Vertical Horizon – Hotels coming to Sarasota in 2014-2016
by: David Conway
North Palm Avenue and Cocoanut Avenue
When a city committee selected Floridays Development Co.’s proposal for a hotel at the corner of North Palm Avenue and Cocoanut Avenue in 2012, it was with assurances the ensuing project would be attention-grabbing.
Floridays founder and Sarasota resident Angus Rogers said he was excited to bring his company’s work to his hometown, and he promised a signature hotel that would stand out as one of the best in the state. Now, the company has provided renderings of what its vision for that hotel looks like.
“We wanted to keep it as timeless a design as anything,” Rogers said. “We’re certainly very excited about what this is going to look like as part of the skyline in the arts district.”
Although the city chose Floridays’ concept for a boutique hotel on the property next to the Palm Avenue garage two years ago, the project has been in a state of limbo for much of the time since.
Another firm that sought to develop the same land filed a suit that prevented Floridays from moving forward before dropping it last year. Other elements of the redevelopment agreement with the city still need to be addressed, but Rogers said he hoped to begin construction later this year.
TARGET COMPLETION DATE: Season 2016
Second Street and North Tamiami Trail
Jim Bridges’ firm, Jebco Ventures, was a strong contender for the property that eventually went to Floridays in 2012, but Bridges didn’t abandon his plans for downtown Sarasota.
Jebco Ventures, which is also behind the Ringling Boulevard housing complex The Q, announced plans to build an 18-story Embassy Suites hotel along U.S. 41 last year. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall, with a targeted completion date of winter 2015-16.
In addition to the 200-suite hotel, the building is slated to include a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, a 4,000-square-foot ballroom and a six-story, 200-space parking garage.
Jebco Ventures was the most recent company to announce its intentions to construct a hotel in downtown Sarasota. It submitted planning documents to the city last August, but Bridges said he wasn’t concerned about a potential overcrowded market.
“We looked at the surveys we’ve done, and the timing’s right,” Bridges said.
TARGET COMPLETION DATE: Winter 2015-16
North Gulfstream Avenue and North Tamiami Trail
The Vue Sarasota Bay development was mired in controversy earlier this year due to a traffic study, but construction is now underway on the condominium and hotel project.
Located at the busy intersection of U.S. 41 and North Gulfstream Avenue, residents of nearby condominiums questioned whether initial traffic studies — which the city was poised to approve — adequately measured and mitigated the impact of the new development, which will feature 275 hotel rooms and 144 condominium units.
The Kolter Group, the development firm behind the twin 18-story tower project, had targeted a vertical construction date of around June at the beginning of the year. Although the traffic study issues caused a slight delay in the project, work on the site officially began earlier this summer, with vertical construction scheduled to begin before the year’s end.
TARGET COMPLETION DATE: Late 2016
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Main Street and North Washington Boulevard
It was a split decision, but the Sarasota County Commission moved forward with the proposed development of a Kimpton Hotel at U.S. 301 and Main Street earlier this year.
The project came about as the County Commission looked to get county-owned properties out of the government’s hands and onto the tax roll last year. SHD Partners, a development group including Sarasota company Civix, targeted a property at 20 N. Washington Blvd.
In summer 2013, Civix teamed up with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants as it planned to construct a 10-story, 150-room hotel on the .95-acre tract. The planned Sarasota hotel is geared toward business clientele.
Some commissioners expressed a concern that the hotel proposal could fall through after the Dec. 31 closing date on a land swap between the county and SHD Partners, but Civix President Rod Connelly says the group is committed to its plans — even as the competition grows.
“It doesn’t impact us,” Connelly said of the other plans. “We’re full steam ahead, and we’re a different model than your typical hotel.”
TARGET COMPLETION DATE: October 2016
South Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard
Construction began on Aloft Sarasota, the first downtown hotel to break ground since the recession, at the beginning of the year.
The 139-room hotel is part of a larger mixed-use development, One Palm, which also includes 140 apartment units. The hotel is expected to open in August 2015.
The project is spearheaded by JWM Management Inc., Sarasota attorney John Meshad commercial development firm. The company originally submitted plans for the 10-story building last summer, but the site was targeted for housing and hotel projects even earlier than that.
The property has been undeveloped since 1986, when a planned 250-room Radisson Hotel development failed to come to fruition. Another firm planned to construct a luxury condo tower on the site before the last sale of the land in 2006.
TARGET COMPLETION DATE: August 2015
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