New York developers plan 15-story boutique hotel for central Fort Lauderdale beach

A 15-story boutique hotel is now on the drawing boards for Fort Lauderdale’s central beach section, adding to the neighborhood’s growing collection of new projects, which include condo towers and a city marina.

Expected to be built at 3001 Alhambra St., a short distance from the Intracoastal Waterway, The 42 Hotel is a project of a New York development group that operates a boutique hotel bearing the same name in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The group briefly appeared Tuesday morning before the Fort Lauderdale Development Review Committee.

In an interview, the developers say they believe Fort Lauderdale is a prime candidate for upscale hotels that cater to high-income leisure tourists. The 42 Hotel application on file with the city calls for 75 rooms, 47 parking spaces, and a top-floor amenity deck.

“We’re trying to give everything a luxury hotel gives, but in a smaller package,” said Harshad J. Patel, partner in The 42 Hotel with his brother, Nik Patel. “We’re staying in the W right now and you have to walk 10 to 15 minutes to get anywhere. We’ve compacted everything. We’re specializing in smaller hotels — even in New York. It’s just more personalizing. You feel like you’re not staying in a hotel for just a day or so. It’s more like where you’re at home away from home.”

The family business has developed hotels in the New York area for the last 25 years, focusing on boutique hotels in the last five, Nik Patel said.

Fort Lauderdale Beach would be only steps away from The proposed 42 Hotel, a 75-room boutique envisioned by a New York hotel development group.

Rod Stafford Hagwood /

Fort Lauderdale beach would be only steps away from the proposed 42 Hotel, a 75-room boutique envisioned by a New York hotel development group. (Rod Stafford Hagwood/South Florida Sun Sentinel file)

The 42 Hotel location in Fort Lauderdale is west of the fairly new AC Hotel by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach, which stands to the west of the Casablanca restaurant on State Road A1A.

Among other things, an existing structure needs to be demolished for the 42 project to move forward. Fort Lauderdale land use attorney Stephanie Toothaker said the developers intend to schedule a meeting with residents of the Central Beach Alliance to discuss the project.

The site lies one block to the north of the Selene twin tower condo project, which is under construction.

Beau Williams, a principal with 42 Development Group, said that pending approvals,  the group hopes to start demolition of an existing structure within the next year and complete the project in 2026.

He said the firm is “taking cues from the community in terms of design” and following an industry trend toward smaller hotels.

“The tower offers an engaging combination of nautically and tropically inspired elements,” according to the developers’ application with the city. “The building mass is bisected by a fin-like element that terminates at the 15th level amenity deck rooftop, giving the project a distinctive character and place in Fort Lauderdale Beach’s skyline.”

The Fort Lauderale firm Adache Group Architects is the project designer.

“With a smaller hotel it will be more intimate,” Williams said. “This is a 75-room hotel. Everything will be high touch and very personalized. We want you to have zero worries staying at the hotel. That’s basically the angle.”

South Florida tourism is continuing its strong rebound from COVID-19, according to the region’s tourism development agencies, and construction of new hotels in the region has continued largely unabated.

Las Olas boutique eyes December opening

A group led by developers Charlie Ladd of Barron Real Estate and Steve Hudson of Hudson Capital Group are building a nine-story boutique hotel called The Whitfield at 800 Las Olas Blvd., at the northwest corner of the boulevard and Southeast 10th Terrace.

The developers are aiming to open the day before Christmas, even though construction work has yet to progress past the foundation level, Ladd said through a spokeswoman.

The Whitfield is shooting for five-star status with first-floor shops, an intimate whiskey den on the first level below ground, and a second-floor restaurant with a terrace from which patrons can view Las Olas.

The project, which broke ground last year, will feature 140 rooms, a rooftop garden and dining spaces, pool deck and a fitness center and spa.

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