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Californian real estate investor Chih “John” Yuan Yu could break ground in the third quarter on a 137-key Wyndham Garden hotel set off the northern end of International Drive, and is still negotiating with lenders for much of the estimated $20 million development cost, his broker and project manager told GrowthSpotter.

Located at 5855 American Way, near the intersection of North I-Drive and S. Kirkman Road, Yu bought the parcel from Alltour America in late December 2015 for $2.6 million, with plans to eventually redevelop it into a hotel.

Those plans were solidified by July 2016 for a seven-story, 137-key property with 80,000 square feet overall, carrying the Wyndham Garden flag and its new prototype design. A Master Plan for the project made its way through city of Orlando approvals in Fall 2016.

Yu entered the Orlando hotel market in November 2015 by buying the Super 8 motel directly across the street (5900 American Way) for $7.5 million, and is now managing that property.

Kiran Patel, a local commercial broker who represented Yu on both acquisitions, has been coordinating development of the new hotel.

Patel and his client have submitted construction plans and a building permit application to the city, and should have their first review comments back on June 23, he said Thursday.

If little to no changes are requested, Patel said he’s optimistic the building permit could be issued in July, and construction can start on the site in July or August. A demolition permit request was filed with the city on June 19.

General contractor on the project is Ocala-based Feasterco Construction, and the architect is Thomas D. Adams of Harter-Adams, P.A., out of Winter Park.

Total projected investment is now $20 million, Patel said, up from an early estimate of $16 million this time last year. A construction loan of 70 percent project cost has yet to be finalized with one of multiple commercial lenders, he added.

The other 30 percent would be equity supplied by Yu, whose family owns a fiberglass manufacturing and export business in China.

The select-service flag Wyndham Garden would follow seven other hotel properties now on American Way, with an eighth in development by Buffalo Lodging Associates, a Home2 Suites on land to the west of Super 8.

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