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The City of Gulf Shores announced today that it has joined with a private development partner to apply to team with an international hotel brand to construct a 240-room full service hotel, spa and meeting facility on city-owned property located at the corner of West Beach Boulevard and West 1st Street.
If approved, the hotel will serve as an anchor on the two acre site for a proposed mixed-use development that will include a restaurant, street level retail and a third floor pool deck overlooking the public beach. The estimated $80 million project is being proposed by a development team led by Birmingham-based developer Ron Durham and architect Mack McKinney in response to a Request for Proposals issued by the City in the spring of 2015.
“We issued the RFP in hopes of finding the right partner and project to advance our efforts to enhance our beach area and continue to boost tourism in the shoulder seasons,” said Mayor Robert Craft. “We received attractive proposals from four very qualified teams and after careful consideration, we determined the Durham proposal offered exactly what we were looking for. I plan to bring a development agreement to the City Council for consideration in the next several weeks.”
The redevelopment of the Gulf Beach District into a more engaging, pedestrian-friendly and family-focused environment has been a top priority for City leaders since they adopted the Small Town, Big Beach Vision 2025 for Sustainability in 2014. According to Craft, additional projects including the beachfront revitalization currently underway at Gulf Place and planned “significant roadway improvements along Beach Boulevard” seem to be falling into place at the right time.
“These projects will be the catalyst for the transformation of our beach area into the walkable, energetic district our community has envisioned for so long,” Craft added. “Providing a community that is welcoming, safe and accessible will enhance the quality of life of our residents and stimulate our local economy.”