Fight over city land lease stalls Stuart hotel project
The planned development of a hotel on city-owned land in Stuart has stalled amid disagreement over how much the developer should pay to lease the land.
PNR Hotels Inc. proposed building a Comfort Suites hotel with 87 rooms and the same number of parking spaces on 1.97 acres east of U.S. 1 near the road’s intersection with Northwest Wright Boulevard.
City Manager Paul Nicollette told the Stuart News that PNR disagrees with the city’s lease terms for the 1.97-acre parcel. PNR officials declined to comment.
“I don’t know whether this development is dead or not,” Nicoletti told the newspaper.
Email correspondence between the city and PNR suggests that the developer disagrees with the city’s schedule of annual increases in lease payments for the land.
The city bought the land in 2011 intending to lease it for commercial development and to spend the lease income on maintenance of the Haney Creek Preserve, which is adjacent to the city-owned land.
The dispute over lease payments erupted before the Stuart City Commission could vote on the proposed Comfort Suites project at their September 12 meeting.
Stuart Mayor Jeffrey Krauskopf told the Stuart News that Nimesh Patel of PNR Hotels “is a very qualified owner-operator” and the developer’s hotel plan is “an excellent proposal.” [Stuart News] — Mike Seemuth