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Waldorf-Astoria in Sarasota

February 28, 2008

The deal to bring 255 room Waldorf-Astoria hotel to Sarasota has been finalized.  This is wonderful news for Sarasota and downtown.  Together with the 265 room Ritz Carlton the two hotels will be able to attract luxury travelers and book large business meetings.  One problem in Sarasota’s tourism market has been the dearth of luxury hotel rooms to attract larger business meetings and conventions.    With a Ritz-Carlton and soon a Waldorf-Astoria, Sarasota will continue it’s rise in cache among wealthy travelers and visitors.  There is a need for high end hotels as many beachfront hotels have yielded their prime location to condominium development. 

The new hotel will anchor the Proscenium project along Tamiami Trail at Boulevard of the Arts.  The Proscenium project will include an 800 seat theater and 300,000 square feet of office space in addition to 67 condominium units.   Before some begin to decry the state of affordable housing in Sarasota lets remember that this new project comes at a time when many downtown projects have been postponed or canceled due to the changing market.  The economic impact of this 1 billion dollar project will be fantastic for the downtown area.  The presence of high end brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf-Astoria, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrums and Sacks Fifth Avenue serves as a testament to the long-term allure and strength of Sarasota’s market.

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