Groundbreaking for Uptown Suites Brings Second Major Hotel to Riverview

Uptown Suites - Tampa

Image of what the new Uptown Suites is expected to look like when it is complete.

By Yvette C. Hammett, The Observer News

November 2017 – For Tampa and Riverview, we decided to pick this location because of the growing population and the job growth.’

Riverview’s continuing growth in both people and jobs has prompted a national extended-stay chain to build its fourth Tampa Bay hotel right here.

Uptown Suites broke ground for its new Riverview hotel on Nov. 16 and plans to open with 129 rooms in fall 2018. This will be only the second hotel in Riverview. The Hilton Garden Inn Tampa/Riverview/Brandon is also located in Riverview.

Uptown Suites will be located at 4011 Foxworth Road adjacent to the McDonald’s at Pavilion Crossings, just south of the U.S. 301 and Falkenburg Road intersection.

“We always look for areas close to big retail establishments and partners,” said Virginia Swords, director of marketing for Uptown Suites, based in Atlanta. “In Charlotte, we are near Charlotte Motor Speedway and in Homestead, we are near that speedway.

“For Tampa and Riverview, we decided to pick this location because of the growing population and the job growth,” Swords said. (read more)


CGU Homes to Build Second Largest Custom Home in Collier County

cgu-homes-ad1October 2016 – The after photos will be worth the wait to view the second largest home in Collier County, now being built in Livingston Woods. Per the Collier County building department, the custom home being built by Naples-based Connor & Gaskins Unlimited (CGU) is almost 13,000 square feet. Built by CGU Homes, the custom home will showcase the natural beauty of stone relying on the most extensive textures and colors available today, sourced by United Materials, Inc.

Vice President of CGU Homes Jon Lawrence specializes in custom home building and works with a highly talented collection of architects, engineers and interior designers to tailor a professional project team for each home. Lawrence and CGU founders Barry Connor and Craig Gaskins have more than 50 years of combined experience as contractors, nurturing relationships with the best in the industry. For this luxury residence on 2.5 acres, CGU Homes tapped renowned local architect John Cooney and interior designer Shawn Kronen, with offices in Atlanta and Naples. Their work for private homes of celebrities and some of the world’s most distinguished clientele has been featured in Architectural Digest, Interior Design and House and Garden. (read more)


‘Push Yourself’


Gulf-Coast-500August 2016 – Bigger isn’t always better. That’s the approach Barry Connor and Craig Gaskins took when they started their Naples-based general contracting firm, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited, in late 2010.

Longtime veterans of the construction industry (and former partners at Boran Craig Barber Engel Construction), the pair knew how they wanted to position their business. “Having a large volume wasn’t our interest,” says Connor. “We really wanted to get back to concierge-type service, to being very involved with our clients.”

That hands-on, client-focused philosophy has led to lots of repeat business and referrals. That, in turn, has helped the company grow its business throughout Florida and the United States. Revenues, for example, have risen from $17.4 million in 2014 to $36.6 million in 2015, up 110%.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a great group of clients that has afforded us the opportunity to provide them great service,” says Connor. “As they continue to grow, we’re going to grow shoulder to shoulder with them.” (read more)


Hotel Developers Nationwide Rely On Florida Contractor

June 21, 2016—What began as a small job to restore an outdoor terrace for a luxury hotel has blossomed into a growing construction niche for Naples, Florida-based general contractor Connor & Gaskins Unlimited (CGU). CGU President and CEO Barry Connor said their initial exterior work for the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota expanded to construction of a 236 seat indoor-outdoor restaurant and lounge. Now underway are projects for DoubleTree Suites by Hilton in Gainesville, The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, 30 new hotels built for InTown Suites Extended Stay Living as well as the construction and renovations of hotels, both planned and already completed, for ABA Development of San Francisco.

“CGU finished the construction of the Hyatt Place Roseville in January on time and within budget and the completed project is incredible,” said Paul Drummond, Managing Partner Design and Development for ABA Hospitality. “Now they are providing pre-construction work for a Fairfield Inn and Suites in Oceanside, California and an independently flagged hotel in Carmel, California. We are also actively looking at several sites for a variety of brands, including Marriott’s Autograph collection, Hyatt Centric as well as a large resort property in Aruba.” (read more)


Top 50 Contractors 2015 – #29



April 8, 2016—The largest contracting firms on the Gulf Coast, from Polk to Collier counties, ranked by 2015 revenue.

View the entire Special Section here.





Three big projects proposed in Miami-Dade city, including hotel

intown-hotel-homestead 750xx910-512-27-0BY: SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL
January 13, 2016—An InTown Suites hotel and two car dealerships have been proposed in Homestead.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Board will consider the three applications on Wednesday afternoon. The items would need further approval from the city council.

The 128-room hotel would be located on a 3.45-acre site on the east side of Southwest 152nd Avenue, to the south of Southwest 307th Street and just west of Florida’s Turnpike. Homestead Hospital is nearby to the east.

The two sites are owned by LBOTA LLC and Williams Agricultural Enterprises, but the applicant is Connor & Gaskins Unlimited, a general contractor in Naples that has the property under contract. Officials at the company, led by Barry Connor and Craig Gaskins, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Renderings show the extended stay hotel would be an InTown Suites. It would total 52,776 square feet in four stories. (read more)


Top 50 Contractors 2014 – #35



March 21, 2014—During an economic forecast for a gathering of CEOs at the beginning of the year, economic consultant Anirban Basu of the Sage Policy Group gave the group some simple advice to determine the economy’s health: follow the money. But not just any money — private investment, in particular. Basu said if you are wondering what may happen with a particular industry, look at what the private sector is doing. If it’s spending, it’s probably in good shape. Follow the money. To that point, the Business Observer’s annual list of the top contractors from Pasco to Collier counties has always been a window into the health of the construction industry. The list ranks the top 50 contractors in those counties, by 2013 revenue. Although the numbers on the following pages are reported by the contractors themselves, the section provides an interesting snapshot of construction on the Gulf Coast. (read more)


Ritz Carlton, Sarasota FloridaConnor & Gaskins Unlimited completes The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota renovation

Naples Daily News May 12, 2013—Naples-based general contractor Connor & Gaskins Unlimited renovated The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota adding a new restaurant and making improvements to the lounge, bar and outdoor terrace. Completed while the hotel was open and in only 125 days, the 236-seat indoor-outdoor restaurant draws inspiration from Sarasota’s dynamic artistic community, while reflecting the region’s coastal sensibility. (read more)


2013+Top+50+ContractorsTop 50 Contractors 2013

March 22, 2013—We all know the recession changed things, particularly in the construction industry. One of the most tangible ways to see that change is tracking our list of the Top 50 Contractors through the years. Every year, the Business Observer ranks the top 50 contractors from Pasco to Collier counties by revenue. Participation in our list is voluntary, and we depend on contractors to provide us with the information we need to compile the list. This can be telling in itself. (read more)





Naples-based general contractor Connor & Gaskins Unlimited renovated the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota adding a new restaurant called Jack Dusty and making improvements to the lounge, bar, restrooms, and an outdoor terrace. Completed while the hotel was open and in only 125 days, the restaurant opened its doors to the public on Monday, January 21, 2013. (read more)




Sarasota Foodies, January 18, 2013—Now, after almost four months in transition, and with the fanfare that can only be generated by the Ritz-Carlton, Jack Dusty Coastal Cuisine & Crafted Cocktails is finally opened. The Vernona has been transformed into a casual-chic seaside hangout that will have people checking out Jack Dusky in droves, and returning again and again and again. Renovation completed by Connor & Gaskins Unlimited. (read more)




Bradenton Herald, November 30, 2012—When you walk into the elegant lobby of the chandelier-draped Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, it’s hard to believe that the luxury hotel is in the midst of a $3.1 million renovation/redesign. The only telltale sign is the occasional whirring noise of a drill somewhere in the background. Local contractor Connor & Gaskins Unlimited is doing the construction. (read more)




October 29, 2012—Artecity, a luxury condominium complex that encompasses the historic Governor Hotel in the historic Art Deco District of Miami, nears completion. Developers ST Residential recognized the exceptional value of this landmark project and teamed with Connor & Gaskins Unlimited as general contractors to complete the unfinished buildings and amenities, now set for a late 2012 completion date. (read more)




Gulf Coast Business Review, March 23-29, 2012 Connor & Gaskins Unlimited has been ranked by the Gulf Coast Business Review as one of the Top 50 Contractors in Southwest Florida. The Gulf Coast Business Review’s annual rankings are based on company revenues and Connor & Gaskins was ranked 40th with $9.3 million in revenue from 2011. The projects highlighted were Hillcrest Manor, Le Jardin, Ritz-Carlton, Tavira, and Collier Historic Motorcar Museum. (read more)




Naples Daily News, October 14, 2011 —NCH Healthcare System staff members celebrated the completed refurbishment of 10 apartments for traveling nurses who supplement the hospital staff during high season. Hillcrest Manor Apartments, located near NCH downtown, received a comprehensive makeover in a 10-week construction project by Connor & Gaskins Unlimited (CG Unlimited). (read more)




Gulf Shore Business Review, September 22, 2011—Barry Connor and Craig Gaskins were painting their new office a few months ago when the phone rang unexpectedly. It was the developer of a 60-story condo tower in Louisville, Ky., asking if the pair would oversee construction management of the $450 million project. Connor & Gaskins Unlimited had been open just a few days when good fortune came its way with that first huge client. In the last four months, the young Naples firm landed several other jobs despite a brutal market for commercial construction. (read more)




Florida Weekly,  September 15, 2011Barry Connor and Craig Gaskins have launched Connor & Gaskins Unlimited. Former partners at Boran Craig Barber Engel Construction Company Inc., Mr. Connor and Mr. Gaskins have a combined 26 years of experience at BCBE, spearheading condominium projects, government facilities, office buildings, custom homes and medical centers. “We have the ability to tackle a wide variety of construction projects, hence the term unlimited,” says Mr. Connor, the new company’s CEO. Mr. Gaskins is the firm’s COO. (read more)