Parker’s La Brisa Inn will reopen in 2023 after post-Michael renovations

PARKER — The town of Parker has a “new” motel in its immediate future.

The former La Brisa Inn will undergo a transformation after it was destroyed by Hurricane Michael in October 2018 and will become another motel in the spring of 2023.

The shell of the once dilapidated motel on Tyndall Parkway will be renovated after code enforcers decided three weeks ago that the remaining parts of the building could be used. Pensacola-based Nash Built Construction and Dr. Jay Patel are leading the project. Patel said on Tuesday his company had been approached by the current owners to take over.

The former La Brisa Inn will undergo a transformation after being destroyed by Hurricane Michael in October 2018. It will become a different motel in the spring of 2023.

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“We were brought in as hospitality experts to help Parker figure out what to do with the property. And so we did renderings and drawings,” Patel said. “And we get the architecture, the civil, the structure, everything has to be done. The property has to be brought up to code, according to the rules and regulations of the city of Parker. And so, we’re going to do everything.”

Parker officials are talking with several franchise brands and will negotiate a deal in the near future, Mayor Andrew Kelly said.

This artist's rendering shows what the facade of the former La Brisa Inn in Parker will look like after its reconstruction.

In artist renderings, the motel is shown with an improved structure and lobby as well as new paint, roofing, greenery, and fencing. It will have approximately 90 rooms, featuring new modern furnishings, including a king suite. Other features include a gym, breakfast room, and swimming pool.

Kelly said he was determined to clean up Tyndall Parkway and get rid of the horrors and buildings damaged by the Category 5 hurricane.

“It’s my desire and I think the people of Parker’s desire, I know the people here, they want it gone, the debris cleaned up and they want to move forward with new construction, new restaurants and new businesses,” Kelly said. “And I would like to have a new hotel but I’ll take a renovated hotel if that’s all I can get.”

Although only demolition work has been done on the La Brisa renovation at this point, Kelly said he hopes to see construction begin soon.

Kelly said he didn’t want to wait any longer for the renovation.

“My concern is that it’s been three and a half years (since Hurricane Michael), and I don’t want to be 100 and have it not fixed,” Kelly said. “I really care about making Parker thrive. I mean, we got hurt badly in that storm. We were so bad.

Currently, La Brisa is stripped bare with no roof structure and its interior gutted. Reduced to a mere block of concrete, Kelly said it “doesn’t even look like a motel anymore.”

The motel has a checkered past, a bright future

The motel is over 30 years old and has worried Parker officials, law enforcement and residents over the years due to crime and trespassers.

“One of the things we found out is a lot for our police,” Kelly said. “But people go into these old houses, these abandoned buildings, and they steal all the copper from the buildings. … We were at this meeting this morning and when we came out one of the contractors caught two people sneaking into the back of the warehouse there.

The former La Brisa Inn in Parker is being renovated.  The new motel will have an improved structure and lobby, roof, greenery and fencing.  It will have around 90 rooms, a gym, a breakfast area and a swimming pool.

Patel said he was aware of the hotel’s past but was hopeful for its future.

“It’s going to be cool, the neighborhood needs some revitalization,” Patel said. “The city has worked aggressively to try to address some of the issues it has in the area and I think that will add some value in uplifting the area and bringing some consistency and quality of nicer hotels to the market. .”

Nash Built Construction officials expect 60 days for the design phase and nine to 12 months for construction. According to construction documents, the hotel is expected to open in the spring of next year.

The army will be the focus

Patel said they would place great importance on the military in the region.

“Most of it will be for the military at Tyndall Air Force Base. We’re making the hotel green certified, LEED certified,” Patel said. “The military likes to have its people stay in LEED-certified green hotels. And so, we focus on the architect and put in all the functions and features that the government requires to have.”

This render shows what a king suite should look like in the new motel.

Kelly said his goal with the motel was to have a nice place for regular visitors to Parker and also for members of the military coming to Tyndall Air Force Base just minutes away.

“I would like to see a hotel there that the Air Force is proud to come and stay at Parker,” Kelly said. “Not just the Air Force, but whatever branch of the service comes to Tyndall. That they wish to come to Parker and not leave town.

For Patel and the Nash Built Construction family, this is their pride and joy, he said. Building in markets like Parker has proven successful and they are excited to do it again.

“Since the 90s, we were the first to enter a market and build the hotel, then just after opening a nice hotel or a Comfort or a Days Inn or a Super Eight, the restaurants follow and other businesses follow,” Patel said.

Kelly said the motel, along with other upcoming projects in the small town, means so much to him and the residents.

“Every day good things happen,” Kelly said. “Every day.”

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