The Marathon City Council has given preliminary site plan approval to a proposed 199-room oceanfront hotel that would be located on Knights Key, immediately to the north of the Seven Mile Bridge.
The project, initially called Knight’s Key Resort & Marina, is slated to sit on a 24-acre property that is currently occupied by Knights Key RV Resort & Marina. It received unanimous 5-0 support from the Marathon council on Tuesday and is scheduled for a final hearing on Sept. 8.
The resort is to be developed by Singh Investors, whose 13 major projects in the Keys include the Truman Annex neighborhood in Old Town Key West and Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key, north of Marathon.
The project is to feature 148 waterfront units and 51 units that front the garden or pool, according to Noah Singh, vice president for Singh Investors and the son of its founder, Pritam Singh. Amenities are to include the beach, a landscaped central plaza, a 24-slip marina, a fitness room and a beachside restaurant. The swimming pool and a winding lazy river will sit within the plaza.
“It’s a particularly green site plan because of all the land we have,” Noah Singh told The Real Deal. “It will probably be the most spectacular we’ve done.”
At present, the Knights Key property, located at 1 Knights Key Boulevard, near mile marker 47, is owned by Plano, Texas-based CXA-10 Corp., which Singh said is controlled by various lenders who acquired the property through a foreclosure. CXA obtained the property in 2013, Monroe County record show.
Singh Investors plans to close on the property should the resort receive its final approval on Sept. 8, Singh said. They’re targeting the late second quarter of next year for the start of construction.
The project has generated outcries in Marathon from people who don’t want to see the existing RV resort torn down. Singh said the RVs will be left intact until shortly before work on the hotel begins. In addition, he said, Singh Investors is working with the Pigeon Key Foundation to find a suitable new location for the nonprofit’s visitor center, which sits on the Knights Key property. The foundation runs ferries to nearby Pigeon Key, an historic five-acre island that more than a century ago housed workers on Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad.
Along with the 199 hotels rooms, Singh Investors plans to build 30 affordable units on Knights Key site.