Allegiant to build waterfront massive condo-hotel resort near Punta Gorda Airport in Florida
Allegiant Travel Co., best known for its low-fare airline, chose a site along Charlotte Harbor for its first resort.
“This is the largest waterfront resort of its kind in the state of Florida,” said Allegiant President John Redmond.
Redmond and Allegiant Chairman Maurice Gallagher announced their development intentions at a Punta Gorda Airport press conference, roughly seven miles from the future construction site on Bayshore Road west of U.S. 41.
It’s an ambitious plan that includes Allegiant launching a new brand, Sunseeker Resorts, named for a travel magazine and website it already produces.
Key features include:
A condo-hotel complex, with up to nine condo towers;
At least 10 restaurants and shops built along the waterfront;
A 1,000-foot-long swimming pool;
A private, full-service medical care facility and pharmacy;
A new, private marina with owners’ slips and rental watercraft; and
A resident condo-rental program.
Allegiant aims to build 720 condo units, which are designed to function as condo-hotel units if the owners choose that option.
Another 75 standard hotel units are initially planned, with the option of ultimately increasing to 300.
If all the condo and hotel units became part of a rental pool, it would bring up to 1,200 new accommodations into the area.
The development still has numerous regulatory hoops to go through for the site in unincorporated Charlotte County. But if it emerges largely intact, it would significantly raise the county’s profile in tourism — and by one estimate — add 300,000 visitors to the region annually.
“I’m excited about this. It goes a long way to put us on the map as a destination,” said Dennis Gill, owner of Port Charlotte Florist.
Gill predicted the “majority of people will embrace the concept. It means there will be more things to do.”
That’s because the public will be welcome at the shops and restaurants to be built along a boardwalk along the harbor.
The 22-acre resort property also will link up to two county parks, Bayshore and Live Oak.
“Both locals and visitors will benefit. People will have dinner, walk the boardwalk, enjoy the parks,” said Bill Truex, county commission chairman.
And, depending on where Allegiant markets the condo units for sale, Truex thinks it could open the potential for new flights to Punta Gorda Airport.
Allegiant is the airport’s sole carrier. It’s the reason the airport in July marked 45 consecutive months of year-over-year passenger increases.
It wasn’t ready to disclose what it thinks the resort development will cost. But early this year, Allegiant began acquiring land from 15 individual owners, for a total of 22 acres.
It’s in a Community Redevelopment Area that includes some shabby and apparently vacant business sites as well as bushy, undeveloped land.
“As a CRA, you can’t do it lot-by-lot, and generate the type of change that’s going to come with this project,” Truex said.
The travel company hopes to break ground on the project sometime in the second quarter of 2018, and aims to have it substantially completed within 18 months.
Redmond allowed the marina might take longer — or be delayed in favor of the landside developments — because of the rigorous permitting requirements for waterfront properties. Added Redmond: “This will be a wonderful place for families to come and enjoy a safe and beautiful environment.”