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Seminole Hotel of Tallahassee



If not for the changing of leadership within the Seminole Tribe, this hotel may have already been built in Tallahassee, at the corner of Jefferson and Monroe. Plans to build it may still be alive, but little has been said of this project in years.

I just thought I'd add it to our forum as I've got a little time on my hands and its an attractive proposal.

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Hotel Site being Cleared

a TJ Lewis exclusive


If you noticed the sidewalks along Monroe Street closed Monday night, its because crews are preparing the Seminole Hotel site for demolition. I spoke to crews tonight who told me they weren't exactly sure what was going in on the site, but they are clearing it for engineers to be able to determine wether demolition to this particular building will have a major affect on the adjacent buildings.

So whats inside? Well there used to be a club, Atlantis, who recently moved its operations to East Mahan drive. Since Atlantis moved out the building has sat vacant. Crews wore face masks and gloves as they carried loads out of the building by the barrel, stripping insulation, dry wall, and old flooring from the interior of the building.

I revealed to the supervisor of the crew the rendering I had for this site, (I'd prepared it prior to my visit just incase they wanted to know why I was asking questions and taking pictures). They were impressed with the plans for the Seminole Tribe Hotel. They were also able to confirm the Seminole Tribe is the owner of this particular piece of property.

Look for more details to come as this land clearing project unfolds.


-TJ Lewis, for more details [email protected]

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For now it looks like they are going to leave the Southwood/Summercamp building alone. I still call it the digital canopy building.

would they ever build around it/intergrate it into the larger building? that would be visually interesting... and i am sure and engineering challenge.

any plans for the burnt out law office on monroe? the little skinny one?

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Here's an article from 2001

Hotel Online

News for the Hospitality Executive


Seminole Tribe Backs Proposed Luxury Hotel in Tallahassee, Fla.

By John Sevigny, Tallahassee Democrat, Fla.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Jun. 6--With financial backing from Florida's most prominent American Indian tribe, a local developer plans to bulldoze a complex of buildings in the heart of downtown and build a luxury, 80-plus-room hotel.

For $3.5 million, STOF Holdings -- a company owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida -- has bought land at the intersection of South Monroe and Jefferson streets, said Jack Skelding, the project developer and chairman of the Downtown Improvement Authority.

Skelding promises the hotel will be able to compete in a downtown market that could eventually include two other new hotels -- a 325-room Marriott planned for construction at the Civic Center and a 350-room hotel and entertainment complex that developer Curt Levine, a former state representative, plans to build at Kleman Plaza.

"My hotel is not in the same league as those," said Skelding, who is also an attorney and lobbyist. "This is a very upscale boutique hotel with a whole different atmosphere."

Skelding's hotel will include larger-than-average rooms, a restaurant with a view of downtown and all-valet parking, he said. It will also include condominiums and meeting rooms.

Current tenants on the downtown property include the SouthWood Sales Center and Atlantis Bar and Grill.

SouthWood's lease on the office runs out this summer, Skelding said, and Atlantis will have to move out by the end of the year so the buildings can be razed. Skelding said he plans to apply for a city demolition permit within the next two to three months. Work could begin in January, he said.

Nobody is sure whether three downtown hotels -- with a total of more than 700 rooms -- can operate profitably at the same time.

Gary Smith, executive vice president of the Florida Hotel and Motel Association, said anyone going into the hotel business in Tallahassee can expect ups and downs when it comes to occupancy. Events such as football games and the legislative session bring thousands of visitors to town. But activity ebbs during the summer when lawmakers, students and others go home.

"Certainly we have times in Tallahassee when you can't find a room for 150 miles," he said. "But we have some pretty severe slow periods."

City Commissioner John Paul Bailey thinks business would be good for all three of the proposed hotels.

"When the hotel is built at the Civic Center, it will have only 325 rooms, and that's not enough for all the people that would be brought in by a single, major convention," Bailey said. "So the perfect place for the overflow would be other downtown hotels."

Skelding, meanwhile, who has been planning the project for at least 10 years, estimated that his rooms at the hotel would cost $150 a night. He said he expects his customers to include lobbyists, tourists and people traveling to Tallahassee on business.

While the Seminole tribe's best-known business enterprises have perhaps been casinos, Skelding said nothing like that is planned for Tallahassee.

He pointed out that the Seminoles have recently branched out, investing in franchises such as restaurants and other businesses that have nothing to do with gaming.

In fact, the Seminoles have poured millions of dollars into projects such as a cattle ranch and a Hard Rock Cafe in Nicaragua as well as hotel and casino complexes in Hollywood and Tampa. The tribe also operates casinos in Immokalee and Coconut Creek.

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That is a nice looking building. Any on the estimated height in feet? I assume no since it is still early.

Is gambling legal in Florida? I remember years ago it was to be voted on but I haven't lived here for a few years now prior to this year.

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I did some research last night on the casino issue. Tribal gaming is regulated by the Feds, not the State. The tribe should enter into a tribal-state agreement, but the State of Florida has refused to do so. So, technically, event the two Hard Rock Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood are illegal, but no one seems to be pushing that button.

Per www.nigc.gov:

Tribal government-sponsored gaming is a relatively new phenomenon dating to the late 1970s when a number of Tribes established bingo operations as a means of raising revenues to fund Tribal government operations. At about the same time a number of state governments were also exploring the potential for increasing state revenues through state-sponsored gaming. By the mid-1980s, a number of states had authorized charitable gaming, and some were sponsoring state-operated lotteries.

Although government-sponsored gaming was an issue of mutual interest, Tribal and state governments soon found themselves at odds over Indian gaming. The debate centered on the issue of whether Tribal governments possess the authority to conduct gaming independently of state regulation. Although many lower courts affirmed the Tribal view in the early cases, the matter was not finally resolved until 1987 when the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the authority of Tribal governments to establish gaming operations independent of state regulation provided that the state in question permits some form of gaming. California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians 480 U.S. 202 (1987).

Congress took up the issue of Tribal gaming and conducted a series of hearings, ultimately culminating in the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (Act). Embodied in the Act was a compromise between state and Tribal interests. The states were offered a voice in determining the scope and extent of Tribal gaming by requiring Tribal-State compacts for Class III gaming, but Tribal regulatory authority over Class II gaming was preserved in full. The Act further provided for general regulatory oversight at the federal level and created the National Indian Gaming Commission as the responsible agency.

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Only legal on reservations I believe. What is this hotel planned by Curt Levine to go into Kleman?

Long ago before BCOM purchased the site for Plaza Tower, Kurt Levine was going to build a 300+ room hotel facility on that site. He didn't get the money and pulled the plug. A major concern was that his plans would conflict with those at the Civic Center and therefore his project wouldn't be profitable. "How can 700 new, high-end hotel rooms operate downtown profitably?" Since, of course, we see there is no hotel at the Civic Center, meaning he probably could have moved forward with his 27 story building, but that's all behind us. I'm glad we've got the Plaza Tower going up. Furthermore, I had the feeling we would have been waiting a while for any plans Mr. Leviene had, similar to whats going on at the Civic Center right now.

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