Real Estate & Development
It’s not just residential construction that’s been booming around Amelia Island and nearby Yulee. Commercial building has also surged the past several years. Amelia Island’s tourism industry has seen rising numbers of overnight visitors for many consecutive years. Thus, along with traveler growth, well-known hotel brands are expanding their presence in the local marketplace.
Amelia Island’s New Hotels
The newest hotel to open on Amelia Island is welcoming guests in 2020. Homes2Suites by Hilton (pictured below) is located at 2246 Sadler Rd. in Fernandina Beach.
Homes2Suites offers 103 all-suite accommodations with fully-accessorized kitchens, an outdoor saline pool, outdoor fire pit and grilling area.
Courtyard By Marriott & SpringHill Suites
Currently, a new dual-brand hotel is underway, a Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites, being built near Fernandina’s Main Beach Park. It’s a huge project, reportedly valued at $50 million. The development of this hotel will “create 250 construction jobs and more than 100 hospitality jobs,” according to a news release.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the Marriott hotel site on Nov. 22, 2019. Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites will share one rooftop and add 239 rooms to Amelia Island’s overnight lodging inventory. The 37,000 square foot building will include meeting and conference space.
Since the ground breaking, the site has been bustling with activity. The hotel’s elevator shafts and stairwells went up quickly, rising four stories. For those passing by the construction site, the large structure and prominent location near Fernandina’s Main Beach is impossible to miss.
According to a statement by the head of Amelia Island’s CVB:
“This will be the largest single addition of rooms to the market since The Inn at Amelia Island Plantation opened 21 years ago.”Gil Langley, Pres. & CEO Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
$50 Million Hotel Project
The Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites will offer guests quick access to Fort Clinch. This Florida State Park’s entrance on Atlantic Avenue is just across the street from the new hotel.
Next spring in 2021, the doors of this dual-branded Marriott hotel are expected to open, as long as the construction work is on schedule, to meet expectations initially announced in November 2019.
Gateway To Amelia
There’s also another new hotel in preliminary stage at Gateway to Amelia.
Nearly twenty years ago, when Gateway To Amelia was platted, a hotel site was included (pre-approved way back in 2001). Since then, no hotel was ever built, but it appears things are about to change. According to reports, the city of Fernandina Beach recently issued a permit for a new Holiday Inn Express on the 2.3 acre site at 960108 Gateway Blvd., Fernandina Beach.
The new Holiday Inn Express hotel will reportedly have 93 rooms, be four stories high and have a swimming pool. The hotel site is situated next door to two restaurants, Cantina Louie and Captain Jack’s Smokehouse. Across from the hotel site is the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce.
Sea Cottages of Amelia
In addition to the hotels mentioned, another lodging project currently under construction is pictured above. The Sea Cottages of Amelia project is being built on Sadler Road (around a dozen separate structures).
But it’s not just new lodging rising around Amelia Island. Development controversies have also been on the rise. And more are voicing concern about how population and tourism growth (and commensurate development activity), is impacting residents and this ecologically-sensitive barrier island.
There are now more vehicles on the roadways and rising demands on local government resources. Then, there’s the hurricane evacuation issue. Of all the northeast Florida counties, Nassau is already considered the most challenging to evacuate.