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Developer’s plan for $100M hotel project in Sarasota close to city review

Project will contend with four other new upscale hotels

Rendering of the rebuilt Sandcastle Resort

Sarasota’s Sandcastle Resort property in Lido Beach could be on the cusp of receiving a major upgrade.

Ocean Properties Hotels & Resorts could seek approvals before the city commission as soon as November in its bid to raze the existing hotel at 1540 Benjamin Franklin Drive and erect a $100 million resort.

According to Business Observer, Ocean Properties hopes to redevelop the roughly six-acre property with two nine-story buildings housing 304 hotel rooms and 20,000 square feet of commercial space, which would be used for events and restaurants.

The company paid $27.4 million for the Sandcastle and its 176 rooms in 2014. Its redevelopment is slated to be completed in 2019, and Ocean Properties’ plans are expected to go before the city’s development review committee this month. After that, according to the Observer, Ocean Properties could seek an audience with city commissioners by November.

When completed, the rebuilt Sandcastle Resort will have to contend with four other luxury hotels and their roughly 820 rooms, the Observer reported. However, those hotels are being built in downtown Sarasota — which could mean the Sandcastle will have a leg up in the competition, Colliers International Florida Executive Vice President Kent Schwarz told the publication.

Each of the resort’s rooms would have views of the Gulf of Mexico, the Observer reported, and Ocean Properties would bring Sandcastle Resort under its Opal Collection, which now encompasses 11 hotels in Florida.

“The renovated Sandcastle would be a nice addition to the lodging inventory in Sarasota,” Schwarz told the Observer. “I think it will spur others to make similar investments.” [Business Observer]Sean Stewart-Muniz