has been brisk, he said, reporting that only three townhomes
remain for sale and that almost 40 of the 60 condos on offer
have prepaid deposits on them.
The pandemic may also have had a silver lining for the
hotel planned for Kings Landing, Matteson said.
“We’ve been talking with several serious hotel operators
and have settled on one,” details of which he declined to
reveal until a formal agreement has been signed.
“Prior operators we talked with were budgeting about $20
million to build what’s known as deluxe service-style hotels,
such as Fairfield Inns,” he explained. “But now we have an
operator with a much bigger vision and a $45 million budget.”
Matteson announced in early January that he has signed a
letter of intent with Tampa-based Mainsail Hotels to bring an
upscale boutique/resort-style hotel as opposed to a business
hotel to the new development.
Mainsail specializes in offering hotels customized to reflect
the flavor of local markets, Matteson said. The small chain
operates hotels in Tampa, Fort Myers and the U.S. Virgin
Islands, among other locations.
“It will be a full-service facility with 140 rooms and it looks
like a rich guy built a hotel — like they used to build them
with a bank, stores in the lobby, restaurants and bars and
meeting rooms on the premises. It should create the energy
we were looking for and should be a better fit next to $1 million
condos,” Matteson said.
As far as retail opportunities in Kings Landing, the pandemic
Matteson added. There will be less emphasis, he believes, on
new retail units, while bars and restaurants will become more
important. Matteson is especially pleased that two established
Whirled Inc. art gallery owner Steve Fogle has long had space downtown
and at the Saturday craft market.
has also forced developers to refine their thoughts,
local restaurant operators — Cobb’s Landing and 12A
This new gallery sells an eclectic collection of fine art, wine and unique
gifts. Fogle said he wanted to open a gallery where men wouldn’t feel
intimidated by the art.
Buoy — plan to open new operations at Kings Landing while
retaining their existing downtown locations.
Matteson is looking forward to the business that Derecktor
of Fort Pierce’s mega-yacht facility at the port should generate.
“I think Fort Pierce may finally be blossoming into the
jewel of the Atlantic Coast,” he said. “It feels to me that the
latest boom is more substantial than before. I feel very good
about Fort Pierce’s future.”
GALLERY IN NEW LOCATION
Someone else who feels the same way is Steve Fogle, owner
of the new Whirled Inc. gallery at 129 N. Second St.
Fogle operated a tiny 250-square-foot gallery on Avenue A
for several years before moving into larger premises vacated
by a monogramming shop that closed.
“I doubled down, saw an opportunity and took a shot,”
Fogle said. “So far, everything’s been really good. I’m doing
well, paying the bills.”
Fogle sold his house to make sure he had enough backup
capital. He was surprised when his Realtor told him she had
a waiting list of potential clients for the new space. A lot of
people were ready to jump on the opportunity, he recalled.
Whirled Inc. is a gallery that sells wine, vintage and eclectic
items and features the work of 17 artists, some of whom used
to exhibit work at the closed Art Connection on U.S. 1. Fogle
said his gallery is intended to appeal to both men and women.
“I believe it’s the coolest store downtown,” he said. “I’ve
spent my entire life working for frame shops and galleries, so
it’s all the best quality. I wanted a gallery for men. Over the
years, I’ve seen men sitting out in the car while their wives