A few years ago, the City of Fort Myers conducted a study showing that the downtown could use about 1,000 new hotel rooms. Consider this call finally heard.
HOS Management, based in Savannah, Georgia, paid $760,000 last month for four adjoining parcels with an address at 1635 Jackson Street, at the northeast corner of Jackson and Second Street.
Plans have yet to be made public on this hotel’s branding or construction schedule. HOS management has so far declined to comment.
Steve Cunningham of Cunningham Realty brokered the sale last month on behalf of former owners Steve Nease and Robert Zielinski of Fort Myers.
The property has an old cabin-like building. If only the walls could talk, Cunningham said.
“It’s commonly referred to as the ‘sound control building,'” Cunningham said. “This little building had all the equipment for visiting bands to come and record. Lynyrd Skynyrd would come and record there. There’s a piano that’s in there now.
Cunningham had the property under contract with another buyer last year.
“It had been on the market for a while,” Cunningham said. “I pegged it for where it would be for when it sold. The supply and demand curve did not dictate this price. We had several offers. We had it under contract at the same price, but the buyer backed out.
“This buyer (HOS) was very diligent in following up on the property. When the contract fell through I called him and he said he would call me in 10 days.
Turning the room into another downtown hotel made sense to Cunningham.
“The economy is healthy and downtown is a vibrant place,” he said. “It’s all about timing. And now the time had come for this property. The guys who owned it were local guys. They had a price in mind. Again, the supply and demand curve. What else was left? Nothing.”
Whenever this hotel is built, it will complement what has for years been a stagnant market for hotels in downtown Fort Myers.
The 243-room Luminary Hotel opened in September 2020.
The 67-room Hotel Indigo is being renovated and then rebranded Tapestry Collection by Hilton.
A 111-room Hampton Inn by Hilton is nearing completion near the “Five Corners” area of Fort Myers, where US 41 and McGregor Boulevard meet.
But these projects still leave room for the bedrooms.
Another investment group paid $2.5 million for the southeast corner of Jackson and First streets, a short walk from the other planned hotel site. This one has an address of 2300 First Street.
Public records show it in the planning stages to become an eight-story, 132-room AC Hotel by Marriott.
And at the southeast corner of Royal Palm Avenue and Second Street, not far from the Fort Myers Regional Library, a long-planned Staybridge Suites hotel remains in the licensing phase. It is expected to be a six-story, 100-room hotel.
HIDEV Group LLC purchased the land at 2454 Second Street for $1.4 million in November 2016.