Ground broken on downtown Sarasota hotel-apartment complex | Kellogg & Kimsey

Ground broken on downtown Sarasota hotel-apartment complex

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SARASOTA – Attorney and real estate investor John Meshad has broken ground on the first new downtown hotel to rise since Southwest Florida’s economy collapsed in 2007.

Construction crews are now laying the foundation for the One Palm project at Ringling Boulevard and Palm Avenue, a site envisioned for a 111-unit luxury condominium tower during the boom.

The new 139-room hotel and 141-unit apartment complex now under construction represents the first in a series of development proposals aimed at Sarasota’s urban core.

They come in response to heightened demand for hotel rooms from the sports tourism sector, and also at a time when financing for such ambitious developments has loosened, compared with during the recession.

“We are greatly underserved for hotels right now,” said Ian Black, a Sarasota commercial real estate broker.

“There’s a demand, otherwise these things would not be built. If we’re not able to provide these hotels, we also won’t be able to attract these world-class sports events we’re all talking about,” he said.

The city issued a foundation permit on Dec. 27 that allows crews to begin site work for the 10-story hotel, which will share a tract at 240 S. Pineapple Ave. with the former Gold Bank and M&I Bank buildings.

The developer also filed an application for a permit to build vertically, but that remains under review by city planners.

Original Source: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140129/article/301299996?p=2&tc=pg