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In a 3-2 vote Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Sarasota county commissioners approved an agree- ment for an 115,000-square-foot, 150-room hotel project on a prime acre of county-owned land. The deal clears the way for a nine- to 10 story Kimpton Hotel at the northeast cor- ner of U.S. 301 and Main Street in downtown Sarasota. B u t t h e c o m p l e x agreement sparked a lively discussion at Wednesday's meet- ing, and at one point, the project's approval seemed improbable. Sarasota-based developer Rod Connelly's firm, SHD Partners LLC, plans to construct the hotel 18 months after closing on the prop- erty. Under the agreement, the developer will pay the county $958,862, $2.6 million lower than the county's most recent appraised value of the land. I n e x c h a n g e , S D H w i l l c o n s t r u c t 8 6 parking spaces two blocks east, at 2051 Main St., to replace lost parking at the hotel site. The parcel An aerial view shows the site in downtown Sarasota where a Kimpton Hotel is planned. Image courtesy Sarasota County THE COUNTY COMMISSION APPROVES A DOWNTOWN HOTEL DEAL ON A SPLIT VOTE, BUT THREE COMMISSIONERS VOICE CONCERNS ABOUT THE INABILITY TO ENSURE COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT NARROWLY APPROVED We will have a property on the tax rolls. Joe Barbetta Commissioner Sarasota County By Roger Drouin County Editor

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