Fairfield Inn to bring hotel rooms, jobs to city

Fairfield Inn to bring hotel rooms, jobs to city

14:01 01 August in News Stories
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February 19, 2014|Fallan Patterson fpatterson@tribune.com

As part of an ongoing effort to revitalize West Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, a groundbreaking ceremony took place Feb. 12 for the 95-room Fairfield Inn.

The hotel will include a limited service café, swimming pool, fitness center and meeting rooms, as well as on-site parking. It is expected to open at the end of the year.

Although construction already began, Prime Group Investors and Developers CEO Larry Abbo wanted to acknowledge the public-private partnership with the city that made the hotel come to fruition.

“The groundbreaking is really a ceremony to celebrate all the partners involved,” he said. “We wanted the opportunity to thank them.”

The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency made the hotel property, which is east of Interstate 95 between Southwest Ninth and 10th avenues on West Atlantic Avenue, available via long-term lease.

Additionally, the organization contributed a $1.5 million construction loan and a $332,348 Development Infrastructure Assistance grant to the project. The hotel was nearly four years in the making.

“This is great news for downtown Delray,” said Diane Colonna, CRA executive director. “Providing visitors additional hotel options gives us the opportunity to expand our tourist base, and potentially extend a business or vacation traveler’s stay.”

Vin Nolan, the city’s economic development director, called the hotel a “lynchpin” for the development occurring on West Atlantic Avenue.

“The economy stalled and all the activity stopped there except for this project,” Nolan said. “It’s important, in respect to showing continued interest in that area.”

All parties involved agreed the Fairfield Inn will drop the average hotel room rate in Delray Beach, a key point to luring tourists and business travelers to the area.

According to the website for the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Boca Raton, rooms will run guests about $179 a night.

“Most of our hotels, until recently, have been beach-side hotels. That’s part of the issue, that we haven’t had affordable rooms,” Nolan said. “The Hyatt (in Pineapple Grove) has helped with that and this will, too.”

That higher price point was the reason Prime Group wanted to build the hotel in Delray Beach.

“The offering in Delray Beach is missing exactly what we’re providing in the market,” Abbo said. “The people who want to enjoy all of what Delray Beach has to offer is having to stay outside the city.”

In addition to attracting more travelers, the new hotel will also create 30 new jobs, most in the hospitality field and mostly sourced locally, Abbo said.

“We’re speaking with local organizations who are putting us in touch with qualified individuals,” he said.

Prime Group is having a Workforce Networking Event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Delray Beach Public Library, 100 W. Atlantic Ave., searching for potential employees in both the hospitality and construction fields.

“We’re hoping it’s going to affect our pertinent residential communities,” Nolan said.

Visit fairfieldinndelray.com.