Houston hotel investor pays $17.1M to enter Greater Orlando market via Apopka

A Houston-based hotel owner-operator paid a combined $17.1 million last month to enter the Greater Orlando market, buying two select-service hotels in Apopka with plans to renovate thoroughly in 2018.

Located at 321 S. Lake Cortez Dr. and set on S.R. 436 near Interstate 4, investment affiliate Icon Hotels LLC paid a recorded $8.57 million for the 81-key Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando-Apopka

It also paid a recorded $7.11 million for the neighboring 77-key Holiday Inn Express & Suites Apopka at 238 S. Line Dr., each of which were built in 2010. The remaining value of roughly $1.4 million involved interior assets and franchise fees. 

"I think Apopka is a great city to be invested in," principal Wael G. Fawaz told GrowthSpotter. "It's a strategic location outside of Orlando, and there are a lot of corporate clients nearby." 

The sales closed on Oct. 30, but were only recorded Wednesday and Thursday of this week in Orange County. 

Fawaz currently owns two other select-service hotels in Texas, and has previously owned properties in south Florida, though the two new assets in Apopka are the only assets in Florida that he and a partner now own.

"We do have a PIP (Property Improvement Plan) to renovate the entirety of both properties in two years, which we'll start on in 2018," he said, though declined to estimate the cost. 

Fawaz's own hospitality management firm, Capital One Florida Hotel Group, took over the Apopka hotels last month. 

Fawaz and his investment partner are actively seeking more limited- and select-service hotel assets with established flags in this market, but prefer next to buy within Orlando city limits. 

The buyer sourced two loans of $2.434 million and $4.83 million from Atlantic Coast Bank to finance the property acquisitions.

The seller was Big K Inc., an affiliate of Apopka-based investor Akber Jamal. He retained ownership of an adjacent 2.24 acres of undeveloped land fronting S.R. 436. 

Jamal said Thursday he owns no other commercial properties in this market, and has not formulated a plan yet for how he may reinvest the proceeds from this sale. 

Ahmed Kabani of Marcus & Millichap represented the seller and procured the buyer. 

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