Gulf Shores hopes fifth time is lucky with Embassy Suites extension; With no other offers, city gives developers ‘til June 30, 2022 to find investors

Gulf Shores hopes fifth time is lucky with Embassy Suites extension
With no other offers, city gives developers ‘til June 30, 2022 to find investors

By John Mullen, Mullet Wrapper
Gulf Shores is preparing to offer developers of a proposed Embassy Suites Hotel across from Gulf Place a fifth extension of the day to begin the project.
“We keep giving extensions because we don’t of anything that would better fit that property in our vision of doing something with a full-service hotel of significance there in Gulf Shores,” Mayor Robert Craft said. “I’m excited that we’re finally moving forward with a project we’ve been working on for years.”
The latest start date for D.D. Partners has been changed to June 30, 2022, with a target completion date of Sept. 30, 2024. The council will discuss the proposal during the Sept. 20 work session at 4 p.m. at city hall. The council will vote on the extension at the Sept. 27 regular session which is days before the latest extension expires on Sept. 30.
In 2015 the city sought proposals from parties interested in developing a 1.93-acre parcel owned by the city directly west of the Alvin’s Island beach store at the corner of State Route 59 and State Route 182 or beach road. In March of 2016 a selection committee formed by the city recommended the Embassy Suites project.
During the design phase, the city asked developers to increase the size for meeting space in the hotel to offer another venue to host meetings in Gulf Shores. To make that happen the city offered a tax incentive of a 42 percent tax rebate in the first three years of operation and 35 percent each following year until the $6.5 million to add the meeting space was recouped. There are still plans for it to include 11,800 square feet of meeting space including a 7,800 square foot ballroom.
Changes to the original design made during one of the extension requests was making the hotel eight instead of 10 stories, scaling the rooftop pool area from 23,000 square feet to 10,000 and upping the number of rooms from 229 to 254, according to city documents.
Economic Development Coordinator Blake Phelps said investors willing to risk taking a chance on new conference space during the pandemic were hard to find but that may be changing. The price tag for the project is about $85 million.
“In a nutshell they are starting to see some positive response in the capital markets,” Phelps said. “Things seem to be opening back up as far as interest in financing projects like this. Primarily full-service hotels with significant meeting space that was not the type project that anyone was interested in investing in. It’s still not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.
“It’s still complicated but they are certainly encouraged by the conversations they are having and the reactions they are getting in the market. This time last year you weren’t even having a conversation. The answer was just a flat out no because no one knew where things were headed.”
In 2018, Dr. Keivan Deravi of Auburn University at Montgomery said the hotel could have a $65 million economic impact and that direct local tax revenues are expected to be $1.8 million a year and $22.6 million during the first 10 years.
During the Sept. 20 work session, the council will also discuss:
• Ratification of new lease between Legal Air Properties and the Airport Authority for 14,345 square feet of land in the Southwest Corporate Hangar complex for the construction of a 60 x 80 square foot aircraft storage hangar facility. The Airport Authority will receive about $4,000 a year in the lease.
• Renewing a lease with J & J Enterprises lease an existing medical office building presently occupied by Symbol Clinic. The lease will expire on Dec. 31. The city has the option to renew for one year starting Jan. 1 and if that option is exercised there will be a 3 percent increase in the monthly fee. Currently the city pays $2,788 per month for the clinic which serves city employees and their dependents.
• Setting the municipal court’s dates for 2022. The court usually convenes on Mondays and Thursdays.
• Accepting a bid to buy rye grass seed from Coastal Inventory Supply of Robertsdale at $2.85 a pound. According to city documents Gulf Shores spends more than $15,000 annually on rye seed.
• Rezoning a 1.99-acre lot at Northshore Drive and Landward Street from residential to general business.By John Mullen, Mullet Wrapper
Gulf Shores is preparing to offer developers of a proposed Embassy Suites Hotel across from Gulf Place a fifth extension of the day to begin the project.
“We keep giving extensions because we don’t of anything that would better fit that property in our vision of doing something with a full-service hotel of significance there in Gulf Shores,” Mayor Robert Craft said. “I’m excited that we’re finally moving forward with a project we’ve been working on for years.”
The latest start date for D.D. Partners has been changed to June 30, 2022, with a target completion date of Sept. 30, 2024. The council will discuss the proposal during the Sept. 20 work session at 4 p.m. at city hall. The council will vote on the extension at the Sept. 27 regular session which is days before the latest extension expires on Sept. 30.
In 2015 the city sought proposals from parties interested in developing a 1.93-acre parcel owned by the city directly west of the Alvin’s Island beach store at the corner of State Route 59 and State Route 182 or beach road. In March of 2016 a selection committee formed by the city recommended the Embassy Suites project.
During the design phase, the city asked developers to increase the size for meeting space in the hotel to offer another venue to host meetings in Gulf Shores. To make that happen the city offered a tax incentive of a 42 percent tax rebate in the first three years of operation and 35 percent each following year until the $6.5 million to add the meeting space was recouped. There are still plans for it to include 11,800 square feet of meeting space including a 7,800 square foot ballroom.
Changes to the original design made during one of the extension requests was making the hotel eight instead of 10 stories, scaling the rooftop pool area from 23,000 square feet to 10,000 and upping the number of rooms from 229 to 254, according to city documents.
Economic Development Coordinator Blake Phelps said investors willing to risk taking a chance on new conference space during the pandemic were hard to find but that may be changing. The price tag for the project is about $85 million.
“In a nutshell they are starting to see some positive response in the capital markets,” Phelps said. “Things seem to be opening back up as far as interest in financing projects like this. Primarily full-service hotels with significant meeting space that was not the type project that anyone was interested in investing in. It’s still not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.
“It’s still complicated but they are certainly encouraged by the conversations they are having and the reactions they are getting in the market. This time last year you weren’t even having a conversation. The answer was just a flat out no because no one knew where things were headed.”
In 2018, Dr. Keivan Deravi of Auburn University at Montgomery said the hotel could have a $65 million economic impact and that direct local tax revenues are expected to be $1.8 million a year and $22.6 million during the first 10 years.
During the Sept. 20 work session, the council will also discuss:
• Ratification of new lease between Legal Air Properties and the Airport Authority for 14,345 square feet of land in the Southwest Corporate Hangar complex for the construction of a 60 x 80 square foot aircraft storage hangar facility. The Airport Authority will receive about $4,000 a year in the lease.
• Renewing a lease with J & J Enterprises lease an existing medical office building presently occupied by Symbol Clinic. The lease will expire on Dec. 31. The city has the option to renew for one year starting Jan. 1 and if that option is exercised there will be a 3 percent increase in the monthly fee. Currently the city pays $2,788 per month for the clinic which serves city employees and their dependents.
• Setting the municipal court’s dates for 2022. The court usually convenes on Mondays and Thursdays.
• Accepting a bid to buy rye grass seed from Coastal Inventory Supply of Robertsdale at $2.85 a pound. According to city documents Gulf Shores spends more than $15,000 annually on rye seed.
• Rezoning a 1.99-acre lot at Northshore Drive and Landward Street from residential to general business.By John Mullen, Mullet Wrapper
Gulf Shores is preparing to offer developers of a proposed Embassy Suites Hotel across from Gulf Place a fifth extension of the day to begin the project.
“We keep giving extensions because we don’t of anything that would better fit that property in our vision of doing something with a full-service hotel of significance there in Gulf Shores,” Mayor Robert Craft said. “I’m excited that we’re finally moving forward with a project we’ve been working on for years.”
The latest start date for D.D. Partners has been changed to June 30, 2022, with a target completion date of Sept. 30, 2024. The council will discuss the proposal during the Sept. 20 work session at 4 p.m. at city hall. The council will vote on the extension at the Sept. 27 regular session which is days before the latest extension expires on Sept. 30.
In 2015 the city sought proposals from parties interested in developing a 1.93-acre parcel owned by the city directly west of the Alvin’s Island beach store at the corner of State Route 59 and State Route 182 or beach road. In March of 2016 a selection committee formed by the city recommended the Embassy Suites project.
During the design phase, the city asked developers to increase the size for meeting space in the hotel to offer another venue to host meetings in Gulf Shores. To make that happen the city offered a tax incentive of a 42 percent tax rebate in the first three years of operation and 35 percent each following year until the $6.5 million to add the meeting space was recouped. There are still plans for it to include 11,800 square feet of meeting space including a 7,800 square foot ballroom.
Changes to the original design made during one of the extension requests was making the hotel eight instead of 10 stories, scaling the rooftop pool area from 23,000 square feet to 10,000 and upping the number of rooms from 229 to 254, according to city documents.
Economic Development Coordinator Blake Phelps said investors willing to risk taking a chance on new conference space during the pandemic were hard to find but that may be changing. The price tag for the project is about $85 million.
“In a nutshell they are starting to see some positive response in the capital markets,” Phelps said. “Things seem to be opening back up as far as interest in financing projects like this. Primarily full-service hotels with significant meeting space that was not the type project that anyone was interested in investing in. It’s still not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.
“It’s still complicated but they are certainly encouraged by the conversations they are having and the reactions they are getting in the market. This time last year you weren’t even having a conversation. The answer was just a flat out no because no one knew where things were headed.”
In 2018, Dr. Keivan Deravi of Auburn University at Montgomery said the hotel could have a $65 million economic impact and that direct local tax revenues are expected to be $1.8 million a year and $22.6 million during the first 10 years.
During the Sept. 20 work session, the council will also discuss:
• Ratification of new lease between Legal Air Properties and the Airport Authority for 14,345 square feet of land in the Southwest Corporate Hangar complex for the construction of a 60 x 80 square foot aircraft storage hangar facility. The Airport Authority will receive about $4,000 a year in the lease.
• Renewing a lease with J & J Enterprises lease an existing medical office building presently occupied by Symbol Clinic. The lease will expire on Dec. 31. The city has the option to renew for one year starting Jan. 1 and if that option is exercised there will be a 3 percent increase in the monthly fee. Currently the city pays $2,788 per month for the clinic which serves city employees and their dependents.
• Setting the municipal court’s dates for 2022. The court usually convenes on Mondays and Thursdays.
• Accepting a bid to buy rye grass seed from Coastal Inventory Supply of Robertsdale at $2.85 a pound. According to city documents Gulf Shores spends more than $15,000 annually on rye seed.
• Rezoning a 1.99-acre lot at Northshore Drive and Landward Street from residential to general business.
By John Mullen, Mullet Wrapper
Gulf Shores is preparing to offer developers of a proposed Embassy Suites Hotel across from Gulf Place a fifth extension of the day to begin the project.
“We keep giving extensions because we don’t of anything that would better fit that property in our vision of doing something with a full-service hotel of significance there in Gulf Shores,” Mayor Robert Craft said. “I’m excited that we’re finally moving forward with a project we’ve been working on for years.”
The latest start date for D.D. Partners has been changed to June 30, 2022, with a target completion date of Sept. 30, 2024. The council will discuss the proposal during the Sept. 20 work session at 4 p.m. at city hall. The council will vote on the extension at the Sept. 27 regular session which is days before the latest extension expires on Sept. 30.
In 2015 the city sought proposals from parties interested in developing a 1.93-acre parcel owned by the city directly west of the Alvin’s Island beach store at the corner of State Route 59 and State Route 182 or beach road. In March of 2016 a selection committee formed by the city recommended the Embassy Suites project.
During the design phase, the city asked developers to increase the size for meeting space in the hotel to offer another venue to host meetings in Gulf Shores. To make that happen the city offered a tax incentive of a 42 percent tax rebate in the first three years of operation and 35 percent each following year until the $6.5 million to add the meeting space was recouped. There are still plans for it to include 11,800 square feet of meeting space including a 7,800 square foot ballroom.
Changes to the original design made during one of the extension requests was making the hotel eight instead of 10 stories, scaling the rooftop pool area from 23,000 square feet to 10,000 and upping the number of rooms from 229 to 254, according to city documents.
Economic Development Coordinator Blake Phelps said investors willing to risk taking a chance on new conference space during the pandemic were hard to find but that may be changing. The price tag for the project is about $85 million.
“In a nutshell they are starting to see some positive response in the capital markets,” Phelps said. “Things seem to be opening back up as far as interest in financing projects like this. Primarily full-service hotels with significant meeting space that was not the type project that anyone was interested in investing in. It’s still not a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination.
“It’s still complicated but they are certainly encouraged by the conversations they are having and the reactions they are getting in the market. This time last year you weren’t even having a conversation. The answer was just a flat out no because no one knew where things were headed.”
In 2018, Dr. Keivan Deravi of Auburn University at Montgomery said the hotel could have a $65 million economic impact and that direct local tax revenues are expected to be $1.8 million a year and $22.6 million during the first 10 years.
During the Sept. 20 work session, the council will also discuss:
• Ratification of new lease between Legal Air Properties and the Airport Authority for 14,345 square feet of land in the Southwest Corporate Hangar complex for the construction of a 60 x 80 square foot aircraft storage hangar facility. The Airport Authority will receive about $4,000 a year in the lease.
• Renewing a lease with J & J Enterprises lease an existing medical office building presently occupied by Symbol Clinic. The lease will expire on Dec. 31. The city has the option to renew for one year starting Jan. 1 and if that option is exercised there will be a 3 percent increase in the monthly fee. Currently the city pays $2,788 per month for the clinic which serves city employees and their dependents.
• Setting the municipal court’s dates for 2022. The court usually convenes on Mondays and Thursdays.
• Accepting a bid to buy rye grass seed from Coastal Inventory Supply of Robertsdale at $2.85 a pound. According to city documents Gulf Shores spends more than $15,000 annually on rye seed.
• Rezoning a 1.99-acre lot at Northshore Drive and Landward Street from residential to general business.

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