Universal plans new 600-room 'Aventura' hotel south of Sapphire Falls

Just a few weeks away from opening its new 1,000-room Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal Orlando has filed plans with the City of Orlando for a separate 600-room hotel on land directly southwest. 

Referred to as the "Aventura Hotel at Universal" on an Administrative Master Plan filed with the city on June 13, the project would include the rooms in one new tower connected to a new parking garage, according to the city's response letter to Universal dated June 27, provided following a public records request. 

Dubbed "Project 927" on applications, the hotel's prospective address is 6731 Adventure Way, which would lie on the eastern side of Adventure Way. The hotel project would cover roughly 5.87 acres within a 12.98-acre parcel, where construction trailers and vehicles are currently based for crews working on the Sapphire Falls Resort site. Tinklepaugh Surveying Services provided the topographical survey in Universal's application.

The property may be the last developable land Universal Orlando owns around its two theme parks on the northern side of Interstate 4. 

Directly east of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort property, that parcel currently has 6.43 acres of vacant developable land, and 6.55 acres of stormwater retention area. Engineered water retention systems buried underground could be used to free up more of that water retention pond for development. 

A Universal Orlando spokesman declined to comment on the master plan filing. 

Dean Grandin, Jr., planning division manager for Orlando, gave Universal his approval on June 27 for its "Project 927" master plan, finding it complied with city code and the Universal City Master Plan. The latter was last amended in August 2007, requiring that each parcel within Universal's property undergo administrative review for its specific development plan. 

Details on the project's layout are limited on the survey's grainy scanned image. An elevated bridge may connect the property to other neighboring hotels, or the new Volcano Bay water park under construction to its southwest. 

It is described as having a "large" mechanical/service tower at the center of its main building. A "valley" of space would exist between this project and the Sapphire Falls Resort that would require landscaping, according to staff comments. 

At a projected 600 rooms, the new hotel would be Universal's smallest thus far. 

Universal's portfolio of hotel rooms currently total 5,200, which include 1,000 rooms at the new Sapphire Falls set to open July 14, the 1,800 rooms at Cabana Bay Beach Resort, the 1,000-room Royal Pacific Resort, the 750-room Portofino Bay Hotel and the 650-room Hard Rock Hotel.

Foundation site work is underway on two new towers for Cabana Bay containing an additional 400 new rooms on that resort's southern end. Those are set to open in 2017 along with the Volcano Bay water park. 

Editor's Note: This story was updated Thursday morning to correct the name of the street in the headline; the application is for land on Adventure Way, not American Way.

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