JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Jacksonville Beach will have the opportunity to get into the "Margaritaville state of mind" after the beachside city confirmed a proposal to construct a "Margaritaville" hotel project.
Jacksonville Beach director of planning and development Bill Mann said the project is planned for the vacant, oceanfront block between 6th and 7th Avenues North.
Mann added the eight-story hotel would include 211 rooms and internal garage parking. The facility will also feature a ground-level restaurant, commercial space and outside amenities.
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Mann said the hotel project would connect with the city's seawalk boardwalk to the south along the oceanfront.
The project is in development plan review with the city's Planning and Development Department. Mann said there's no start date yet for the construction.
Mann called the project “a great addition to our downtown area.”
Longtime Jacksonville Beach resident Carol Wakefield couldn’t agree more.
“An ocean front hotel with an amazing bar and restaurant. What could be better than that?” Wakefield said. “It’s something we need, you can see there’s a gap here. Something needs to make this area come alive.”
Elite Hospitality of Ormond Beach is behind the project. A spokesperson said they still need to get a lot “blessings” from different people, but they’ve gotten good feedback so far.
Wakefield believes the hotel could also boost revenue for nearby businesses.
“We need something to draw people here and this may very well do it,” Wakefield said.
The project is estimated to bring about 150 jobs to Jacksonville Beach.
Elite Hospitality said it should know more in about six months but if all goes as planned, they hope to break ground in 2019. The build out would take two years to complete.
The "Margaritaville" restaurant in Jacksonville Beach would be one of 32 restaurants in the Jimmy Buffett franchise. There are several locations in Florida, including ones in Orlando and Hollywood.
If the project pulls through, residents and visitors can enjoy an ambiance where "island music rules" and "waiting lines for anything" are things of the past.
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