Positive Public Opinion for Proposed Wilton Hotel

Rendering courtesy of Wilton Hotel & Pool Club.

Plans for a hotel on Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors are getting a lot of positive feedback. The first look came last month, when CANA invited the developer to discuss the proposal. The room was packed and reception for the 123 room hotel, set to be built on the site of the old funeral home, was good.

Called the Wilton Hotel & Pool Club, it will feature huge murals and artwork by local artists and the pool deck will be open to the community.

Now that residents have had a couple of weeks to discuss the proposal, OutSFL reached out to major stakeholders in the community for their take. It’s important to note that this is a “snapshot” of opinion at this phase of development. As plans change, opinions may change as well.

Some responses have been gently edited for clarity.

Elected Leaders

All members of the Wilton Manors City Commission are generally positive.

Mayor Scott Newton: “I think it's a great place for a hotel. I think it looks pretty good. I believe it's something the city needs. [We] will have to see what happens.”

Vice Mayor Mike Bracchi: “I am delighted to express my support for the idea of a boutique hotel with rooftop pool being built in our city. Such a development would not only enhance our local economy and create new job opportunities, but also attract LGBTQ+ tourists and visitors to experience the unique charm of Wilton Manors. This boutique hotel would complement our vibrant community, and I believe it will be a wonderful addition that contributes to the overall growth and prosperity of our city.”

Commissioner Paul Rolli: “I am, and have always been, supportive of a hotel in the city.  I think this is a great location as it is close to everything. At first glance, the general concept and the look of the building in the public plans shared by the developer looks fine. As the actual plans move through the approval process, things could change.  While I think initially the building will stand out a little, as development continues and new buildings are built higher than one story, it will fit into the final vision.”

Commissioner Chris Caputo: “The location is perfect. It is completely walkable to our Dixie Hwy. theater district and all the dining and nightlife available on Wilton Drive. In addition, the Venue (aka Manor) and the hotel will be able to work together for weekday conference business. They have always had the capacity and ability to host trade shows/meetings but lacked a nearby hotel. The end result is a hotel that will bring foot traffic seven days a week. It will also potentially reduce the demand for Airbnbs in our residential neighborhoods! As far as the design, I think it’s very stylish and will fit in well in Wilton Manors. I particularly like the inclusion of art in the design and the rooftop pool club component.”

Commissioner Don D’Arminio: “Wilton Manors has become an international tourist destination. This hotel will not only benefit our residents & businesses, but will create jobs and strengthen our local economy.”

Welcome To the Neighborhood

Businesses in the area seem open to the idea as well. CANA (Central Area Neighborhood Association) President Bill Desautels told OutSFL that their invitation to the developers is not a de facto endorsement of the project, but rather an opportunity for the developers to meet the community.

Speaking on behalf of CANA, he did say the community is enthusiastic and a project like this should be in the neighborhood.

“It’s almost as ideal a location as you can get in Wilton Manors.”

(Full disclosure: Desautels also sits on the city’s Planning & Zoning board, which will eventually review the plans.)

Down the street from the site is HotSpots!/WMEG/Happening Out World Headquarters. CEO Jeffery Sterling says he’s only glanced at the project, but is generally supportive.

“It is needed and it’s a great location. I like the open access to the pool area. My only negative is there’s not enough parking. They should be allowed to add a floor or two of parking. Otherwise it's another place that needs public parking to survive.”

The hotel will be in the backyard of Bona Italian restaurant. Co-owner Glen Weinzimer is supportive of this particular project, but is worried about the tone it sets as more development comes to the city.

“It’s exciting to see a boutique hotel be slated where the old funeral parlor was on Dixie Highway. I hope the planners are smart enough to limit this type of development in Wilton Manors to the 26th St. corridor and off The Drive, which is already congested. I’m worried that investors are going to do to Wilton Manors what they did to South Beach, and Key West and lose our uniqueness to greed.”


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Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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