MANATEE -- The owner of the Hilton Garden Inn near the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport plans to build another 110 Hilton-branded rooms across the parking lot from its current hotel.
Excel Group, an Arlington, Va., hotel investment group, filed plans with Manatee County last week for a new Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel on 2.5 acres in front of the Garden Inn. It will be on a parcel at 8260 N. Tamiami Trail, which was once designated for the construction of two restaurants. The extended-stay hotel is set to become part of a two-hotel complex offering a total of 225 rooms.
The site plan for the hotel is being handled under the county's rapid response permitting system. Review of plans for the hotel will receive an expedited review.
The suites-only hotel will bring needed overnight accommodations to Manatee County, said Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Currently, only about 15 percent of Manatee County's estimated 6,500 overnight rental units are in hotel and motel properties, according to CVB statistics.
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"Adding more suite rooms is important to our business clientele, as well as our sports clientele," Falcione said.
Karen Stewart, the county's economic development program manager, recommended the Home2 Suites project receive the speedy treatment. She said the county is encouraging business growth along Tamiami Trail between Bradenton and the Sarasota County line. As part of that effort, the county recently established a tax increment financing district in that area to fund development projects.
"We're really focusing on business promotion in the Southwest TIF," Stewart said.
Excel's hotel project will not receive TIF funding, but will contribute to the property tax base that funds it.
Excel invested heavily when it purchased the Garden Inn and the adjacent property in 2013. It
paid $10.8 million for the 14-year-old, 70,000-square-foot hotel, plus an additional $200,000 for the adjacent frontage on North Tamiami Trail.
Contacted about the company's new hotel plans, Shoham Amin, the company's managing partner, deferred comment until a later date.
The Home2 Suites will be built in an active hotel construction market in Manatee County. University Park-based Benderson Development broke ground on a 133-room Homewood Suites hotel along Cattlemen Road and south of The Mall at University Town Center several months ago. The hotel is expected to open in fall 2016. Benderson plans to build three more hotels east of the mall.
In Lakewood Ranch, a 122-room Hyatt Place hotel is expected to be built on 3.5 acres near the University Parkway-Interstate 75 interchange. Its permitting also was fast-tracked through the rapid response program.
Near the airport, existing hotels have been changing hands in high-dollar sales. In March, an 81-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 78-room Marriott Residence Inn adjacent to SRQ International sold to American Realty Capital in a $22.9 million deal.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027 or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.