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Proposed hotel on Ocean Strand gets big buzz

A local developer has started talks about reviving a proposal for a hotel on Ocean Strand.  The vacant property is on both sides of A1A at 2300 N. Ocean Blvd. north of Spanish River Park.

The property owner, the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District, verified they’ve been approached. “But no offer has been made and there’s nothing in writing,” said chairwoman Susan Vogelgesang.

Compson Associates met with district commissioners individually over the last month, she said. The developer has discussed putting a hotel on the 11 acres on the Intracoastal side. A tunnel would connect 3 acres on the beach side for public and hotel access, she said.  She met with the developer several weeks ago.

“They wanted to find out if there’s any interest,” said the district’s interim director Briann Harms. “There’s no formal offer and nothing in writing. We haven’t put feelers out.”

The project isn’t on the agenda for the district’s 5:15 p.m. meeting Monday, March 18 in Sugar Sand Park Community Center. But the district will have the meeting in the larger Willow Theater on the property, Vogelgesang said.

City council would have to be on board, since the district partners with the city, she added.  The property would first have to be rezoned from recreational to commercial, both district sources said.

“It’s a five-year-old plan. It came back up because there was interest there may be a need for it,” Harms said.

Ocean Strand has been discussed as a possible parking and shuttle site for closeby Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. Any plans to develop the property were opposed by neighboring condos in 2011.

By Marci Shatzman

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