Bring on the Mandarin at Via Mizner; the Other Midtown in Delray
Boca Raton Magazine
Published on 01.16.2018
It takes the perfect blend of colorful history, superb location, iconic architecture and an elite, sophisticated citizenry to create an international destination – a place where every moment is a celebration. This is the essence of Via Mizner, an exclusive, landmark address in the heart of a beloved community, perfectly crafted for world-class lifestyles.
As one of a select few locations worldwide with a residential property bearing the Mandarin Oriental name, The Residences is truly a signature address. Upon arriving at the private entrance lobby, the cascading water element and grand staircase only hint at the striking design and details that abound throughout. Incomparable sophistication is imbued into each of the eighty-nine, light-filled homes that celebrate the Boca Raton lifestyle with absolute comfort and complete security.
For over fifty years, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s reputation for impeccable service, distinctive designs and renowned, holistic spas has been key to its rapid expansion across the globe. Today, the company operates thirty-two hotels and seven Residences at Mandarin Oriental in 23 countries and territories. A dedication to the highest levels of customer satisfaction year after year has garnered Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group a most enviable ranking as a recognized leader in worldwide luxury hospitality.
More than two years after the Boca Raton City Council approved Via Mizner 2 and 3, construction should start soon on the Mandarin Oriental hotel and the adjoining luxury condos that will have privileges at the hotel.
That’s the word from Al Piazza, senior vice-president of development for Penn-Florida Companies. We spoke in late December. The two buildings will join Via Mizner’s first phase —the 366-unit apartment building at Camino Real and Federal Highway. The Mandarin Oriental will be in the middle, with the condos at the north end. All three buildings will face the Boca Raton Resort & Club.
The project, which the company has called “an urban resort,” will bring a new level of distinction to Boca Raton. Mandarin Oriental has only one other location in Florida—Miami—and just five elsewhere in the United States—New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Las Vegas. The chain’s roughly two dozen foreign locations range from Hong Kong to Morocco to Barcelona.
And it all happened, Piazza said, because Penn-Florida President and CEO Mark Gensheimer made a cold call to Mandarin Oriental.
“He was trying to figure out what to do with the project and wanted to give a sense of what the community is all about,” Piazza told me. “He saw a void for a five-star hotel and made the call. That started a dialogue.”
Penn-Florida will own the building and Mandarin will operate the hotel, which Piazza said is typical of properties with the Mandarin brand. It will have 164 rooms and suites. That’s fewer than Miami but more than Atlanta and Boston.
The number of condos was 104 when the council approved the project. It dropped to 85 and settled at 92 as Penn-Florida adjusted the layout. Units will range in size from 1,400 square feet to 9,000 square feet—for the penthouse—and from $2 million to $20 million.
Just who will own those condos may surprise you. Conventional wisdom might be that most buyers would be from outside this area. Actually, Piazza said, he now expects that between 50 percent and 60 percent will be from Boca Raton or just outside the city.
“They’re older and living on the beach or a golf course,” Piazza said, “and want a newer product and less to worry about.” Piazza also rattles off the number of Michelin stars earned by Mandarin restaurants. The brand has had more stars combined than any other hotel chain since at least 2014, according to news reports.
Condos sales are “going really well,” Piazza said, though he declined to give specifics. “We are higher than we thought we’d be” at this point. For the sales center of what the company calls the Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Penn-Florida spent $3.5 million to buy and remake what used to be Old Town Tavern behind the old City Hall.
Council approval of the project was unanimous. Penn-Florida got permission for added height in exchange for adhering to downtown architectural guidelines. The only issue of note was parking. The three buildings will share parking and Penn-Florida has presented a valet plan for the hotel and the condos, which the city had requested.
Piazza said the construction loan for Via Mizner 2 and 3 is $400 million. Penn-Florida hopes to finish the hotel in late 2019, but Piazza said the date “probably” would be early 2020 with the condos “two or three months behind.” He predicts “sporadic” closings of Federal Highway.
Via Mizner 2 and 3 mostly will complete the redevelopment of downtown Boca Raton that began with the Boca City Walk rental complex and the Trader Joe’s plaza on the west side of Federal Highway. The hotel and condos will displace two buildings whose design looks like a combination of Arabian Nights and Boogie Nights. As Penn-Florida markets the project, the company essentially is marketing Boca Raton. It’s a measure of how far the city has come.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Policy for achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising, marketing and sales program which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. The sketches, renderings, pictures, photos, and designs depicted or described herein are conceptual in nature and are not to scale, are based upon preliminary development plans, may depict options, upgrades, features or views not available in all model types and are subject to change without notice in the manner provided in the applicable purchase agreement. No guarantees or representations whatsoever are made that any features, amenities or other facilities will be provided or, if provided, will be of the same type, size, location or nature as depicted or described herein. Any view from a unit or from other portions of the property may in the future be limited or eliminated by future development or forces of nature. Nearby golf courses, open spaces and other areas are not owned or operated by the Developer and there is no guarantee they will be operated or maintained for any particular purpose or in any particular manner. Many of the facilities within the project will not be located within the Residences. Certain facilities or services described herein will be provided by the hotel or club operators or others and may be subject to additional charges. Membership in the Club will be mandatory for unit owners and will require payment of additional dues, fees and costs. A substantial number of Club memberships will be available to non-residents. Business establishments may be sold to third parties, may be used for different purposes, and may change or discontinue operation at any time.
An offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus or in the applicable purchase agreement. Penn-Florida Realty Corporation is the Developer’s exclusive broker for this project. No solicitation, offer or sale of a unit in the Residences will be made in NY, NJ, or in any other jurisdiction in which such activity would be unlawful. Via Mizner Owner III, LLC (“Developer”) is a newly-formed entity, which is the sole offeror of the units being offered for sale as The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton (“Residences”). Penn-Florida Capital Corp. and the other “Penn-Florida Companies” are affiliated with the Developer but are not the developer of the Residences. All statements and any representations herein shall be deemed to have been made solely by Developer. An affiliate of the Developer is developing the adjacent proposed Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton hotel (“Hotel”) and the rental programs, if any, offered to unit owners in the Residences. Neither Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group nor any of its affiliates, nor their respective Officers, Directors, Agents or Employees (collectively, “MOHG”), are in any way owners, offerors, promoters, issuers or underwriters of, or responsible or liable for, or are making any representations or warranties with respect to, the Developer, construction of the Residences, any offering for sale of the real property constituting the Residences, or any increase or return on related investment. MOHG has not assumed and has no liability or responsibility for any financial statements, projections or other financial information contained in any sales and marketing materials, prospectus or similar written or oral statements relating to the Residences. Developer has the sole right and responsibility for the manner and means by which the Residences are sold, and for all representations in relation to the Residences. Developer has obtained rights to use the “Mandarin Oriental” name and trademarks (“MOHG Marks”) in connection with the Residences and the Hotel subject to the terms and conditions of non-exclusive license agreements which may be terminated at any time upon certain occurrences. The right to use the MOHG Marks in connection with the Residences is thus not guaranteed and no such right is included in the Residence being acquired by any purchaser. If any of the relevant agreements are terminated, or Mandarin Oriental ceases to manage the Hotel or Residences for any reason, use of the MOHG Marks in connection with the Hotel and Residences may be terminated at MOHG’s discretion.
The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton (The Residences) are not developed, sponsored, owned, offered or sold by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group or any affiliate thereof (MOHG), and MOHG makes no representation, warranty or guaranty of any kind regarding The Residences. The developers and owners of The Residences use the Mandarin Oriental name and trademarks subject to the terms of revocable licenses from MOHG which may expire or be terminated.
Photographs and artwork are lifestyle photographs and conceptual artist renderings.