Ocean Properties Hotels & Resorts refines proposed $100 million Sarasota hotel project

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sarasota sandcastle
Rendering of the planned $100 million Sarasota Sandcastle Hotel rebuild

Five months after signaling that it planned to raze and revamp its Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach property, Ocean Properties Hotels Resorts & Affiliates has further refined its proposal for the Sarasota hotel.

As part of a roughly $100 million upgrade, the Delray Beach-based company plans to demolish the existing 176-room hotel, which opened in 1953, and replace it with a pair of sleek towers rising nine and 10 stories, The Business Observer has reported.

The new Sandcastle Resort also would feature 128 new rooms — each having an unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico — together with roughly 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting, event and restaurant space, according to plans submitted late last month to Sarasota officials. Entryways and exits also would be streamlined, according to a site plan filed late last month.

The amount of meeting and retail space would rank among the largest for hotels in Sarasota County, according to tourism agency Visit Sarasota County statistics.

“It’s a very contemporary design,” says Bruce Franklin, president of Land Resource Strategies, the real estate consulting firm working with Ocean Properties on the proposal. “It’s very well thought out, and an incredibly efficient design.”

The company, which bought the former Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in February 2014 for $27.4 million, hopes to complete the redevelopment from a Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates Inc. (NBWW) design in 2019.

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.

“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.”

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