Construction on a proposed Courtyard by Marriott hotel on American Legion Drive could begin within 60 days.
MADEIRA BEACH – Zoning changes made by the city commission have cleared the way for construction of Madeira Beach’s first major hotel project in years.
In a special meeting held Sept. 27, the commission voted to rezone a 1.5-acre waterfront property on American Legion Drive from commercial general to planned development.
The planned development designation gives the developer flexibility in areas such as density, building height and setbacks and structural requirements.
At the same meeting, the commission also approved a development agreement between the city and the hotel’s developer, Santa Madeira Investment Partners LLC.
The actions taken will allow construction of the hotel to begin within 60 days, with a completion schedule of 8 to 11 months, said Bob Lyons, manager of Santa Madeira Investment Partners, after the meeting.
“We are hopeful of getting it done in eight months,” Lyons said.
The hotel will be a four-story Courtyard by Marriott, with 90 rooms, a restaurant/bistro, meeting room, outside swimming pool, spa, a captain’s club with showers, bathrooms, a gathering space and lockers for boaters, and 26 boat slips.
Following the zoning changes, co-owner Steve Page told the Beacon he is very excited to be able to bring a hotel of this scope to Madeira Beach and glad to finally get the project under way.
“We have a great partnership with the city, and though it has taken a long time, we feel the economic impact of this project, and the new construction jobs created, are definitely worth it.” he said.
Page added, “In this economy, it has been a miracle to bring this on line.”
Housh Ghovaee of Northside Engineering, the project’s architect, said after the meeting, “This has been an exciting day. We have obtained the approvals we need to move forward with this wonderful Marriott hotel.”
Ghovaee said the hotel’s scope “raises the bar within the city and adds to its image.”
“This will help get a larger chunk of the $6 to $7 billion spent on tourism each year in Pinellas County pumped into our own economy,” said Ghovaee, who is also a Madeira Beach resident.
Resident Tom Poe said the property’s improvement could not come soon enough. “This is a gateway area,” Poe said. “We’ll be glad to get rid of that ugly, blighted piece of dirt.”
Mayor Travis Palladeno was pleased to see the project moving toward completion.
“It’s the culmination of all these months of effort,” he said. “I’m thrilled.”