New hotel planned for downtown Punta Gorda


PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — A hotel may replace an empty downtown shopping center that Hurricane Charley destroyed more than a decade ago.

The city is working with a developer to build a five-story, 103-room Marriott Springhill Estates hotel on the City Marketplace property at the corner of West Retta Esplande and Harborside Boulevard.

“A viable development on marketplace property has been a long time coming,” City Manager Howard Kunick said. “That’s the No. 1 property that we get inquiries about from visitors and from residents. When is something going to happen?”

The hotel would be across the street from the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center and within walking distance of shops and restaurants.
Nearby businesses would benefit, said Maria Minaya, who works at the Courtyard Cafe not far from the site.

“We’ve been here for about a year and it’s been slow, but now it’s starting to pick up,” she said. “If the Marriott comes in, then we’re going to be booming and I think that’s great.”

Despite a location near the Four Points Sheraton and the Wyvern Boutique Hotel, Kunick believes enough demand for the Marriott exists to make the project worthwhile.
“Hotels situated together in close proximity is great for conference attraction,” Kunick said.

Representatives for the developer will attend zoning appeals in January and go before City Council in February. If everything is approved, the hotel will be open in a couple of years.

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