Published in Credit Union Times
December 20, 2012
By Michelle A. Samaad
A 152-room Holiday Inn Resort hotel will break ground in Florida thanks to financing from Navy Federal Credit Union and Pen Air Federal Credit Union.
Innisfree Hotels (Emerald Breeze Resort Group LLC) will develop the resort on a 17-acre parcel in Okaloosa Island in Okaloosa County, Fla., that is owned by the U.S. Air Force and will be leased to the Emerald Breeze Resort Group for 50 years, according to the $50 billion Navy Federal in Vienna, Va., and the $1.2 billion Pen Air in Pensacola, Fla.
The USAF and Eglin Air Force Base made the property available for private development via the Enhanced Use Lease program, which identifies property that is underutilized but does have an ongoing mission requirement, according to the credit unions.
Revenue generated for the USAF from the EUL program is made available for use by Eglin AFB. Although the hotel is being developed on federal property, the hotel will be open to the public.
Navy Federal and Pen Air said this is the third successful Innisfree hotel development project financed collaboratively by the credit unions. The others are the Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach, which won an Intercontinental Hotel Group brand award for Development of the Year in 2011, and the Hyatt Place Hotel at Pensacola International Airport, which will open in the spring of 2013.
The Emerald Breeze Resort Group project is scheduled for completion in March 2014. The resort is expected to create more than 150 jobs in the Okaloosa Island community, the credit unions said.