The manager for what will be a new hotel in the heart of Flagler Beach says that while plenty of work remains to be done, construction may start either in the second or third quarter of 2022.
“We’re in the planning and design phase right now, so there’s still a lot of work to be done before we can present something that we can pull a permit on, break ground in,” says Manoj Bhoola, manager of Elite Hospitality, the Ormond Beach-based firm that bought the land under the corporate name Sun partners LLC. Bhoola is a fixture in the hotelier scene in Volusia County and managed the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Jacksonville Beach, a 202-room, eight-story project on the ocean that may have affinities with the Flagler Beach project.
Elite Hospitality had bought the property for $11 million. That $50 million project was completed a month early, opening last January after breaking ground in March 2019, just as the pandemic was beginning to cascade across the country, with a two-story LandShark Bar & Grill restaurant, retail space and 200 parking spaces. The project suggests Elite Hospitality is not made of quick sands.
Bhoola was not ready to reveal what franchises are in the running. But it may not be difficult to figure out. Elite has worked with Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Suites, Margaritaville Beach Hotel, Castillo Real and Best Western among others. “We’re not coming in with a cookie cutter Hampton Inn and forcing it down the throat of the locals,” Bhoola said, which narrows the possibilities somewhat, salting the rim of that margarita. “Right now talking to a lot of local constituents of what would be a good fit, and then talking to some franchises, possible franchises as well. If everything goes perfectly, it could be the second or third quarter of 2022, but there’s still a lot of variables right now.” He said he was in talks specifically with two franchises at the moment. “It is a franchise that I have dealt with before,” Bhoola said, and that’s “very fitting of Flagler Beach’s lifestyle.”
“Crossing our fingers,” Flagler Beach City Manager William Whitson said. “What we’re doing right now is finalizing the design and make sure that it complies with all of the planning standards and things like that. And once it gets through that process, then they can submit for permits.” The site plan will go before the planning board and the commission, but there is no date yet. “The details of all of that will come out in the next few months as they go through this process.”
A year ago in a regulatory step the Flagler Beach City Commission cleared the way for the three-story hotel to be built on the 1.3-acre lot. The lot was owned until July by William and Zoee Forehand, the Flagler beach residents and business owners. They sold the lot for $3.8 million. Zoee Forehand had made clear to the commission that she had been closely involved in the redevelopment plans in the run up to the sale, and that she intended to remain involved even after the sale, not wanting the project to transgress her idea of a good fit for the city in the area that defines it most. But her plan was as much forward-looking as restorative.
The Flagler Beach Resort, a four-story hotel, had occupied the lot for nearly 50 years until it was demolished in 1972. It had at one point been the city’s tallest structure, its ocean views unobstructed, as will be the case with the new hotel: only Veterans Park stands between the hotel grounds and the boardwalk.
“She is involved,” Bhoola said of Forehand, who could not be reached today. “That’s part and parcel of what you’re going to see in the final project.” Meanwhile, various amenities from a meeting space to a restaurant to other ideas are being considered, depending on what the “local customization” would inspire.
The construction project is expected to generate a sizeable number of jobs, followed by more permanent jobs at the hotel itself. The property, currently valued at just under $1 million as an empty lot, will gain considerable value on the tax rolls, generating well above the $5,000 it did for Flagler Beach’s coffers last year, and the $20,000 it did for all local governments combined.
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I love that. The “Flagler Beach way of life”. Meaning rich people buy up every last acre and price the locals out.
Sounds like they did not realize the other hotels in Flagler beach never did very well either. Now a 100 rooms going to be better for locals because of the tax revenue? Who moved to Flagler Beach because they raised the tax revenue?
Lance Carroll says
Right? Gotta LOVE the sellers out of Flagler Beach… I wonder whom now sits on the board of the new corporation that intends on developing that land? Public records…
We should have been able to vote on it!
This is not a good development at all!
Louie, you already voted on it when you elected the commissioners in Flagler Beach.
If it’s within the zoning, which it must be since a hotel was already there for 50 years, you don’t get to vote on how private property is used.
Audie Victor Colon says
I would love to see a similar style of the original hotel.
Here we go! Yes you are ramming this down our throats. All of you profess this is for the good of the people of Flagler County, yeah right. The only people to benefit are theCEO’s of the company. Not all of us are as stupid as you wish we are. But, you know, those people who you charm and woo will give in to you. We know that. Even though you will build, there are most of us who hope you fail for ruining and making our beautiful town your wallet. As always, money round communities.
Kenneth Hawrey says
Hotel will absolutely ruin flagler beach as we know it. The property should be used by the town for outdoor events
I agree. I am very unhappy that our beautiful beach town is being ruined by greedy politicians ready to change our community without the residents input. It is all about the money and not about the scenery.
What happened to A1A the scenic highway? I fear soon all will be lost.
Nilda Raphael says
Number one draw to Flagler Beach is that there are currently no high-rise buildings on A1A by the pier are. That draw is nostalgic and inviting!
We are all hoping this hotel fails and is plowed to the ground? Why would they grant this company a deal no one else is allowed to build multiple story building to block the sun from the beach
I don’t understand the hostility for development, would love to see more amenities within the town center. What’s is with this pricing out local’s mantra, if you’re a local, prices going up is a good thing, provided we can control the taxing agencies from gouging us to death. If you think the prices are high now just wait a few years, Parking is going to be the regulator of the density of beach goers, the city of Flagler Beach is under no obligation to provide parking to visitors or customers of businesses. If you have a business, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you provide parking on your property. Ponte Vedra uses parking to prevent too many day trippers onto their beaches, it works too. Eventually with the development of areas off Island, the city will have to deal with this thorny issue of parking. The only reasonable resolution is a paid parking lot off island with a tram or bikes to the beach, and permits for residents. Floridians have rights to the beach below the highwater line, but they don’t have a right to a parking space.
Goodbye Cruel World says
Between the Sea levels rising and the population exploding, Flagler Beach is finished. Stick a fork in it. MOVE while you can.
Christina Nelson says
Shame shame these are the people we elected. We are the idiots! We let this happen. Another Best Western. What a joke
Max Selva says
If you don’t like the elected officials run for their seat in March 2022. There are two seats open. Don’t complain unless you get involved. Also the property where the hotel is going is zoned for a hotel, nothing else so the city cannot deny a hotel there!
Ben Johnson says
Guess who does the zoning????? CITY! It could be changed by the city for what ever they want it for. I am sure they aren’t going to change the zoning if it won’t make them any MONEY. And the person above is involved as they must have voted. That’s being involved. Anyone who is honest wouldn’t sit on any political position anyway as they have to become dishonest to stay on one and that goes all the way to the White House. As I had a top secret clearance and saw what happens in politics in detail believe me there is lots of back room deals made. This was probably one.
Ben Johnson says
Another great place being ruined. Been going to St. Augustine since the later 80’s and it is a completed mess now. Money seems to be an only motivator now. So Flagler now goes the way of the money. They can’t handle what goes on down there now with the amount of traffic and people. Just a real shame. That area could have been used for a lot better things than a hotel. But as you can see by the information Flagler is only concerned about more money in the coffers.
James M. Mejuto says
What is Flagler Beach to do? Your town politicians hooked up with real estate maniacs have forced a horrible
No longer will the Beach community have open space to hold events – July 4th- and a much needed Farmers’
Market every weekend that contributed t0 the sanity of your community.
Now, it’s all gonna be taken away from you as though you were fifth graders sent to the corner of the class.
You have no control, Flagler Beach . . . it has all been taken away from you.
Chris S says
Those that don’t know history, they tend to repeat it. In the 1980’s they allowed the 3 high rises to be built, a HUGE mistake, now another; Daytona Condo hotels here we come!
Crusty Old Salt says
The City of Flagler Beach has a 35ft. height limit that was put in the City Charter back in the early 2000’s. Therefore, if this project moves forward, hotel will need to abide by that height limit. They only way it can be changed is by a majority of voters by the residents of Flagler Beach by referendum. I don’t see that ever happening. Believe most residents would not support another high rise being built in Flagler Beach.
Pangolin Wail says
Another W asting away in Margaritaville.? Is this another Key West style rape? Been there recently? You don’t want to.
The best attraction to Flagler Beach is that it hasn’t changed in the 32 years I’ve been living here. A “sleepy little beach town” that no-one knows about…..please, keep it that way!
BILL NELSON says
And how soon will they (developers) be seeking a variance to “build higher” with a dozen reasons that relate to their ability to finish out the build and make profits. I hope Flagler Beach voters remember who their politicians are that agreed and OK’d this terrible destruction of the what will be once quaint and beautiful Flagler Beach.
Brianna k says
Kiss your peace goodbye! From noisy bars moving behind my old apartment complex, to this hideous hotel they’re trying to build! Flagler doesn’t even care about one of the biggest money makers they have…The Funky Pelican. The building is falling apart, but they’d rather build another pier??? When Funky employees are literally breaking bones because the foundation of our building is CRUMBLING?? But let’s build another eyesore hotel…that’ll fix the problem. Despicable. Glad I’m moving out of state. Hate this place
Very excited to see this project come to life! I hope that this new amenity and the tourism it will bring will increase property values. Progress is good!
well progress is one thing….but I dont know how any of us on A1A and in town are going to be able to get off the island in evacuation with 100+ hotel rooms x’s how many people per room, x’s how many in the coming townhomes in back……..major congestion, traffic, people right where its already bad, and jamming up our only route over the bridge.
OMG a Best Western? a Hampton Inn? ate you kidding me?! all the promises the seller would stay involved to insure it wasnt just that……probably end up a Motel 6. and I have more land in my yard than what this is being built on….I think i will ask to build a hotel too.