Palm Springs planning panel approves Rael hotel project

A redesigned hotel planned for downtown Palm Springs keeps its modernist DNA, but is now lighter and perhaps more playful with a richer palette of materials and plants.

The changes earned the project by Rael Development — known simply as PS Hotel — an enthusiastic approval by the Palm Springs Planning Commission.

This was certainly not the first time developer Lawrence Rael, the project’s developer, has been before the Planning Commission for approval of this project planned for 4.1 acres of now-empty desert in downtown. As recently as September, the commission would neither approve nor deny the project, but simply said the design needed refinement. The city then put together a subcommittee of commissioners to work closely with Rael and his architects to work through issues like the heaviness and austerity of the large, white cubist building.

Rael plans to break ground in mid-April and begin the 14-month construction process in May.

The development will also include some 27,000 square feet of retail space, a restaurant and parking garage. The layout calls for guest rooms to be distributed across the second-floor deck with private garden spaces around each room.