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Business Observer Monday, Aug. 3, 2009 13 years ago

Station demolished, project delayed

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Nokomis is losing one eyesore gas station, but don't expect Finergy Development LLC's mixed-use development to follow it soon.

Nokomis is losing one eyesore gas station, but don't expect Finergy Development LLC's mixed-use development to follow it soon.

The Sarasota-based company started demolishing the station at the southwest corner of Albee Road and U.S. 41 on Monday, Aug. 3., but the dour local hotel market has the developer putting its large project on hold.

The developer has all its needed approvals and construction documents to start the mixed-use project, which is designed to feature an 100-room Hilton Garden Inn, 15,000-square of retail space and 28 condo units, and had planned to start later this year after it completed the new Hampton Inn and Suite at the Sarasota Airport. Instead the developer is waiting to confirm the bottom of the hotel market.

“We're seeing that hotels in our service area are down 25 to 35% in rate and occupancy,” says Eric J. Collin, vice president of development of Finergy. “June looked like a typical October and that's our second or third slowest month of the year. Its not just June, every month is lower than it was last year. We definitely like to position ourselves aggressively to be building when no one else is, but we can only do so much at this stage.”

Collin says the developer decided to demolish the closed gas station early as a nod to the community.

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