West Palm Beach, Fla. (November 10, 2022) – BD Hotels, founded by Richard Born and Ira Drukier, and Sean MacPherson join NDT Development, Place Projects, and Wheelock Street Capital to develop and operate a hotel on North Railroad Avenue in the Nora District.
Born, Drukier, and MacPherson are collectively behind some of New York City’s most iconic hotels like The Bowery, The Jane, The Ludlow, and The Maritime. In 2016, the trio, in partnership with Wheelock Street Capital, took over the historic Chelsea Hotel, which recently reopened.
The partners are well-known for implementing timeless designs and strong culinary programs to go with top-notch hospitality. Many of their hotels are credited for driving culture and helping spark revitalization in previously underdeveloped and overlooked areas of Manhattan.
“Hotels are often the nucleus of a neighborhood, the site that serves as ground zero for defining the identity of a destination,” says Born. “Just as The Mercer did for Soho or The Bowery for the East Village. We’re bringing an A-list product to West Palm Beach at a perfect time, when it’s experiencing a boom and becoming a highly sought-after city. The attractive vision established by Nora’s development team is a perfect fit for us, one that takes a highly curated retail, restaurant, and hospitality environment on North Railroad Avenue and combines it with a dense ground-up development program nicely situated nearby.”
Recognized for their under-the-radar approach, Born and MacPherson are working closely with the Nora development team to create the bespoke hotel and destination experience that is set to transform the hospitality landscape of West Palm Beach.
“A BD and Sean MacPherson hotel offering is a natural fit for our vision for Nora and will help usher in a new vibe and aesthetic that does not currently exist in West Palm,” says Ned Grace, co-founder and managing partner of NDT Development. “By bringing in best-in-class operators like Richard and Sean, we’re maximizing all opportunities to create a destination that contributes to West Palm’s growth.”
The Nora development team acquired the future hotel site located at 1021 North Railroad Avenue in July 2022. While plans are still in development, the initial concept is for a five-story hotel with approximately 175 keys, a rooftop pool, bar, and restaurant, along with a signature ground-floor restaurant and bar and additional retail space.
“Having BD Hotels and Sean on board is a testament to the quality and taste level being delivered in Nora,” says Joe Furst, founder of Place Projects. “There is an incredible synergy between all the teams involved in this project. Richard and Sean share so many of our values when it comes to placemaking, and we’re developing a district with its own vibrancy and character that is different from any existing amenity set in this market.”
The hotel project in Nora marks the second hospitality project in West Palm Beach for Wheelock Street Capital, who recently acquired The Ben in 2021, and the second partnership with BD Hotels and MacPherson.
“We look forward to growing our relationship with BD Hotels and Sean and embarking on another hotel project in the downtown as part of the Nora District redevelopment,” says Rick Kleeman, founder and managing partner at Wheelock Street Capital. “The introduction of BD and Sean to the market marks a major milestone for West Palm Beach and further solidifies Nora’s path in becoming the area’s premier neighborhood.”