Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crab Pot Site Sold for Hotel Best Western Partners Buy In

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Crab Pot Site Sold for Hotel Best Western Partners Buy In

Article excerpt

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- The partners of the Best Western Inn Oceanfront have purchased the former Crab Pot site and plan to start building a $6 million hotel in July.

The group purchased the 2-acre parcel from Toney Sleiman, of Sleiman Enterprises Inc., on Wednesday for about $1.7 million, said Bobby Bhikha, general manager of the Best Western.

Sleiman bought the parcel for about the same price under a deal with the city of Jacksonville Beach in late June. That contract was signed two days before a deadline set by the City Council to end three years of waffling and last-minute changes for this portion of the city's downtown redevelopment plan.

The seven-story hotel will have about 77 rooms and have the Mediterranean architectural style that distinguishes the redevelopment concept. Plans call for an oceanside pool, about 3,000 square feet of meeting space and a family-style restaurant. All the rooms will have an oceanfront view, Bhikha said.

Barring problems with permits or any other delays, construction should begin in July and the hotel may open by May 2001, he said. …

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