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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

SARASOTA, FL-Developers of the upscale Proscenium mixed-use project plan to bring a touch of Paris to Southwest Florida. A Guerlain Spa boutique will be included as part of the planned Waldorf-Astoria hotel on the six-acre urban site.

Lion’s Gate Development disclosed plans in March for the 225-room Waldorf-Astoria Sarasota, to be operated by Hilton Hotels Corp., as part of the $1-billion project to be completed by the end of 2010. The 18-story, ultra-luxury hotel will be joined by an 800-seat performing arts center, condo and loft residences, and a broad array of retail, restaurant and entertainment. A 300,000-square-foot office component is also planned that, upon completion, will be the largest in Downtown Sarasota.

“A Guerlian Spa will be the finishing touch to our future landmark hotel,” says Gary Moyer, president of Lion’s Gate, who is developing Proscenium with Karen Cook, Zeb Portanova and Allen Ostroff. He added that the spa will be available to the public, giving clients from as far away as Naples and Tampa access to the same amenities offered to Waldorf-Astoria guests.

The 180-year-old Guerlian Spa places skincare squarely at the center of its existence and is named for Pierre Francois Pascal Guerlain, a chemist who discovered the use of natural materials in beauty products. Beyond its Paris headquarters, there are five other Guerlian Spas in Europe and Asia.

Guerlain Spa is expanding its association with Waldorf-Astoria beyond their first boutique that opened last December at the landmark New York City hotel. Spa Chakra Inc. will develop and manage both Guerlain locations in Manhattan and Sarasota, as well as a third North American location planned at the Regent International Hotel in Bal Harbour, FL.

Mike Canizales, chairman and CEO of Spa Chakra, says the Proscenium addition extends its partnership with Waldorf-Astoria and Hilton Hotels in “sublime destinations” as well as the world’s largest cities. “We look forward to providing an exclusive and totally indulgent spa experience for hotel guests and visitors alike at this idyllic location,” he says.

Sarasota’s Guerlian Spa will occupy 12,000 sf at the Proscenium, with nearly 7,400 sf devoted to treatment rooms plus a 3,000-sf fitness center. Spa services will be available to both women and men.

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