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The lot at 20 N. Washington Blvd. is currently used as a parking lot for the county services across the street, but could eventually be the home of a 150-room hotel.
Sarasota Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 3 years ago

Developer pitches deal for downtown hotel

by: Alex Mahadevan News Innovation Editor

Plans for a new 150-room luxury hotel with a 120-seat restaurant and two bars in downtown Sarasota could advance Wednesday.

Sarasota County commissioners will consider swapping county-owned property at the corner of U.S. 301 and Main Street with developer Rod Connelly for four parcels further down Main Street at its intersection with Wallace Avenue. The exchange would allow Connelly's firm, SHD Partners LLC, to build a nine-to-10 story Kimpton Hotel at the busy intersection.

The deal also calls for SHD Partners to construct an 86-space parking lot, which a staff presentation shows will cost $495,000, on the Wallace Avenue property, and pay roughly $959,000 to the county at closing. The cash offer and new public parking should offset the $1.5 million difference in the properties' assessed values.

Design, permitting and construction of the hotel project will cost about $40 million with an estimated completion date set for June 2016. Plans include 6,000 square feet of meeting space, a terrace bar and fitness center.

The county declared the site of the proposed hotel as surplus property July 10, after several years of prodding from Commissioner Joe Barbetta to expand the tax roll.

“We’re not in the real-estate business,” Barbetta said during a 2012 interview with the Pelican Press. “You’re never going to sell at the top of the market. The idea is to get (surplus land) back on the tax rolls.”

Commissioners during an Oct. 23 meeting, chose to negotiate with SHD Partners for development of the hotel instead of office space proposed by local developer Wayne Ruben.

“I’m really interested in where the negotiations go on this,” said Commissioner Nora Patterson during the meeting. “If they go well, my interest is getting more hotel rooms in Sarasota County and especially in the downtown area.”

On Wednesday, commissioners will also consider a report from Sarasota County Area Transit staff on bus shelters and requests from Siesta Key property owners for the county to vacate portions of South Shell Road.

What: Sarasota County Commission meeting
When: 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12
Where: Administration Building, Commission Chambers, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota

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