St. Regis’ plan to build hotel and condos on Longboat Key moves forward

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The St. Regis Residences and Hotel got closer on Wednesday to finally innovate on Longboat Key, where The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort once stood.

The long-awaited five-star resort will see 67 condos built in three five-story towers and 166 hotel rooms built into another five-story tower in the 1600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive.

There will be four swimming pools, three bars, three restaurants, over 17,000 square feet of meeting space and plenty of on-site amenities once the project is fully constructed.

The $ 600 million development was continued by developer Chuck Whittall, chairman of Unicorp National Developments, who committed $ 100 million to a long legal battle, development plans and land costs, he said. told the Herald-Tribune.

Take a look:First published renderings of St. Regis Longboat Key Resort

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The Longboat Key Town Commission and Whittall worked for years on the project, only to see a development plan drawn up in 2018. But changes to the plan required another approval from local authorities on Wednesday.

With over 60 conditions and other stipulations, the complex contract between Unicorp National Developments and the Town of Longboat Key resulted in a vote that was neither unanimous nor quick, with the meeting lasting about six hours.

A key sticking point for some of the commissioners revolved around the proximity of two of the buildings to the Coastal Erosion Control Line, the line on the Longboat Key waterfront that designates private ownership of public land.

According to the city’s zoning code, buildings must be 150 feet from the erosion control line to prevent potential damage during storms.

The developers at St. Regis are looking to recreate The Colony’s “Monkey Bar” about 100 feet from this line and they planned to build an event pavilion about 70 feet from this line.

Commissioners agreed – on a 3-2 vote – to clear the Monkey Bar, but did not approve the event pavilion on Wednesday.

Rendering of the St. Regis Residences and Hotel on Longboat Key

The other major sticking point among Longboat Key commissioners was about parking, which they said at the meeting was a challenge on Barrier Island.

Two commissioners, Debra Williams and BJ Bishop, opposed buildings closer to the erosion control line and expressed concern that parking on the property was not adequate.

Bishop, who voted against the final site plan but for the development plan, said that although she has concerns about parking and buildings near the erosion control line, she still largely supports the project.

“I hope it will happen,” she said. “We just can’t create problems.”

Williams voted against the development plan and the final site plan due to the buildings’ proximity to the erosion control line and the parking issue.

She said that at the Zota Beach Resort at 4711 Gulf of Mexico Drive, she saw employees park outside the site and walk some distance to their workplace.

“I am very attached to both of these issues,” she said.

The development plan was adopted by 4-1 and the final site plan was adopted by 3-2. The town of Longboat Key has seven commissioners, but Sherry Dominick recused herself as she is an independent entrepreneur with Michael Saunders & Co., which is the exclusive listing agent for St. Regis Residences and Hotel.

Commissioner Maureen Merrigan did not attend the meeting because it was dealing with a family issue, but city officials said she would review all the evidence and vote on the final approval on October 20.

The development deal looks secure as it was passed 4-1 on Wednesday, but Merrigan’s vote will likely be the deciding factor for final approval of the project, as the sitemap was approved 3-2 on Wednesday.

The financial impact on Longboat Key will be huge when development is complete, as St. Regis’ potential tax bill would increase the city’s $ 18 million budget by 8%.

Mayor Ken Schneier said the project could ultimately pay $ 1.5 million a year in property taxes to Longboat Key.

Whittall said that once final approval is received on October 20, a first shovelful of soil is scheduled for October 25.


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