Hotel, restaurants approved after 10 year proposal

After 10 years of trying to get approval, a new hotel mixed-use complex is going to be built in Orange Beach.

The complex will be called Amber Isle, and it will be located on the north side of Ala. 182 on the border of the City of Orange Beach and the Gulf State Park.

Tuesday night, April 1, the City of Orange Beach gave the green light to turn the empty property into a space for an suites hotel, restaurants, and some retail shops. Among those businesses are Hotel Indigo, with 63 rooms, and a Ron Jon Surf Shop.

It’s an approval the developers have been trying to achieve for a decade.

So why did it take so long?

Mayor Tony Kennon with the City of Orange Beach said the initial plans 10 years ago only included a hotel and retail stores, but slowly evolved into a possible entertainment district, something nearby residents did not favor.

“As it morphed into kind of an entertainment district, the residents were somewhat concerned about the noise, and they absolutely had every right,” said Mayor Kennon, “We took certain precautions to make sure there was no outdoor music venue to make sure we were protecting the residents to the south and to those staying at the campground at the state park.”

But, the developers said they worked through those concerns, and they’re happy to have finally gotten the go-ahead.

“I’m extremely happy. It’s been 10 years of ups and downs, and I really kept my patience and perseverance,” said Mark Goldstein, managing partner of Holiday Development State Park LLC, which is the company developing the complex, “We survived the hurricanes, we survived the oil spill, we survived the economic distress of 2008.”

Goldstein said the company does plan to start building as soon as possible.

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