Tampa-area hotelier Ben Mallah is still in the market for a local CRE broker to help him “find the right fit” for an outparcel he’s creating in front of the Four Points by Sheraton Orlando on North International Drive.
“Calling all brokers,” Mallah told GrowthSpotter on Monday. “I don’t care if I get a hundred emails.”
Mallah and his engineers from AVID Group filed construction plans Friday to reconfigure the hotel’s parking lot, adding 100 parking spaces and a new stormwater pond at the rear of the property to free up the space at the front of the property, at the intersection of I-Drive and American Way, for retail development.
Located at 5905 International Dr., the two parcels total 5.83 acres, with the 302-key Four Points hotel occupying 4.55 acres. The sister parcel targeted for a retail building is 0.83 acres, currently part of the hotel’s surface parking lot. Mallah received approval last October from City of Orlando for the master plan, and he said he could accommodate a 4,800-square-foot building or small strip center with four or five bays.
“We’re looking for the right broker to come in and help us fill that spot,” Mallah said. “I was trying to look for a food franchise with playground on the second level. But we’re open to anything. We want to see what our options are.”
Mallah’s Equity Management Partners bought the iconic, cylindrical hotel tower in 2016 for $23 million and has already completed a renovation of the common spaces.
“We’ve already done the lobby, the restaurant and the pool,” Mallah said. “Right now, we’re waiting on approvals from Marriott — it’s taking a while because of the merger with Starwood — and then we’ll go like gangbusters on all the rooms.”
Mallah said he already has bids out for the project, and he hopes to complete the work by summer. Once those improvements are compete Mallah said he’ll complete the multimillion dollar renovation with a refresh of the building’s exterior and landscaping.
Already a valuable spot, the proximity of the retail pad directly across from the former Wet ‘n Wild property could make it even more attractive. Earlier this month Universal Orlando filed a framework master plan calling for up to 4,000 new hotel rooms on the 64.6-acre site.
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