Oasis Marina and Resort planned for Navarre Beach State Park

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Kenny Wilder
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Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:38 am

The Pensacola News Journal reported on its front page today that Oasis Marina and Resort is planned for Navarre Beach. The news article is shown below.
_____________________________________________________________

Published - July, 24, 2007
Pensacola News Journal


Navarre Beach on mend
Community may see first hotel rooms since Ivan wiped out Holiday Inn

Louis Cooper
lcooper@pnj.com

Proposed-Oasis-Marina-and-Resort-Map.jpg
Proposed-Oasis-Marina-and-Resort-Map.jpg (73.59 KiB) Viewed 3998 times
Image Credit: Pensacola News Journal

A high-rise Embassy Suites hotel and condominium development featuring a marina and conference center is planned at Navarre Beach.

Oasis Marina and Resort would feature 120 rooms, half as many condo units and a minimum 35-slip marina on Santa Rosa Sound, between the Navarre Beach Causeway and Eglin Air Force Base property.

The project is planned by David Brannen of Bayside Holdings Inc., who has developed several local projects, including the Best Western and Hampton Inn on Pensacola Beach. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

The Santa Rosa County Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to amend a lease on Navarre Beach that will allow the project to move forward.

County Commissioner Gordon Goodin said he is familiar with Brannen's plans.

"I think he's going to have a conference center, a restaurant and all the amenities," Goodin said. "Their plan is to have an upscale hotel. With that location and with the view it's going to have, it would be hard to say it won't be the best property down there."

Goodin said he expects the project to get started in 2009 or 2010.

There have been no hotel rooms on Navarre Beach since Hurricane Ivan destroyed the Holiday Inn in September 2004.

"We desperately need some hotel rooms," said Kate Wilkes, executive director of the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council. "Without a hotel, it really hurts. A lot of the time for a first-time visit, people will come to a hotel, and then, when they come back, rent or buy a condo."

Navarre Beach Administrator Roger Blaylock said the property has long been envisioned as a marina.

"Since the 1960s that lease has existed for a marina and facilities to support a marina," Blaylock said. "The change (the commission will consider Thursday) would allow the condominiums and hotel."

Goodin said Oasis will not interfere with plans to reopen Navarre Beach State Park as a county park. In fact, the Oasis property was never part of the park, and Oasis could have been built even if Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis had not closed the park, he said.

The state is in the process of repairing the park before it turns the land back over to Santa Rosa County.

Ken Rudzki, a manager at Juana's Pagoda, said the Navarre Beach business community would welcome the project.

"The need for a hotel out here is great," Rudzki said. "We wish the Holiday Inn would be replaced. We miss those couple of hundred rooms."

Business, he said, has been on the mend since Ivan and Dennis.

"It takes a couple of years after a major storm for the out-of-town public to start thinking of you as a destination again," Rudzki said. "We've had a couple of lean years, but I think it has now bounced back very well. It would have bounced back sooner, I think, if we had had hotel rooms available."
Last edited by Kenny Wilder on Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:05 am

County Parcel Map showing the Oasis Marina Resort property
Oasis-Marina-and-Resort-State-Park.jpg
Oasis-Marina-and-Resort-State-Park.jpg (53.21 KiB) Viewed 3997 times
Parcel 13 and Parcel 16 is the property for the proposed Oasis Marina and Resort. These two Parcels are separated by Parcel 1, which is owned by Santa Rosa County.

I was present last month at the County Commissioners meeting to listen to discussion about the Summer Place community developer’s request that the Navarre Beach Master Plan be changed to allow the developer to build a High-Density building (16 story condo) to the adjacent west boundary of the Belle Mer condo.

After the Summer Place discussion was over the next thing on the agenda was the Oasis Marina and Resort presentation. The approximate 10 acre property that includes two parcels is located in the middle of the Navarre Beach State Park adjacent to the Santa Rosa Sound. Commissioner Bob Cole said that his wife enjoyed her walks on the eastern end of the State Park towards the Eglin Air Force property. Commissioner Cole posed the question to the developers if they would be willing to do a land swap whereby their current two parcels could be moved to the very western end of the State Park. The developers said they had no problem in a land swap. The proposed land swap if approved would be in the vicinity of Moms Beach, which is on the Santa Rosa Sound adjacent to Gulf Blvd. and the Causway Road.

The Oasis Marina and Resort has two parcels that are separated by a parcel that is owned by Santa Rosa County. If you enlarge the Parcel Map above you will notice lines in red. Parcel 1 and Parcel 23 is owned by Santa Rosa County. Parcel 13 and Parcel 16 is the property for the proposed Oasis Marina and Resort. These two Parcels are separated by Parcel 1, which is owned by Santa Rosa County.

Parcel 23 is also owned by Santa Rosa County, which includes the Boat launch and parking lot, and leased properties that include Juana’s and Sailors Grill.

Since Parcel 13 and Parcel 16 are separated by Parcel 1, I guess the logic for the development to proceed would be that the County would allow a land swap as the Commissioners mentioned last month or sell the County Parcel to the developer that is currently between Parcel 13 and Parcel 16.

Parcel 13 and Parcel 16 is currently zoned Vacant Residential. This property would require a rezoning change to High-Density for a high rise hotel.

The County Commissioners public meeting is this Thursday, July 26 in Milton at 9:00 a.m. to consider the “change” to allow the hotel and condominiums. I do not know what exactly what the “change” will be. Also, on the agenda for the Commissioner’s meeting on Thursday is the discussion about the Summer Place community’s developer request that the Navarre Beach Master Plan be changed to allow the developer to build a High-Density building (16 story condo) to the adjacent west boundary of the Belle Mer condo.

I highly recommend that you attend the Commissioner’s meeting on Thursday. I certainly plan to be present.
Last edited by Kenny Wilder on Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Fallsacoming
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Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:25 am

Good morning Kenny, just wondering, is this complex good for the island?I would be interested in others opinions as well.
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Randymetro
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Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:38 am

I think that any change to the master plan for any project is wrong.If the marina is allowed to build a hi rise then any one should be allowed to build one. Follow the plan or throw it out.
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Pete
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Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:49 pm

Looking at the 2001 Proposed Master Plan documents linked at:
http://www.santarosa.fl.gov/zoning/nbmp/Part5.pdf
(Thanks Kenny! - was the "proposed" plan ever "approved/adopted"? - even if not, subject parcel was also designated "commercial" in the 1995 FLUM and "hotel" in the previous zoning map)
It appears that at least one of the parcels remained "Commercial" in the proposed 2001 Master Plan Update Future Land Use Map (FLUM) #5-D, and "Navarre Beach Commercial" in the proposed 2001 Zoning Map Update#5-F.
Page 84 - Subsection 5.C.1.1: Compatible Uses - lists
Subsection 5.C.1.1(b): Commercial - 1. Hotels and motels 2. Marina (etc.)
And 2001 Table #5-G doesn't list any height restrictions for "NB-C" zoning.
Page 79 states, "Subsection 5.B.8.2: Motels/Hotels
During the public input phase of the planning process, numerous comments were received and discussions held regarding the provision of additional motel/hotel space at Navarre Beach." and later, "Hotel and motel land uses are allowed in both the proposed Mixed Residential Commercial and Commercial categories."
Page 83 states, "The area east of the Causeway designated as "Commercial" on the adopted Future Land Use Map is proposed so due to an existing lease that would allow a commercial marina. The change in classification is warranted due to the identified priority of providing additional public access to the Gulf beaches and the previously discussed need to provide additional" (sic) (... additional what? --- hotel/motel rooms?)

So, it appears - whether good, bad, or indifferent - that hotel/motel/marina use for the subject parcel would NOT be a "change" to the Master Plan.
So, if want "no changes" to, and "follow" the Master Plan, then it appears there will be a hotel/condo/marina, etc. in the middle of the park.
The old saying, "Be careful what you ask for, you might get it!"
Pete
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Kenny Wilder
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Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:45 pm

I’m not against Oasis Marina and Resort and its developer building a “hotel/condo/marina in the middle of the State Park if it is already zoned as such, and meets strict environmental standards. I’m not against a land swap within the State Park as long as it is within the vicinity of the developer’s existing two parcels. What I would be vehemently against would be a land swap where the proposed development is built at the existing Moms beach area.

In all fairness to the developer, the County and everybody else we need more information at this time for better discussion. I believe that we will lean more about this development at this Thursday’s Commissioner public meeting in Milton and in the next few weeks.
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jeeperman
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Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:36 pm

"Commissioner Cole posed the question to the developers if they would be willing to do a land swap whereby their current two parcels could be moved to the very eastern end of the State Park. The developers said they had no problem in a land swap."

How convenient that Commissioner Cole just happens to suggest a land swap!.
Lets see, Oasis Developers have the leases on parcels 13 & 16 with a parcel of county land seperating the two Oasis parcels.
Thus making neither large enough for Oasis to develope. Maybe thats why they have sat idle for so many years? hmmmmmmmmmm
Along comes a request to rezone, and low and behold BOCC Cole just happens to suggest a land swap!.
Not only trade parcel 16 for the county parcel to the west, but offer to trade the two Oasis parcels for two parcels up against the Air Force property. What a deal!
Oasis gets property with a border that will never see any pesty park visitors to the west!.

The request to rezone and Coles offer of a land swap sure sound "fishy".
After this land swap and rezoning change, the next news will be that the the Navarre Pass is going to be opened.
And guess who's marina will be right next to it.
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Kenny Wilder
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Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:58 am

Oasis Marina and Resort Update

Published - July, 27, 2007
Pensacola News Journal
Local news briefs


Commission OKs amending lease to allow hotel at Navarre Beach

A Navarre Beach hotel/condo/marina project cleared its first hurdle Thursday.

The Santa Rosa County Commission voted 4-0 to amend a lease on Navarre Beach to allow a hotel and condo on property that fronts Santa Rosa Sound, west [Should be east] of the Navarre Beach Causeway. The lease already provided for a marina and support facilities.

Commissioner Don Salter was absent.

Pensacola developer David Brannen of Bayside Holdings Inc. wants to build the Oasis Marina and Resort. The project includes an Embassy Suites hotel with at least 120 rooms, half as many condominium units and a minimum 35-slip marina.

Article Link:
http://www.pnj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articl ... 70346/1006
____________________________________________________________

My Comment:

The Commissioners did not mention the "land swap" that was proposed in their meeting last month. This may be discussed in the near future.
Last edited by Kenny Wilder on Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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jeeperman
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Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:56 am

"The Santa Rosa County Commission voted 4-0 to amend a lease on Navarre Beach to allow a hotel and condo on property that fronts Santa Rosa Sound, west of the Navarre Beach Causeway. The lease already provided for a marina and support facilities. "


I thought the Oasis property in question is EAST of the causeway?
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Kenny Wilder
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Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:33 am

Jeeperman,

Thanks for noticing that the Pensacola News Journal’s article this morning where it incorrectly stated that the property “fronts Santa Rosa Sound, west of Navarre Beach Causeway. You are right! It should read east. I have added emphasis on my post that is highlighted in red to reflect the Journal’s error. Again, thanks for letting the forum know about this error.
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vickinoe
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Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:28 am

I'm opposed to buiding a hotel on this site. It's not necessary to destroy pristine island property for a hotel when a hotel could be built on the old Holiday Inn property. What tourist wants to stay on the Sound side of the island? They'll want to be on the Gulf. It doesn't make sense. This is a bad development idea.

BUILD A HOTEL ON THE HOLIDAY INN PROPERTY.
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Rosebud
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Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:56 am

Vickinoe, I totally agree. 100%. It's the view of the Gulf and the ability to walk out the door onto the beach that appeals to me. Maybe people who have boats will be drawn to the Sound, but I want proximity to that beautiful Gulf. When I read about the new project being on the sound side, I was disappointed.
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Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:12 pm

You need to realize that what is built on the properties leased to Oasis and Holiday Inn are private developments.
The risk of investment and development of those two leased properties is up to the leaseholder.
Neither one is being developed by the county or government.
jeeperman
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Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:56 am

Exactly!
The Oasis development of their properties has been dead for years because of the county lot inbetween the Oasis lots.
Seems pretty orchestrated that BOCC Cole would suggest a land swap that would facilitate (make room for) the Oasis developement plans all in the same meeting.
Without a swap or with the county lot inbetween the Oasis lots the entire project does not happen.

How much $$ did Cole get paid to come up and offer a land swap?
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keywester
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Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:18 pm

is the residential cap not met at navarre beach? i assume not if they are allowing more condos.
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