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New Hotel Planned for Rosemary District

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Sarasota-ModernA Boston developer plans to build a boutique hotel in the city's Rosemary District, joining a throng of new projects targeting the hospitality industry.

The 76-room hotel, called The Sarasota Modern, is planned on about one acre at the southwest corner of Boulevard of the Arts and Cocoanut Avenue, just east of U.S. 41.

The five-story building would include a 151-seat restaurant, outdoor pool, juice bar and gym and spa, according to plans recently filed with the city.

"The vision for the hotel is to create a resort-like atmosphere in an upscale facility with a high level of on-site amenities," planner Joel Freedman said in the filing.

Developer Jason F. Cincotta and his Cocoanut Arts LLC have acquired two parcels for the project. A one-story, 24-space parking garage also is proposed to go along with 11 surface parking spaces.

With tourism activity hitting record levels in the region, developers have invested tens of millions of dollars on hotel projects that are planned or under way in and around the downtown core.

If they all come to pass, those projects will add about 1,600 guest rooms over the next two to three years, a boom that could be challenging to absorb, said downtown economic development coordinator Norm Gollub.

"I have legitimate concerns about the number of hotels that may come online, all within a short period of time," Gollub said. "I know the market shows there is a demand for hotel rooms, however I'm concerned about the occupancy rates year round."

A downtown conference center could help fill those rooms by attracting large business groups, but proponents of such a facility have been unable for years to put together a viable plan.

Additional Projects

Several of the hotel projects are nearing completion, under construction or about to get started.

The Aloft Sarasota, a 138-unit hotel and restaurant with 139 apartments at Ringling Boulevard and Palm Avenue, is slated to open in February.

A 255-room Westin hotel is under way at U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue with an expected fall 2016 completion. Vue Sarasota Bay, a 141-unit condo tower, is going up next door.

Floridays Development Corp. is expected to break ground soon on Hotel Sarasota, a 163-room accommodation adjacent to the Palm Avenue garage.

Jebco Ventures has pulled permits for a 180-room Embassy Suites & Spa at 202 N. Tamiami Trail.

Others plans have yet to come to fruition. Developers of a proposed 200-room Marriott hotel on the North Trail presented plans back in February, but nothing else has happened.

Two developers also have submitted plans for hotels on county-owned land at Main Street and U.S. 301, while the new owners of Sarasota Main Plaza say a hotel is a possibility there.

HeraldTribune 12/10/2015