Developer buys second hotel pad on South I-Drive, signs flag & raises room count

Port Orange-based hotel investor B.P. Sodhi paid more than $1.2 million on Tuesday for his second of two hotel lots on S. International Drive west of Phoenicia Development's Orchid Bay Plaza retail center, where construction is underway on the first hotel and a flag and timeline are now set for the second. 

Located on the undeveloped rear of 11787 International Dr., north of the intersection with S. Westwood Boulevard, the developer bought roughly 2.37 acres for what is now anticipated as a six-story, 104-key Comfort Suites hotel. 

"Construction plans are under review, and we will work on it diligently and have that second hotel done in 12 months once construction begins," Sodhi told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "Choice Hotels has dynamic brands like (Comfort Suites) that facilitate the core of America. It's a great franchise, an A-plus location and with what's happening in Greater Orlando we're privileged to be a part of this." 

Plans for Sodhi's two hotels were first filed in early December 2016 for what is now 5.195 acres behind the IHOP restaurant in that Orchid Plaza block.

Sodhi led with the first hotel, a four-story, 138-key Woodspring Suites Signature extended stay property, and bought that 2.825-acre lot on Aug. 25 for $1.8 million

Construction began in January on the Woodspring Suites Signature, with PeakCM, LLC of Orlando as general contractor. Foundation work should be done within 30 days, said Sodhi, who estimated a completion and opening by year's end.

Intracoastal Bank loaned $1.26 million for that land acquisition, with the option for Sodhi to increase that to $10 million for construction financing. 

Phase 2 in the Development Plan approved last year had always been listed as an 83-room "boutique hotel" with the placeholder name of "Pearl Eagle," based on Sodhi's business name. He was still courting hotel franchisors through the fourth quarter before agreeing with Choice on the Comfort Suites flag

Sodhi filed an amendment request on Wednesday for that DP to revise the Phase 2 hotel's size, adding a sixth floor and 21 rooms to bring the key count to 104. 

Construction plans for the Comfort Suites have also been submitted for Orange County staff review, Sodhi said. 

Architectural Design + Associates Inc. of Ormond Beach is the architect on the two hotels, Florida Engineering Group is civil engineer, and American Surveying & Mapping, Inc. of Orlando is the surveyor.  

Sodhi's hotel portfolio includes approximately 1,000 rooms across multiple properties in Florida. His LLC affiliates sold the 205-key Ramada Orlando Downtown in January 2016 for $4.9 million, and a Travelodge Inn & Suites near Orlando International Airport (1853 McCoy Road) for $4.59 million in November 2015.  

Adjacent to the IHOP and hotels site, Phoenicia Development is now building a 6,543-square-foot multi-tenant retail building with three inline spaces, and has one restaurant pad available south of the IHOP for its fourth retail building in that Orchid Bay lineup, projected for 15,000 square feet. 

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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