Iconic Florida Motel in Gainesville may be replaced by Comfort Suites

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The buzzing neon sign of the Florida Motel in Gainesville lets patrons know their rooms will be heated and 50 years ago, that may have been a real pull.

That sign belongs to one of the most iconic places in town, but the motel’s life may be coming to an end if a local developer gets the permits to build a modern facility in its place.

The Southwest 13th Street motel may be replaced by the five-story hotel Comfort Suites. Developer Azim Saju, a principal at Ocala-based Hotel Development and Management Group, said he and his partners hope to build a five-story, 105-room hotel at 2603 SW 13th St. — the home of the Florida Motel.

The Gainesville Sun said the development group will soon buy the property with final approval by way of permits from the city. Saju said he wants the hotel to be complete within the next 18 months.

The Florida Motel sign, Saju added, might be donated to a historical museum.

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