Attorney and developer John Meshad’s JWM Management Inc., a Sarasota-based commercial development firm, submitted to the city May 30 plans to build a 10-story hotel and apartment tower at one of downtown’s most visible corners.
The preliminary plan for the project, named “One Palm,” at the corner of Palm Avenue and Ringling Boulevard, features a hotel and apartment units surrounding a courtyard area.
The project is slated for one acre of vacant land at the southern corner of a 2.95-acre property at 240 S. Pineapple Ave. The property has sat undeveloped since 1986, when plans to develop a hotel on the site fell through. At that time, when construction at the office plaza began, the project was slated to also contain a pair of office towers and a 250-room Radisson Hotel. But Radisson withdrew form the project when developer JBS Ltd. defaulted on a loan and could no afford to build the project.
In addition to the vacant tract, the property currently houses a parking lot and three existing buildings, including a two-story office building; an 11-story, 129,000-square-foot office tower; and an eight-level parking garage, which will be tied into the hotel and apartment project.
The floor plan submitted to the city shows a tower on the vacant parcel with a hotel lobby and drop off facing Ringling Boulevard, and an apartment lobby facing Palm Avenue. The 2.95-acre property last changed ownership in 2006 when Michigan-based real-estate firm Triton Inc. purchased it for $15 million. Triton’s 111-unit luxury condo tower planned in 2006, also called “One Palm,” was never built.
“That was the site of (proposed condos) during that time when a lot of proposed projects didn’t get built,” said longtime downtown commercial broker John Harshman.
Harshman said the location is ideal for a mixed-use building with a hotel.
“When you go to a resort, you want to be near the water, and Ringling and Pineapple is a pretty dynamic location,” Harshman said.
JWM Management Inc. will go before the Sarasota Planning Board June 12, to seek three adjustments for the One Palm project.
Current plans submitted to the city show only a preliminary outline for the project and do not list the number of hotel rooms or apartment units.
The developer is seeking an adjustment that would allow the 10-story building to be placed 8.5 feet from Ringling Boulevard to accommodate a water drainage pipe, and another adjustment allowing the developer to keep a 42-inch-wide grand oak tree and wrap the edge of the building around the tree. JWM Management is also requesting a smaller awning than mandated in the city’s code for the front of the building.
City planning staff has recommended approval of all three adjustments, but now the project must obtain planning board approval. If the planning board approves the adjustments, the developer would submit more detailed plans for city staff to review administratively, said Courtney Mendez, Sarasota senior planner.
JWM Management Inc. owns and manages more than 1 million square feet of commercial space in Sarasota and Atlanta. The company also developed the St. Regis hotel in Atlanta.
IF YOU GO
PLANNING BOARD MEETING
When: 6 p.m. June 12
Where: City Hall Commission Chambers, 1565 First St., Sarasota
What: The developer will be seeking three adjustments