New flame: Crews are making fast work of the building at 5815 Broadway on the island that soon will house a Burger King franchise and a convenience store. But is it fast enough for the eatery to open next month? That’s the plan. Developer Shoukat Dhanani said Wednesday his firm was still working toward a February opening. But Dhanani did not respond to requests for a more precise date.

Plans for Burger King have been on the burner for more than a year. Dhanani received a construction permit in July and had won city council approval for the project a year before that. But Dhanani, a man of few words who prefers responding to media inquiries via email, never explained the reasons for the delays.

Plans call for a 3,600-square-foot convenience store and a 2,700-square-foot Burger King. The island’s last Burger King franchise closed in 2004. Stay tuned.

Inn or out? Will an old island property with prime Gulf of Mexico views soon meet the wrecking ball? Owners of the Mariner Inn, 1602 Seawall Blvd., have met with city officials to discuss the possibility of building a new hotel in its place, according to city documents. But the owners face some challenges. They’d like to replace the property with a 60-room hotel.

But fitting that many rooms on the property, while meeting setback and open space requirements, poses a challenge. The city also requires one parking space per hotel room, island architect Michael Gaertner said. Gaertner, who would be architect on the project, referred questions to the owners, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Jalaram Enterprises Inc. owns the Mariner Inn, built in 1965, according to the Galveston Central Appraisal District. An exact room count for the Mariner Inn wasn’t immediately available. Stay tuned.

Checking in: Meanwhile, some older buildings and businesses on the island might have to make way for hotel development. Nothing is official, but developers are eyeing land at 23rd Street and P 1⁄2 for a midpriced mid-rise hotel. Hotel Four Points By Sheraton, 2300 Seawall Blvd., is to the south of the land, which is occupied by the Club 23 building, the former Yellow Cab building and a paint-and-body shop. Stay tuned.

Spring opening: Developers of that skilled nursing facility that’s been underway for months next to Mainland Medical Center, behind the Medical Arts Building in Texas City, are forecasting a March opening. Developer San Antonio-based Smithers Merchant Construction LP initially scheduled an opening this month. The developer still isn’t announcing who will manage the facility, which will include 134 beds. Skilled nursing facilities offer a high level of care for older adults outside of a hospital setting. For information, call Smithers Merchant Construction at 210-479-2500.

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to

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