A new hotel in Dunedin is in the works that would house the Toronto Blue Jays baseball players.
The Toronto Blue Jays have a long history with the City of Dunedin as the team has its spring training at the TD Ballpark and has made recent investments within the city.
The proposed three-story, 51-room hotel Dunedin Causeway Hotel, also known as The J Hotel, would be at 491 Causeway Blvd.
On Thursday, the Dunedin City Commission had the first reading of a development agreement between the city, the Dunedin-based Coastal ICF Construction Services Inc. development group and Grant Street Partners LLC, which are the landowners, for The J Hotel.
The development agreement is needed due to the density of the property. The board unanimously voted to continue the first reading to later this month.
In 2020, the city commission authorized the city manager to pursue negotiations with the applicant for a development agreement. Since the negotiations started, the developer looked to potentially build the hotel across the street on the north side; however, that was ultimately not approved, so the developer decided to come back to the city to seek approval for this site.
The property has a car wash and a small outbuilding, which would be demolished for the new hotel. The developer is also under contract to purchase the adjacent vacant property to the west of the project for a future expansion to the proposed hotel.
“Because we are under such a time crunch, we didn’t want to muddy the waters,” said Doug Anderson, the developer, explaining how the Blue Jays desire 75 rooms; however, Anderson must deliver a hotel by early 2023.
The intention is to receive the go-ahead for the 51 rooms, to not delay the initial build.
The plans for the hotel follow the Blue Jays opening its $120 Million Player Development Center (PDC) in Dunedin earlier this year.
The 115,000-square-foot center was part of the Blue Jays’ 2017 renewal contract with the city. Under the contract, the team committed to stay in Dunedin for another 25 years.
The Blue Jays organization has described the hotel as being “the last piece” needed for its players.
“They [developers] have a blank canvas, so this will be the best dormitory/hotel in all of professional baseball,” Charlie Wilson, General Manager of Minor League Operations for the Blue Jays, stated during a previous meeting.
He said the players must have a safe, clean space to reside and they want it to be within the city.
Only a small number of rooms will be available to the general public during certain times of the year.