BY MARK YOUNG / PALMETTO
Development in north Palmetto continues to grow with a new 140-room hotel, restaurant and mini-storage facility being planned as part of the same project at 1550 U.S. 301 N.
New development surrounding the 7.5 acres includes the city’s largest subdivision, Sanctuary Cove, currently under construction on 211 acres consisting of 176 new homes, and nearby will be the new Detwiler’s Farm Market location, which will be its largest site at 50,000 square feet.
The city is looking to clear a few zoning hurdles before design of the project begins. However, the owner, 301 North LLC, is in negotiations with Starbucks, First Watch and Geckos Grill & Pub as potential eateries for the site, as well as a national chain for the mini-storage site.
Palmetto Development Services Director Karla Owens did not name the hotelier, but indicated Extended Stay America, with 625 locations across America, is the likely chain interested in the site.
The vacant acreage was purchased by 301 North LLC in 2005 for $2.6 million at the peak of the real estate bubble, which began to burst the following year. A project planned 12 years ago fell victim to the Great Recession and never went forward. The latest appraisal, according to the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office website, lists the value at $812,180.
At the time, the city annexed the property at the new owner’s request, but because a general development plan was never submitted, it has sat without a zoning designation since the annexation.
Owens was directed Monday to begin working on the acreage’s designation, which will be commercial general. Once that hurdle is cleared, the developer can begin to work on and eventually submit a general development plan featuring design and potentially naming the businesses that ultimately will locate to the site as part of the overall project.
City attorney Mark Barnebey said Monday’s approval was only for the zoning request, which the city initiated, and not an approval of the project, which will come back to the commission when ready. Owens said the city initiated the zoning request, “Because this is something the city should have followed up on 12 years ago.”