By Josh Salman via Herald Tribune
Developers have razed a small retail building on North Tamiami Trail to make way for a new 18-story hotel, capitalizing on a surge in Florida travel and a move that will restore rooms lost over the past decade.
Jebco Ventures Inc. hopes to begin the long-awaited Embassy Suites hotel by early April, with completion slated for late 2016.
The new Embassy Suites would become the third major downtown lodging property to be constructed since the economy’s prolonged slump, joining a pair of Starwood- branded hotels within Sarasota’s urban core.
The three downtown hotels would bring nearly 600 new rooms to the market during the next two years.
Some industry observers, however, predict the trio of towers now advancing will satisfy the pent-up demand that has plagued the region’s tourism industry — and possibly halt the handful of other hospitality projects that have been proposed for the area.
“Our plans for all practical purposes are complete,” Jebco CEO Jim Bridges said. “I still think the timing of this project is very good.”
Jebco Ventures has received a demolition permit for 202 and 204 N. Tamiami Trail, and a building housing a small cabinet retailer has been bulldozed. A company tied to Bridges bought the land for $3 million in 2005.
The $40 million hotel he plans to build is designed to contain 180 suites, 8,000 square feet of ballroom space, a restaurant, swimming pool and a 200-car parking garage.