Pensacola Beach could have a 12-story hotel, condo tower with helipad
The developers are working on renovate the Hampton Inn on Pensacola Beach have proposed expanding to include a 12-story tower next to Crabs on the Beach that will house hotel rooms, luxury condos and a helipad.
Rich Chism, vice president of development and asset management at Innisfree Hotels, said the $60 million project would involve renovating the Hampton Inn site, as well as a new tower between Hampton and Crabs that would house 89 additional hotel rooms and 16 luxury condos on the upper level.
The design includes a 250-space car park, rooftop helipad, pool deck and bar, as well as maintaining the existing UFO Mini Golf operation that is in place on the site.
The goal is to begin construction in the fall and open in the spring of 2024, but the project is currently in the concept approval phase. Chism presented the new plans to the Santa Rosa Island Authority Board of Directors Wednesday evening on behalf of Innisfree Hotels and its affiliate H&S Development LLC, which owns the land, where it was approved at the unanimity at the committee level, a crucial step for the progress of the project with a firmer construction schedule.
“We have seen demand for a new upscale hotel project and we intend to create a unique experience not found anywhere else along the Gulf Coast,” Chism said. “The project is located in the central commercial area of Pensacola Beach, so we expect our guests to park and walk to nearby shops and restaurants.”
There was little comment from SRIA board members on Wednesday night, but member Karen Sindel said it was a progressive plan for the region.
“It’s very contemporary, very avant-garde, it’s a beautiful plan,” she said.
The second tower does not yet have an announced brand or a selected contractor, but Chism said he expects it to create 65 peak season jobs.
Although this is the first time plans for the second tower have been presented publicly, it was an expected move by Innisfree after the SRIA granted a density increase for the property in October.
The SRIA then approved an increase from 30 units per acre to 50 units per acre for the overall development. The Hampton Inn site is 4.67 acres and the mini golf site that will become the second tower is 1.37 acres.
Innisfree is also working to replace the now-demolished Best Western in Pensacola Beach, which was significantly damaged in Hurricane Sally. the $75 million project features a lazy river, pool deck, dining deck, fire pit, wading pool, and premium outdoor space in addition to 209 hotel rooms.
This hotel is expected to open in 2023 and will carry the Fairfield Inn and Suites brand.
Emma Kennedy can be reached at [email protected] or 850-480-6979.