he St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) (“St. Joe”) and Key International, Inc. (“Key International”) have announced the commencement of construction of a 255-room Embassy Suites hotel in the Pier Park area of Panama City Beach, Florida. The hotel is currently under construction adjacent to the Pier Park lifestyle center at Front Beach Road.
St. Joe and Key International, a Miami-based real estate investment and development company, intend to construct the hotel on land currently owned by St. Joe with unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico. Once complete, St. Joe will manage the day-to-day operations of the hotel. Plans call for the hotel to feature 255 guest suites, a pool, meeting space, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant and an upper-level, gulf-view social, catering and event space. Consistent with all Embassy Suites hotels, guests staying at this location will be treated to complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and a daily evening reception.
“This development comes at a time when demand for hotel space in the Pier Park area is high. Visitation to Panama City Beach has been rising for the past several years with Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport surpassing the one million passenger mark for the first time last year,” said Jorge Gonzalez, President and CEO of St. Joe. “With this location’s proximity to the Pier Park lifestyle shopping center, which offers approximately 900,000 square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment, the Russell-Fields Pier and the Gulf of Mexico we are thrilled to work with Key International and to see construction begin.”
“We are excited to be working with St. Joe on the development of this new Embassy Suites in Panama City Beach,” said Key International Co-President Diego Ardid. “We believe this property will complement the area’s thriving tourism sector and family-friendly nature in an unparalleled location.”
“The groundbreaking of this new resort property supports our firm’s strategy of delivering quality guest accommodations and experiences in Florida’s captivating coastal cities,” added Key International Co-President Inigo Ardid. “We look forward to further growing our portfolio and relationship with Embassy Suites.” The company previously delivered the Embassy Suites St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort in 2018.
This hotel joins the TownePlace Suites adjoining Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach as hotel projects that St. Joe currently has under construction. St. Joe also intends to construct, own and operate a new branded hotel immediately adjacent to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
The parties anticipate this new Embassy Suites to be completed in 2021.
The Panama City Beach Embassy Suites is one of at least 30 new residential, commercial or hospitality projects that St. Joe has or intends to initiate in 2019. For more information on the company’s current project pipeline, see the company’s Business Strategy section of the 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”).