One by one, businesses on U.S. 41 in Charlotte Harbor across from Sunseeker Resort began to close in 2022.
They were sold to Sunseeker Florida North Inc., a subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co., which has assets that include the resort, Allegiant Air and Aileron Golf Club in Charlotte County.
The property owners were offered prices above market value based on certified just values provided by the Charlotte County Property Appraiser.
“The land we acquired was to give us total flexibility as to future use directly across from the resort,” said John Redmond, CEO of Allegiant Travel Co.
“In the short term, construction parking will be the immediate use,” he said. The company has not finalized any longer-term plans for the land.
The land purchases totaled about 5.5 acres, Redmond said.
The first sale occurred April 20, 2022, when Sunseeker Florida North Inc. paid Jerry Wilson Motor Cars $1 million for the property at 4800 Tamiami Trail. The 2022 certified just value of that property was $247,609, according to the Charlotte County Property Appraiser.
On Dec. 1, 2022, Charlie’s Automotive Repair, 4848-4894 Tamiami Trail, was sold to Sunseeker for $1.75 million. The former owner of that property, which had a certified just value of $476,657, was R.C. Berry.
Charlotte Harbor RV Park, 4838 Tamiami Trail, was sold to Sunseeker on Dec. 9, 2022, for $3.1 million. Its certified just value was $1,148,933.
The most recent transaction along that stretch of road was Tile and Carpet World, 4820 Tamiami Trail. It was sold to Sunseeker for $5 million Feb. 7, 2023. Its certified just value was $846,774.
Although some of the businesses on the highway sustained damage from Hurricane Ian in September 2022, Tile and Carpet World’s building was totally rebuilt in 2008 and appeared to sustain no damage to its showroom.
The business has since relocated farther north on the southbound side of U.S. 41 near Harbor Boulevard.
Co-owner Tina Needham, who owns the business with her husband Duane Needham, said they are now renting the building at their new site, 3427 Tamiami Trail.
Needham said Redmond personally contacted her husband Duane and asked if he would sell their business.
She said Sunseeker was interested in property on that strip of Tamiami Trail and knocked on our doors one by one.
The Needhams started their tile and carpet business in 1994 and eventually plan to have their grown children run it, she said.
One merchant who was not contacted by Sunseeker was 1 Up Auto Worx body shop owner Jason Sherry. “They’re not going to get us,” he said when asked whether he would sell to Sunseeker. His business at 4780 Tamiami Trail is next to and north of the properties Sunseeker has acquired.
According to Sunseeker’s website, bookings are now being accepted for hotel rooms beginning Nov. 20, but a grand opening date has not yet been announced.
“In regards to a grand opening date, we will not be making any announcements until the end of October/November timeframe,” Redmond said.