The Morrisons then partnered with Terra Group.
The Miami-based developer built two Mr. C projects in Coconut Grove, a Mr. C hotel and a sold-out Mr. C Residences. Mr. C, meanwhile, has had its eye on West Palm Beach for the past several years.
The $300 million West Palm Beach Mr. C tower will combine condos with a 110-room hotel, providing the downtown with a new luxury destination for both leisure and business travelers, Martin said.
Hotel rooms are expected to average about $450 per night, with rates rising up to $900 per night during season.
Also coming to the tower: a private, rooftop club open to anyone who wishes to join.
Cipriani project to bring boutique, lifestyle-driven condo to West Palm Beach
Martin, a prolific South Florida developer, said the time was right to bring a boutique, lifestyle-driven condo with a hotel brand to a downtown bursting with new corporate and residential growth. HIs goal is to bring something different.
“A lot of developments have been one-dimensional, pure residential,” Martin said. “I felt that integrating a hospitality use with a residential use will allow residents to get the services of a hotel within a residential setting. It’s unique and something I think West Palm Beach really needed.”
One real estate professional agreed.
“We’re becoming a world-class city. We should have world-class brands,” agreed Christopher Leavitt with the Douglas Elliman real-estate brokerage on Palm Beach.
Branded properties are a concept already big in other major U.S. cities and communities, including in Miami-Dade County. In Surfside, for instance, a Four Seasons operates a hotel and luxury residences.
Martin said a condo with hotel amenities provides a standard of service that condo-only projects just can’t meet. This is especially the case for busy residents who want easy access to dining options, he said.
Leavitt said when he’s selling units in other condominium buildings, “we are constantly being asked, ‘Is there a restaurant in the building?’ “
And although a planned Ritz-Carlton condominium on North Flagler Drive won’t have a hotel in it, Leavitt said brands such as Mr. C and Ritz boost the overall luxury reputation of a community.
Leavitt won’t personally work on Mr. C, although his firm has been hired to handle sales. Regardless, he’s a big fan. He said he frequently drives to the Mr. C hotel in Coconut Grove to dine at the restaurant, visit with friends and stay overnight.
“I would like to be able to drive over the bridge instead of driving to Miami to have fun,” quipped Leavitt, who lives in Palm Beach. “There are a lot of people who are just hungry for this.”
How will the tower fit in to an already crowded corridor?
The Mr. C’s project will be built in a part of the downtown increasingly crowded with high-rises. Traffic also is an issue, especially during rush hour and the winter tourist season.
To the site’s east is the 15-story One City Plaza condominium. To its west is a planned 24-story office tower slated to start construction in 2024 on the city-owned “tent site.”
Nevertheless, Martin said Mr. C is designed by Arquitectonica to maximize views of the water by building up or around other complexes. For instance, floors 16 to 25 will have 360-degree views, including of the ocean to the east.
The Cipriani family has decades-long experience in hospitality
Those who know the Cipriani brand may be familiar with its link to all-things hospitality, including cocktails. In fact, the first Bellini was poured in the summer of 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder and barman of the iconic Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy.
Today, Cipriani is an internationally recognized brand that began in Venice with one hotel and later grew to include restaurants, hotels and event spaces around the world.
In 2008, the family lost a key trademark dispute with Orient-Express Hotels. Soon after, Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, members of the fourth generation of the Cipriani family, developed the Mr. C concept.
In a statement, Ignazio Cipriani called the Mr. C concept a “modern interpretation of old-world sensibilities.”
Mr. C now operates hotels and residences in New York, Beverly Hills, Miami and soon, Dubai.
Mr. C condo details and hotel perks slated for West Palm Beach
Condo units will be feature one to four bedrooms and will range in size from 830 to 2,200 square feet. Martin said the size range will appeal to a variety of buyers, including primary homebuyers, empty-nesters and people purchasing a second, third, fourth or even fifth home.
Of the 146 condos, about 46 will be sold as suites or condos that can be put into the hotel reservation system. These hotel-condos cannot be homesteaded under Florida law.
The 25-story tower also will have different levels for uses.
The first floor eight floors will consist of the lobby, a restaurant and about 46 residential suites for the condo/hotel program. The next 10 floors are dedicated to the condo residences, and then the top seven floors will consist of the hotel, rooftop pool, Bellini restaurant and private club.
The condo’s planned amenities include include a fitness center, spa, yoga studio, dog run, Bocce court, children’s playground and barbeque area.
In addition to the restaurants, the hotel amenities include a ballroom, lounge room and library. Hotel services will be available for condo residents, who also will have their own private club on the eighth floor.
Even though Mr C is a global brand, Martin said he thinks most buyers will come from either Palm Beach County or from the traditional well of homebuyers, the Northeast.
Martin said his deep ties to private equity firms such as Apollo and Blackstone and banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase means that construction financing won’t be an issue. Having the hotel in the project also helps with financing, he said.
The Mr. C tower is expected to begin construction in early 2024 and take about two years to complete, with an opening slated for the first quarter of 2026.
A sales center is being built at 401 S. Olive Ave. in West Palm Beach.