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Renovations were approved for the Embassy Suites Jacksonville in Baymeadows.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Sep. 9, 201412:00 PM EST

$13M renovations at Embassy Suites

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Embassy Suites Jacksonville pulled permits Friday to start an almost $5 million construction project to renovate its Baymeadows hotel at 9300 Baymeadows Road.

FDR Construction Inc. of Chandler, Ariz., will remodel the hotel’s ground floor and lobby area as well as renovate the 277 existing guest suites and the hallways.

The two permits total $4.45 million in project costs.

In June, owners of the Embassy Suites Jacksonville said they intended to start a more than $13 million renovation of the Baymeadows hotel as soon as the permits were approved and complete the top-to-bottom remodeling by early 2015.

“You will not recognize the hotel when we’re done,” said Gary Stougaard, managing member of the ESJ Jacksonville SPE LLC ownership group, in June.

Stougaard said the furnishings and other upgrades account for the rest of the investment.

Stougaard, based in San Diego, said the hotel exterior won’t be repainted, but just about every other aspect will be remodeled, including the 277 suites and bathrooms, including new carpeting and furnishings; the first-floor atrium and other areas, including the restaurant that will be relocated and meeting rooms that will be upgraded; and the landscaping.

A new dining concept will be instituted.

Stougaard said the full-service hotel will remain open during renovations.

Property records show the seven-story hotel was built in 1985 and a four-story addition was developed in 1998.

ESJ Jacksonville bought the property for $8.8 million in October. Its 2014 market value is $7.4 million. The 4.75-acre site is east of Interstate 95.

Aimbridge Hospitality manages the hotel. Embassy Suites is a Hilton brand.

ESJ is investing almost $22 million in having bought and renovating the almost 30-year-old property.

“The renovation is long overdue for this hotel,” Stougaard said.

“We think the market merits our investment,” he said.

Walls on the way up for Belk

Construction is underway for the new Belk store at the Atlantic North shopping center. Signs are up on the property perimeter announcing the arrival of Belk there, one says in March.

The Belk site is under development at the western end of the property, which is at 11901 Atlantic Blvd. at northwest Kernan and Atlantic boulevards.

Belk Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C., has not commented about how the new store will affect the Regency Square Mall location just a few miles west.

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