Renovations on buildings already on the site will begin over the next few months. Salamander hopes to begin construction on the planned 198-room luxury hotel building sometime this year.
Salamander Hotels and Resorts is still seeking investors for the creation of a 198-room luxury hotel building on the site of the 20-room lodge at the Hammock Beach Resort — a $72 million project — but is moving ahead with smaller-scale work in the meantime.
"We're raising the funds to be able to develop and start construction; we are working with architects," Salamander President Prem Devadas said. "We have interest from several groups that have the capacity to fund the entire project, so we are working to finalize that. We are going through a very, very normal process. ... We are certainly optimistic that we will be able to start the project sometime this year, but I can't give a definite date."
Devadas told reporters in May 2015 that construction might begin as early as February 2016. Some work will indeed begin over the coming few months, Devadas said in an interview Jan. 22, but it won't be on the planned new hotel building, but rather on other structures already on the site.
Salamander will renovate the lobby of the Hammock Beach Club between February and April, he said.
"It's going to be a very significant renovation that is going to create a more luxurious lobby," he said.
Also from February through April, Devadas said, Salamander will renovate meeting spaces and ballrooms and expand the Hammock House on the golf course. The county's building department has received a permit application for an estimated $100,000 of work at the concession building, according to county records.
"There is a significant amount of money that is being spent in the next couple months as we work on plans to redevelop the lodge," Devadas said.
Salamander representatives have said in public meetings that the planned new, 198-room hotel building will make it easier to attract large events like corporate conferences.
It will supplement the 127 rooms Salamander already has on the property, and replace the 20-room lodge building, which Devadas said at a Flagler County Planning and Development Board meeting in 2014 has "become tired and dated, and now is becoming detrimental to our ability to bring business into the club."
The County Commission approved the proposed 198-room hotel building on Feb. 3, 2015.