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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL-CBRE/Melody has arranged $15 million in construction financing for a new Marriott Residence Inn on Amelia Island. The 130-suite hotel will be the first on the island carrying the Marriott brand.

Michael Riccio, senior VP with CBRE/Melody in Hartford, CT, secured the loan from Bank of America on behalf of O&S Development LLC and Polidori Holdings of Connecticut Inc. The hotel will be built on three acres just off Sadler Road on Amelia Island, a popular Atlantic Coast resort area near Jacksonville, FL.

“The investors have been working on this project for the last three years. It has been very difficult, but well worth the work,” Riccio tells GlobeSt.com. He noted that Bank of America offered favorable financing terms and worked diligently to close the loan before construction began.

Riccio adds that the new Residence Inn fills a niche for extended-stay lodging in the Fernandina Beach-Amelia Island area, which has an abundance of full-service hotels and resorts. Current national hotel chains on the island include Ritz-Carlton, Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn and Best Western Inn, according to the Amelia Island Tourist and Development Council.

The proposed Marriott Residence Inn-Amelia Island will include approximately 500 sf of meeting space, an enhanced outdoor swimming pool, a business center and a fitness room. It will be built in the design of Marriott’s “Gen7″ prototype, which features more residential amenities than are normally found in typical hotel suites.

CBRE/Melody is the debt and equity placement division of CB Richard Ellis, with offices in 38 major metropolitan markets throughout North America. The firm maintains a servicing portfolio of more than 8,600 loans totaling approximately $94 billion.

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