Saturday, March 2

4-story Hilton hotel approved for downtown Stuart

Commissioners on Monday approved a four-story Hilton hotel in downtown Stuart.

The project, called the Creekside Hotel & Retail, includes 102 rooms as well as an accompanying retail and restaurant building.

It will sit on 1.62 acres of land along South Colorado Avenue just South of the Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard roundabout.

Commissioners heard dozens of people wanting it and some in opposition. Then commissioners then approved the project 4-1.

“This is an office complex, there are other four-story buildings,” Vice Mayor Campbell Rich said. 

Commissioner Christopher Collins was the only one to vote in opposition.

“It’s not that charming little place that you used to have,” Doug Barnes, who has lived in Stuart for 20 years and said he’s opposed to the project.

 

Barnes lives down the road from where the hotel will be located.

“Without this hotel what’s it like living here now?” WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked.

“It’s tough now, there’s a lot of traffic,” Barnes said. “They just cram more and more stuff in here.”

Among the amendments during approval, developers are asked to apply for yearly minimal mangrove trimming with the Department of Environmental Protection.

They are being asked to reduce their number of electric vehicle charging stations from 12 to six (two on site, four off site)

Live music will be prohibited by the pool area and music will be limited from dawn to two hours after dusk.

In an effort to restore Frazier Creek, which runs behind the project, developers are being asked to remove exotic plants along the creek.

 

“They’re talking about leaving a lot of the native plants there, using baffle boxes to make sure the water is clean, and that the creek is not contaminated,” Jennifer Holmes said. “At first It was a lot to think about and iI know a lot of the local residents that have been living in this neighborhood here were concerned about traffic and parking and safety, and also the noise.”

Holmes is the co-owner of Hani Honey, which is in a retail strip just across the road from where the hotel will be built.

They say they’re a honey company, cafe, eatery, retail shop and Meadery with bubble tea.

“I think they’re doing the best they can to grow and leave our city still very charming,” Holmes said. “It could be something else that isn’t desirable, and I feel like this could be a nice fit for our community.”

A concern of Holmes is that she’ll have to share a garage with hotel guests.

“There are days when we park in there and the first few floors are already full, and this is prior to having 102 rooms,” Holmes said.

 

Developers expect to break ground in 2025.

“I think we should support that growth with those safety measures in mind and making sure that we can bring in new people to visit our beautiful town, shop in our beautiful town, eat in our beautiful town, but also make sure that pedestrians are safe, there’s parking for everyone and we can absorb that growth in a timely manner,” Holmes said.

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