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The special City Commission meeting to consider this proposal for the State Street garage will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 29, at City Hall.
Siesta Key Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 6 years ago

State Street Garage could get hotel, residential space

by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

A 100-room hotel, 30 residential units and 18,000 square feet of retail space — oh, and a few floors of public parking, too.

This is the city’s favored vision for the State Street parking garage, according to agenda documents for a special City Commission meeting to be held Thursday, Aug. 29.

Out of the six proposals the city received for the space at the garage, a review committee recommended Jebco Ventures Inc.’s plan, which would add one floor of residential, two floors of hotel and one floor of private parking space for a total of four floors above the six floors of parking-and-retail space.

Jim Bridges, president and CEO of Jebco Ventures, got involved with the garage about 30 days ago. He said he was already in the process of potentially developing a hotel at a different spot downtown and moved that venture over to the State Street garage when he decided it was a better location. Jebco is also developing an Embassy Suites downtown.

The toughest aspect for Bridges was including a residential component, which required a further addition above the garage; Jebco will cover the cost for all additional floors above the garage. Still, he said, the city was looking for attainable housing downtown, and creating a total mixed-use development was the best way to gain the city’s favor.

According to an Aug. 15 document from Ian Black, a real-estate broker working on the city’s behalf to sell commercial space at the garage, the residential units would have a proposed selling price of about $250,000.

That document, which lists general terms of the development pending the commission’s approval, also says the two-floor hotel should have a flag equivalent to or better than a Hampton Inn and Suites.

Bridges said he doesn’t have any finalized agreements, but that he’s working closely with Hilton Worldwide on the hotel. Hilton owns both Hampton Inn and Embassy Suites.

Another provision outlined in the preliminary general terms is that Jebco would like the same restrictions on retail space as the Palm Avenue garage and would consider any other restrictions on retail usage other than current zoning as “unacceptable.”

Last month, the Downtown Improvement District recommended a restriction so that restaurants occupy no more than 40% of the retail space at the garage.

Bridges said the lack of any additional restriction on retail space was not a particularly big sticking point, but that he did want to have his options open. He said he’s received a lot of interest from retailers and he has no concerns about the ground floor retail space sitting unoccupied for a significant period of time.

The special City Commission meeting to consider this proposal for the State Street garage will be held at 3 p.m. Aug. 29, at City Hall.

Contact David Conway at [email protected].

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