Benderson unveils new hotel plans
by: Pam Eubanks | Senior Editor via Observer.com
Benderson Development is one step closer to fulfilling its vision to make its University Town Center project a one-stop venue for visitors to Manatee and Sarasota counties.
The company last week broke ground on the first of several future hotels, totaling 500 rooms, surrounding The Mall at University Town Center.
The first is a 130-room Homewood Suites. The six-level hotel will be 79 feet tall and have 115,000 square feet.
“Our plan is a total deviation from Hilton’s prototype for the Homewood Suites flag,” said Todd Mathes, Benderson’s director of development. “Hilton scrutinized our plans over the past year or so and only very recently issued its approval.”
Mathes said the limited-service hotel will have significant upgrades in terms of finishes, design and materials. This includes higher quality furniture and a different design. “We stepped up everything,” he said.
The hotel is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016.
Benderson Development (doing business as Buffalo Lodging Associates) owns and operates about 40 Hilton and Marriott brand hotels, including the Courtyard Sarasota University Park and Hampton Inn & Suites Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch, across University Parkway. It typically builds within prototypical standards, but is making improvements to match the new Homewood Suites location with the aesthetics and quality of the surrounding properties.
Additionally, the Homewood Suites location, at the southwest corner of Cattlemen and DeSoto roads, will be a recognizable location.