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Construction underway for first new downtown hotel in nearly a decade

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Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 4:18 pm | Updated: 9:45 pm, Sun Feb 2, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. – Foundation work on the first new hotel to be built in downtown Sarasota since the great recession is underway.

“It is probably the first building of its type to come out of the ground for at least seven or eight years so we are delighted to see this activity,” said Ian Black, a commercial real estate broker. He says there are plans for an additional four to five hotels to be built in downtown.

“I have seen studies that show there is a demand for 600 new hotel rooms in downtown Sarasota,” said Black,” said Black.

The One Palm project being built on Ringling Boulevard at South Palm Avenue and will include 139 hotel rooms and 141-unit apartment complex. Starwood Hotels and Resort World Wide Inc. will operate the hotel located a block from Bayfront Drive and Marina Plaza.

“The Starwood Brand is not a brand that we have had in Sarasota so that opens us up to a whole new brand of hotels in Sarasota.” said Lynn Hobeck Bates, Public Relations Manager of Visit Sarasota County.

The state of Florida has had record high tourism numbers in the last couple of years.

“We have seen record numbers as well in fact we have numbers from December

Just recently were occupancy was up almost 10 percent, 11 percent over last year,” said Bates, adding that visitor spending is up as well.

“So that means not only are they coming to stay in our hotels but they are getting out to our restaurants and businesses and spending their money in our community.”

Black thinks the timing of the One Palm project is perfect as our community continues to grow as a popular destination.

“The community needs to be ready to welcome the world here with the world rowing championships coming in 2017 and all the other myriad of sporting events that we are promoting, so we need to have this accommodation in downtown, great thing for the community.”

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