A surprisingly quick reconfiguration of a portion of a proposed hotel and condominium development has helped win the approval of the City Council and the project’s neighbors. Construction is expected to be kickstarted in the coming months.
During its regular meeting Monday evening, the Palm Springs City Council gave unanimous approval to revisions presented by developers of the Dream Hotel project near the city’s convention center. The amended plans reflect a height reduction of more than 22 feet for buildings within approximately 200 feet of an adjacent condominium complex.
“Our concerns were heard, and our needs were addressed,” said Thomas Boudrot, a resident of the Center Court Condominiums, noting as he spoke to the council Monday evening that he and his neighbors were now in full support of the project. “The revised northeast section is in scale with our west-facing units and is similar to what was approved in 2019.”
At issue were the latest plans for a hotel and condominium project making their way through City Hall since last year. Specifically concerning for Boudrot and his Center Court neighbors was the height of a proposed northern tower holding a dozen planned condominiums — 46 feet — which they said would “suffocate” their homes and ruin their views.
The developer has maintained the housing units are needed in order to help finance the project. Hoping to get construction back underway as soon as possible, Selene Palm Springs LLC was initially reluctant to commit to reconfiguring the project and bringing it back before the council when asked to at a May 11 council meeting.
“It takes months to redesign a project,” said Lauri Kibby, who is managing the project, during that May 11 meeting as she contemplated whether the plans could be redrawn in just four weeks. On Monday, she credited the project’s architect for making that happen.
“Friday morning, we got on the phone with him, and by Monday morning, we had new designs,” Kibby said.
The project was originally proposed as a 200-room hotel and 143 residences. Some work has been completed at the site, but the pandemic and an ensuing legal battle with a contractor forced that work to halt. As currently designed, plans call for 156 hotel rooms and 69 condominiums.
Kibby told councilmembers Monday evening that while the restart of construction might be delayed by 30 days to accommodate the new designs, she still hopes to open the doors by the end of 2026.
Concluded Councilmember Lisa Middleton: “It gives all of us renewed hope that this project will, in fact, be completed.”
Editor’s note: A story in our newsletter Monday indicated the developers had rejected all requests from the City Council made during a meeting last month. They had in fact rejected all but the request to lower some building heights. It was not clear that a staff report stating “The Developer has rejected all of these revisions” applied only to proposed changes to the settlement agreement and not the building heights.