11063021094?profile=RESIZE_710xA bridge connects the 164-room Mandarin Oriental hotel to the building that will house 85 residences on the left as part of the Via Mizner complex at the northeast corner of Federal and Camino Real. The 366-unit apartment building at right opened in 2016. Rendering provided

By Mary Hladky

The ultra-luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel and branded residences will open by the end of this year, eight years after Penn-Florida Cos. announced plans for the downtown project.
Both buildings will be completed during the fourth quarter, Penn-Florida Chief Operating Officer David Warne said in late March.

A Mandarin Oriental leadership team that includes a hotel manager and heads of food and beverages and finance is now in place, he said.

The project, which Boca Raton-based Penn-Florida says is valued in excess of $1 billion, rose from the ground slowly, but the pace of construction picked up at the end of last year.

When the hotel and residences were announced in 2015, the company said they would be completed by late 2017. Over time, that date was pushed to 2019, 2020 and 2022.

But Warne does not acknowledge delay, saying that while the COVID-19 pandemic did cause some disruption, completion is only a few months behind schedule.
“It is a large and complex project,” he said. “Nothing slowed it down, really.”

When the three-building project, known as Via Mizner, was announced, the downtown was in the midst of a building boom that stirred the ire of many residents who complained of overdevelopment and unwanted changes in the downtown’s character.

But the 12-story Via Mizner was spared their wrath because many saw a Mandarin Oriental hotel and residences as highly desirable additions to the city.

Relatively few cities can claim that distinction. Mandarin Oriental has 36 hotels worldwide, while nine residences are in operation and 12 are in development.
The project’s first phase was 101 Via Mizner, a 366-unit luxury apartment building at the intersection of Federal Highway and Camino Real. It opened in 2016.
The 164-room hotel is immediately to its north and includes a luxury spa and private Via Mizner City Club. Members will have access to the hotel’s rooftop pools, spa, restaurants and bars.

The 85 residences north of the hotel range in size up to more than 10,000 square feet and feature private elevators, terraces, outdoor kitchens and a skybridge that connects the residences to the hotel.

More than 90% are sold, Warne said. About half of the owners are locals and the rest are from the Northeast and California who flocked to Florida during the pandemic.

“We are very fortunate with in-migration and growth in south Palm Beach County which will benefit our project,” he said. “We think the timing is outstanding.”
The condo owners will have access to all that the hotel provides, including use of concierge, cleaning and valet services. They can get room service or have a chef prepare meals in their units.

The Via Mizner Golf Club, redesigned by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, is about 3 miles west at 6200 Boca Del Mar Drive. It features an 18-hole championship course, driving range, putting green, pro shop and professional instruction, with no tee times required.
Rounding out the project will be 65,000 square feet of retail and restaurants. Penn-Florida aims to create an impressive shopping area that will attract patrons from throughout South Florida.

Warne did not divulge any specifics but said announcements about tenants would be coming later this spring or summer.

“We are talking to luxury brands and high-end retail,” he said. Ú

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  • completion is 6 years behind initial schedule and warne does not acknowledge delay. i see cranes up and no activity on u a 1 at the site. i see no progress for a year, at least. (i see other cranes downtown which have been idle for at least 7 months. ) More than 90% are sold, Warne said. so why have the cranes been idle for a year?

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