Developer Jack Brown with Lodging Decisions is gearing up to start the construction of a long-time planned hotel in the downtown core of Cocoa.
The city’s redevelopment agency is seeking environmental resource permits to make way for an 8-story mixed-use hotel project at 603 Brevard Ave, the site of the former city hall, according to a recently submitted St. Johns River Water Management District application.
Brown is teaming up with Gulfstream Equity Management, based in Palm Bay, on the project. He was the sole bidder to answer a city solicitation issued in 2018 to redevelop the bare asphalt lot.
In March 2018, a city selection committee evaluated the proposal and gave it 416 points out of 500. The agency agreed to convey its 0.87 acres at no cost to the developer.
As part of plans, the developer also entered into a contract to purchase approximately 0.38 acres immediately south of the property, meaning Brown will control about 1.25 acres in the Historic Cocoa Village corridor once a final site plan is approved.
For years, Brown worked with city officials to finalize a Development Agreement with the city that included a contested waiver to increase the maximum building height to 85 feet and vacating 4,200 square feet of the right-of-way on Factory Street.
After much debate, the city finally rubber-stamped an agreement in late 2020 and has slowly moved the project along the approval process thereafter.
All the while, Brown tagged on Gulfstream Equity, local architect Michael F. Kelley and civil engineer Bruce Moia with Melbourne-based MBV Engineering to build the hotel. He also secured a commitment from Nationwide Commercial Lending Group to deliver an $18.7 million non-recourse construction loan for the project, but it expired last summer. It’s unclear if the promise was extended.
Adam Facciobene, with Gulfstream Equity, told GrowthSpotter the hotel will be a Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.
The 107-room mixed-use hotel will feature a 4-story parking garage, 2,520 square feet of meeting space, a sundry retail shop, a swimming pool, and a rooftop bar and lounge area. Plans also mention 3,600 square feet of public ground-floor retail with pedestrian access from Brevard Avenue. The parking garage must reserve 100 parking spaces for the public, free of charge.
According to application materials, the partnership intends to break ground in May and open the hotel about a year later.
When issued in 2018, the RFP stated “the Cocoa CRA believes that improvement of the waterfront and its associated amenities is directly related to the image and viability of the City of Cocoa and its downtown.” The city’s Cocoa Village corridor has spurred over $1.5 million in new private-sector retail and dining establishments thanks to efforts by the CRA, including millions spent on roadway improvements in the area.
Cocoa Village is located adjacent to S.R. 520, and has a riverfront and community park on the Indian River with more than 150 shops and gathering places, including the historic Cocoa Village Playhouse and the historic Porcher House.