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FRESH START: Groundbreaking marks first new Sanibel resort project since Ian

On Thursday, Stevens Construction held a groundbreaking ceremony ahead of construction for the resort.
Posted at 3:07 PM, Mar 28, 2024

SANIBEL, Fla. — After Hurricane Ian destroyed Shalimar Beach Resort on Sanibel Island, the local staple will make a comeback in the fall of 2025 - according to Stevens Construction.

On Thursday, Stevens Construction held a groundbreaking ceremony ahead of construction for the 52,207 sq.ft. resort that fronts the Gulf of Mexico.

Construction of Shalimar Beach Resort marks the first resort project to begin construction after Hurricane Ian; however, the resort was originally established in 1959.

Sean Niesel, owner of Shalimar Cottages and Motel, shared the commitment to restoring the charm and hospitality that the original 33 units offered. "We had 33 units prior, and going into this right away we wanted to have 33 units again. That's why we're first, because we didn't try to change a bunch of codes," Niesel explained.

Stevens Construction says the resort will feature the following:

  • a 27,334 square foot, two-story building with 21 one-bedroom units situated over parking
  • a 6,032 square foot, two-story fourplex with two, one-bedroom units and two, two-bedroom units over covered parking
  • 4 duplex buildings with one-bedroom cottages situated over covered parking
  • All 33 units include fully-equipped kitchens, tile-flooring throughout and a screened balcony with Gulf views.
  • a pool
  • rooftop terrace
  • laundry facilities
  • a boardwalk to the Gulf of Mexico

The beachfront property also comes with additional building codes. The construction plan includes the installation of 559 piles drilled deep into the ground to support the new concrete buildings.
Mark Stevens, president of Stevens Construction, noted, "It's probably 50% more cost than what it would be if we were to the old code."

Upwards of $15 million has been invested in the project.

With most resorts still closed to visitors in the wake of Hurricane Ian, the addition of the Shalimar Resort is eagerly anticipated.

John Lai, President of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, provided an update on the current state of available hotel rooms on the islands, "We're at 21% if you look at both Sanibel and Captiva right now. So we are on pace to hit 25% by the end of this year."

Stevens Construction says the resort is expected to be complete by the fall of 2025.