Henry Rodriguez, the developer behind the Wal-Mart Supercenter and original owner of the 41-acre Bay Street Village and Towncenter in Osprey, has bought a historic motel near Siesta Key for $1.9 million.
“I’m going to be investing a lot of money in this property, and remodeling to the point where it’s going to be a four-star hotel,” Rodriguez said of the Elephant Ear Suites at 1800 Stickney Point Road. He plans to rebrand the property, which is comprised of two parcels, as the Siesta Key Palms Hotel.
The properties were known as the Tides Inn Motel and Sunset Lodge for decades.
“The one thing I love is the fact that its an ‘Old Florida’ hotel,” Rodriguez said. “You can’t really emulate that.”
The buildings, which have 21 units, last sold in 2014 for $1.5 million to New Jersey rental owner Daniel Jones, who followed the purchase with extensive renovations.
Rodriguez bought an aging motel in Nokomis for $1.3 million last year, which he has remodeled into the Nokomis Inn & Suites, and said he has several other similar projects in in the works.
“I’m very bullish on the Florida economy in terms of tourism and trade, and I think that Sarasota County in particular is an incredible opportunity,” Rodriguez said.
This article has been modified from its original version to include the latest name for the Siesta Key Palms Hotel.