SARASOTA — Three months after Charter One Hotels & Resorts announced the rebranded Inn at Midtown, a west coast development firm filed plans to redevelop the property, just north of downtown Sarasota, into a Four Points by Sheraton.
Daus Investments, which bought the two-story former Best Western at 1425 S. Tamiami Trail for $6.5 million in March, aims to convert it into a five-story Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand. It currently carries the Baymont Inn & Suites name.
According to an application filed with the city of Sarasota, Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Daus would keep the current number of rooms at 99, but expand the overall footprint, accommodate new guest room layouts and add meeting space. That wouldn't have any impact on traffic, wrote Daus Forward Planning Manager Vic Wenner in the materials.
Daniel Singh, a representative for Daus Investments, told the Sarasota Observer, sister paper of the Business Observer, that the project remains in the early planning phase. The developer is waiting on planned code changes from the city, and Starwood is considering Daus' application. Representatives from Starwood could not be reached for comment.
The company plans to do something to refresh the property, which is south of a Winn-Dixie in a plaza that also includes Michael's on East, a prominent restaurant and events facility. It is also across U.S. 41 from Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
“The main thing is there's a need for a hotel there — you're right across from the hospital,” Singh says. “It's a great location, and we're just looking at different options for how to redevelop the property.”
Charter One invested more than $700,000 in renovations on the property, including LED lighting and a resurfaced pool and parking lot. After dropping the Best Western flag, CEO John Balliet thought a boutique concept could compete with the more than 1,000 hotel rooms planned or in development in the city of Sarasota. Says Balliet: “I had looked at opportunities to redevelop and take the property upscale, but for me, the numbers just didn't work out.”
“There's a lot of new product coming into Sarasota and that's certainly going to impact the property,” Balliet says. “But, Sheraton is a brand that isn't represented right now in Sarasota so it may work out.”