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Major developer plans to raze noted hotel, rebuild it

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  • | 6:49 p.m. February 23, 2017
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — One of Florida's largest hotel owners plans to redevelop the former Helmsley Sandcastle Resort in Sarasota and add 128 new rooms to the beachfront lodging property.

Ocean Properties Hotels Resorts & Affiliates seeks to raze the existing hotel, completed in 1953, and build a 304-room hotel and related space in a pair of towers slated to rise nine and 10 floors, according to a development documents submitted to Sarasota city officials.

“In order to be competitive, they need to update the hotel and make it a more contemporary beach resort,” says Bruce Franklin, president of Land Resource Strategies, the real estate consulting firm working with Ocean Properties on the proposal.

The new hotel, on 6.1 acres on Lido Beach, could be completed in 2019, if required approvals from the city are forthcoming.

Franklin says the new 1540 Benjamin Franklin Drive hotel would also contain roughly 20,000 square feet of meeting, ballroom and restaurant space.

Ocean Properties, which acquired the 176-room Lido Sandcastle in February 2014 for $27.4 million, has requested a pre-application meeting with Sarasota's Development Review Committee, according to its city filing.

The new hotel is being designed by Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates Inc.

Ocean Properties' plans come as roughly 1,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed or planned in downtown Sarasota.

Franklin, in an interview with the Business Observer, says Ocean Properties' proposal likely won't be impacted by a glut of new rooms downtown, the majority of which are expected to come online by 2018.

“Downtown and Lido Beach are truly two different markets,” Franklin says. “The beach is much more tourist-oriented, whereas downtown tends to be more of a business market.”

Ocean Properties' officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the proposal.

In all, Ocean Properties owns more than 100 hotels containing 17,000 rooms throughout North America, according to its website.

In Florida, the company owns the Lido Beach Resort; The Resort at the Longboat Key Club; Sanibel Island Beach Resort; the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Naples; and the Holiday Inn Lido Beach, among other hospitality properties.


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