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Posted on: June 19, 2018

Embassy Suites hotel to anchor new $85 million mixed-use development in Gulf Shores


Plans for a new luxury hotel and mixed-use development have been unveiled in Gulf Shores.

Mayor Robert Craft announced Tuesday that the City has reached an agreement in principle with DD Partners, LLC, a development team led by Birmingham-based developer Ron Durham and Marietta, GA-based developer Ron Day, to construct a new $85 million mixed-use development on a 1.93-acre parcel at the corner of West Beach Boulevard and West 1st Street.

The 398,000-square foot project will be anchored by a 229-room Embassy Suites hotel and will include a fine dining restaurant, street front retail and a 23,000-square foot outdoor rooftop featuring a pool, bar, lounge and event terrace overlooking the recently renovated Gulf Place beachfront. Additional hotel amenities will include nearly 12,000-square feet of conference space including a 7,800-square foot ballroom, full-service spa, indoor pool and fitness center.

“This is the type of transformative project we envisioned for the beach area when we adopted Vision 2025 and committed to a ‘make it happen’ mentality,” said Craft. “We set out to create a pedestrian- and bike-friendly beachfront. We wanted to attract new development that would boost our shoulder seasons and stimulate local businesses. This project will be the catalyst to drive these initiatives to a new level and a model for future development by obtaining LEED certification and utilizing flood proofing construction techniques.”

The new development comes on the heels of the City completing the first two of three phases of a $15 million revitalization of its half mile of public beach. According to lead developer Ron Durham, the City’s investment was pivotal in gaining franchise approval from Hilton Worldwide who owns the Embassy Suites franchise.

“We are excited to be a part of such an extraordinary project for Gulf Shores and believe the Embassy Suites flag is the perfect fit to complement the City’s vision for this area,” said Durham. “This project has been a true public-private partnership from the start. We would not be announcing this project today without the City’s vision and commitment to Gulf Place and beyond. Their investment will yield returns and spur additional private investment for decades to come.”

Gulf Shores will join Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa as the only cities in Alabama to boast an Embassy Suites hotel. The hotel franchise will bring its longstanding reputation of dominating the luxury, suite-style hotel market by attracting family, business and meeting and event travelers year-round.

“This new Embassy Suites will add greatly to the current inventory of hotels and other lodging options that span our coastline. This is the perfect project for this location and we anxiously await the grand opening,” stated Herb Malone, CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.

The development team expects to complete all necessary permitting by the end of 2018 and begin construction in early 2019.

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