New Smyrna to start negotiating with hotel developer

Full story: Orlando Sentinel

New Smyrna Beach officials gave the green light for negotiations with a developer interested in bringing a 117-room chain hotel to the beachside street, Flagler Avenue.
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1 - 20 of 25 Comments Last updated Jun 19, 2009
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O Boy

Orlando, FL

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#1
Jun 10, 2009
 

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This is a really poor idea. New Smyrna Beach would be far better off to follow St. Augustine's lead and keep the beachside's downtown area for shops and restaurants. Putting a Hampton Inn right on Flagler Ave sets the wrong tone for the whole area. If thier plan is to become a Daytona Beach lite, they will be very sorry on the future. Granted, economic times are difficult and this may sound like a way to stimulate business in that immediate area, but that is the wrong way to go about it.
The Commission would be better off giving tax incentives to independent shop and restaurant owners who could line up Flagler Ave with places that people would want to come to, even for a day trip. Cocoa Beach has a nice area like this as well. The big draw for New Smyrna Beach is it's charm and quaintness and they should absolutely capitalize on it. Putting in a Hampton Inn on Flagler may somewhat help the bar and t-shirt business, but they will have thrown out the baby with the bath wate on this one for sure.
If they feel bringing in people closer to Flager is their goal, then at least plan for some nice bed and breakfast or something similair to the Riverview Hotel.
A Hampton Inn right on Flagler........the City leaders of NSB are certainly smarter than that!!!!!!!!!!
Jeff

United States

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#2
Jun 10, 2009
 
You mean like the Hampton Inn in the historic area of Charleston or the new Hilton in the historic arera of St. Augustine? Flagler Avenue needs more lodging (Riverview is usually booked and Seahorse is aging, um, somewhat less than gracefully and has no pool). It's all about how it's done. If it's a typical by-the-interstate Hampton, then you'd be correct, but they have shown the ability to blend in with their surroundings. The initial information I've read shows a desire to do it correctly and the City and local activists can keep both the developers and the City honest. This could be a win-win. And I've been visiting Flagler Avenue since there was a Red & White grocery and a dime store there and would advocate nothing to harm it.

Since: Jun 07

New Smyrna Beach

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#3
Jun 10, 2009
 
Negotiation has begun.

Q: "...whether it would be possible to build the hotel elsewhere,..."
A: To paraphrase: No

Q: "...if it would be possible to make the proposed hotel project on Flagler Avenue smaller."
A: To paraphrase: Maybe, but it will cost you.

Just because it's good -- if it is good -- for Charleston and St. Augustine, doesn't mean it's good for NSB.

Five blocks. That is pretty much the northern beachside business district. That is all we have to work with. Yes, I think it is too large. Maybe a smaller hotel. Maybe.
hasbeen

Saint Augustine, FL

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#4
Jun 10, 2009
 
It took many many meetings (over 15) to get it right on the Hilton Inn in the St. Augustine historic district (70 rooms). But then St. Augustine has strict architectural guidelines and a strong stewardship ethic. Best wishes for a project the entire community of New Smyrna can use and be proud of.

The story:
http://staugustine.com/stories/051803/new_153...
Sad Truth

United States

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#5
Jun 10, 2009
 
The property on Florida is a CITY PARK! It is a beautiful live oak grove. Loretta Burn bought the property at the corner of Peninsula and Flagler for $826,800 -- a postage stamp in size. Watch our city commissioners try to GIVE away our park to these developers.

Time to tell them no way no how do you sell the park. You people CRAZY.
Long Time Resident

United States

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#6
Jun 10, 2009
 
You don't negotiate to sell city property. If the city has property surplus to its needs, you put out an RFP and have an auction and the high bidder gets it.

It is nonsense to turn this multi million dollar property over to these south carolina developers.

Wake up sheeple.
attend the meetings

United States

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#7
Jun 10, 2009
 
since it says in the article, "Mayor Sally Mackay said Tuesday night's vote was just a starting point for the lengthy process of approving a potential hotel. The proposal would have to pass several stages, including a comprehensive plan amendment, a planning/zoning change, and approval of a detailed development plan.

All those stages would require public meetings and the mayor welcomed questions and discussions with anyone questioning the project."

then you folks need to attend the meetings each and every time to protest against it... and bring up a more viable business proposal or option versus a hotel... just saying "i don't like it" isn't enough... ya gotta have a plan of action...

my two cents....
O Boy

Orlando, FL

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#8
Jun 11, 2009
 

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Jeff wrote:
You mean like the Hampton Inn in the historic area of Charleston or the new Hilton in the historic arera of St. Augustine? Flagler Avenue needs more lodging (Riverview is usually booked and Seahorse is aging, um, somewhat less than gracefully and has no pool). It's all about how it's done. If it's a typical by-the-interstate Hampton, then you'd be correct, but they have shown the ability to blend in with their surroundings. The initial information I've read shows a desire to do it correctly and the City and local activists can keep both the developers and the City honest. This could be a win-win. And I've been visiting Flagler Avenue since there was a Red & White grocery and a dime store there and would advocate nothing to harm it.
I,too, remember the Beach Variety store and Hathaway's Food Store on Flagler and many other shops that have come and gone over time-

Are you comparing the size of the historic district of Charleston to the 6 or so blocks of Flagler Ave as a basis for stating a hotel is warrented???

At some point, someone will surely try and recommend that Flagler become four lane to handle the influx of traffic from guests, delivery trucks, etc...for the new hotel. If they are not going to come down Flagler, which they surely couldn't as it is now, then are the streets to the side of Flagler going to become service roads?

Residents who reside just off of or near Flagler - stay very tuned to how this proposal develops!!!

People come to the beach for the beach. Not to stay in the middle of a business district. Residents and visitors alike would love to see good restuarants, bakeries, coffee shops, interesting stores line up and down Flagler. This area is far better put to use developing a "beach village" atmosphere with idependent shops and restaurants. Now THAT would be a sucessful idea!
Max Dugas

Tallahassee, FL

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#9
Jun 11, 2009
 
This whole process for the hotel is a bogus smoke screen. The merchants on Flagler Ave that are obviously supporting the mayor and some of the commissioners are only thinking of themselves so they can get a "stimulus package".They are not thinking about the community and neigborhood as a whole, just as a selfish "me". How many years have there not been a Hampton hotel on Flagler? How have the merchants been making it? I figure if they are not making the money they want, then find another line of work! The economy is down and everyone is suffering, including the residents living in the surrounding neigborhood. How is this going to effect our quality of life with a monster hotel in our front yards? A small quaint Inn on Flagler Ave. not extending to Florida Ave would keep the Charm alive in New Smyrna.We have been putting our two cents in since the beginnig but with inflation, our two cents is worth nothing!
Cherie Coccia

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#10
Jun 11, 2009
 
In the Hampton Inn brochure, it quotes the St. Augustine Hampton Inn as having 53 rooms and it is in the historic district just as Flagler is. The artist rendering in this story is shown with a date of June 2008 in the submitted proposal. Strange that Mr. Swentor of Premier Development would have "sat" on this for so long. But, then there are alot of strange things in the proposal he submitted to the CRA. One of the strangest is the Letter of Intent for financing dated March 25, 2008 with a five day clause of acceptance. Now wouldn't you think he would have put in a letter (with a letterhead) with a more recent date, so NSB would know that this developer has some line on financing. Or, are we going to see the same thing that happened on the causeway, when that "big and wonderful" project fell through. We know the CRA isn't looking, as with them continuing to have these very important meetings at 2:00 pm, when most of those who opposed this where unable to attend and voice an opinion, but merchants were there in force. But, I am surprised that the commissioners (with the exception of Mr. Hathaway and Mr. Richardson) are not asking the very important questions, instead of pushing this through. And in case you could not attend this commission meeting of June 9th, it was last on the agenda and when the mayor was asked if it could be moved to an earlier slot, the mayor replied "other people are planning to attend at the later time". I knew them when they arrived, they were merchants. So, no matter what the mayor says about all of the "hoops", if it is handled in the manner as all other meetings, it will go through all 117 rooms, even though there are only enough parking spaces for probably 60 rooms at best and that is not counting the spaces already promised to other businesses. Just to clarify, one of the CRA lots is a current parking lot, the Florida Avenue parking lot. The other is a canopied lot with very old oak trees used for overflow parking, family outings, and when NSB was deluged with rain last week, Florida Avenue did not flood, as this lot accepts all of the water run off from Florida Avenue. Mr. Swentor must think this is a done deal, as he had a company out at this lot on Saturday prior to the vote - doing the soil boorings.
Cherie Coccia

United States

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#11
Jun 11, 2009
 
Don't know where "join the community, st. cloud" came from. I have nothing to do with that.
hasbeen

Saint Augustine, FL

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#12
Jun 11, 2009
 
The Hampton Inn in St. Augustine is NOT located in any one of the city's historic districts. The brochure is wrong.
Cherie Coccia

Pierson, FL

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#13
Jun 12, 2009
 
hasbeen wrote:
The Hampton Inn in St. Augustine is NOT located in any one of the city's historic districts. The brochure is wrong.
You must be from the St. Augustine area and could certainly confirm this. The brochure states - St. Augustine-Historic District as its heading with 52 rooms located at 2050 North Ponce de Leon Blvd. Thanks.

Since: Jun 07

New Smyrna Beach

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#14
Jun 12, 2009
 
Cherie Coccia wrote:
<quoted text>
You must be from the St. Augustine area and could certainly confirm this. The brochure states - St. Augustine-Historic District as its heading with 52 rooms located at 2050 North Ponce de Leon Blvd. Thanks.
That address is on a four lane highway -- with turn lane in the middle -- nineteen blocks to the north and west of the Castillo San de Marcos. I pretty much consider the Castillo the northern edge of the tourist district. That's right, it's on US 1. I don't think there is a place on US 1 in NSB I would be against such a project, save for the intersection of Canal St.

I've toured St. Augustine a few times, once in one of those horse drawn carriages, and never came any closer than those nineteen blocks. I guess if you were to call the whole peninsula ( or island or isthmus or whatever it is ) on which the historic district resides "the historic district", then the brochure is correct. And it is still less than half the size of the one proposed here.

It is over a mile from the Castillo. If one were to be built a mile from the Flagler tourist district, it would be farther from Flagler than the bowling alley.

Brochures are funny that way.

Since: Jun 07

New Smyrna Beach

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#15
Jun 12, 2009
 
Face it folks. A lot of the problems which plague Flagler Ave.-- and Canal St. for that matter -- stem from the decision to build the overpass across the tracks on Lytle Ave, thereby diverting all traffic away from these two vital business districts. You almost have to be a local to find Canal St. and Flagler Ave. because the roadways lead you away from them when driving in from the west.

I considered it an unfortunate decision then, and still do. Not to mention the destruction of what was arguably the most beautiful five blocks of this town. I'll never forget those old oak trees in the median leading to the south bridge. One look and you knew you were in an historic town. All gone. Replaced with concrete and steel. That's progress for you.
hasbeen

AOL

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#16
Jun 12, 2009
 
To clarify, the Hampton Inn is not in a historic district. The Hampton Inn is several blocks north of the historic district boundary.
Max Dugas

Tallahassee, FL

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#18
Jun 12, 2009
 
With all the discussion about a hotel on Flagler, can anyone suggest any possible solutions to this crisis to the city commissioners? How we can get the word out and get more people involved? If we get more people to come out and voice their opions,then it will show the city that there are more citizens concerned about this problem than just a handful. The city isn't advertising to everyone in the city, just the parties that want the hotel.Also the meeting times need to be convenient for all parties, not at 2:00 pm when the majority of the people are still at work.If this project is for the good of the community, then let the whole community be involved. The city commissioners and the mayor were voted in by the community. We don't need a monster sitting at our door steps,let it be a cute puppy! Save the Charm!
Dave Murphy

Melbourne, FL

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#19
Jun 14, 2009
 
Once you alter the uniqueness or idenity of an area, you can never get it back. Flagler has that small town, peaceful, "historic" appeal. Place a large chain hotel in the midst, and it loses all of that appeal.
A hotel "if needed" in New Smyrna would be more appropriate on 3rd avenue. If the Hampton or other chains would like to move into New Smyrna, then the mayor and the commissioners should let it happen where it make sense. Wedging a facility into an already crowded area makes no sense. It's understood that some of the businesses on Flagler are struggling economically. Drastic irreversable moves is not the way to make improvements in the area. It's a desparate solution, not an improvement.
Loris a Liar

Jupiter, FL

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#20
Jun 14, 2009
 
Max Dugas wrote:
This whole process for the hotel is a bogus smoke screen. The merchants on Flagler Ave that are obviously supporting the mayor and some of the commissioners are only thinking of themselves so they can get a "stimulus package".They are not thinking about the community and neigborhood as a whole, just as a selfish "me". How many years have there not been a Hampton hotel on Flagler? How have the merchants been making it? I figure if they are not making the money they want, then find another line of work! The economy is down and everyone is suffering, including the residents living in the surrounding neigborhood. How is this going to effect our quality of life with a monster hotel in our front yards? A small quaint Inn on Flagler Ave. not extending to Florida Ave would keep the Charm alive in New Smyrna.We have been putting our two cents in since the beginnig but with inflation, our two cents is worth nothing!
Max is right on. The owners of the property on Flagler, which is for sale, offered it to Premiere. Premiere never even answered the letter, they think stealing the park is a done deal.

It's not.
High Tide

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#21
Jun 17, 2009
 

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Embrace Change, Change is good! New Smyrna is nice, but it could be nicer. An Inn on Flagler for short term visitors is a new market for NSB, as is a developer willing to plan with the city.

A hotel was proposed and rejected for North Causeway, Ocean Front hotels were proposed and deleted from the Hospitality District. Residents who purchased property in or adjacent to an area with Mixed Use(commercial) Zoning cannot go back to the due dilligence part of their real estate contract but they can work with the developer to get the best building for the site.
The property is zoned mixed use, the owner wants to sell, someone could build a another Giant Yellow Tee Shirt Shop or Late Night Bar without any problem.

Furthermore that vacant lot is not a park, its not zoned as a park, its not maintained as a park, it is a vacant lot and if someone is using it as a park they are tresspassing on city property..

Embrace change, work with the developer, improve the community.Stop clinging to the past, it was not that great.

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