After years of working to create a thriving mixed-use district in Parramore, developer Timothy Green has taken a step toward making that dream a reality.
Green’s Parramore Development Group recently filed applications with the City of Orlando for a Growth Management Plan update and rezoning for the first phase of the long-awaited Parramore City Towers.
The proposed 14-story double tower is at the corner of S. Terry Avenue and W. Jackson Street, about halfway between the Amway Center and Exploria Stadium. Green is partnering with Capstone Development for the project that would include a full-service hotel, a cultural museum and up to 180 units of mixed-income residential units.
“This project is really exciting,” Green said. “There’s a historical building that’s located at 596 W. Church St. that’s currently occupied by Greater Refuge Memorial Church, and we’re really excited to do an adaptive reuse and convert it into a museum and cafe.”
The developers are in negotiations with Marriott to secure either an Element or Tribute flag for the hotel. Green said Element is a more affordable, extended-stay product that could appeal to Parramore residents who have visitors coming to town. The Tribute flag is more of a boutique brand that allows for more flexibility in the design and pays tribute to the neighborhood’s historical landmarks, such as the Wells Built Museum and South Street Casino, both of which catered to Black travelers during segregation. The hotel lobby would include a connection to the former church building, which would reopen as a museum to the Green Book, a travel guide for African American motorists.
Concord Hospitality would manage the hotel. An earlier version would have encased the church building in glass and built the hotel over it, but Green said the team redesigned it to maintain the integrity of the building.
“We really thought it was a cool idea because we were going at it from a museum standpoint,” he said. “But there was major concern from the Historic Preservation Department at the city of Orlando as it relates to structures coming through the roof in order to hold up the hotel.”
The hotel concept also would include a 23,300-square-foot conference center on the 13th and 14th floors with up to 15 TopGolf “Swing Suites.” Green’s relocated 534 Scratch Kitchen, formerly in the space now occupied by District Gastrobar at 532 W. Church St., would operate as the in-house restaurant for the hotel and conference center.
Conceptual renderings provided to the city show the Element and Top Golf branding on the hotel tower. The team worked with Zack Kasky Architecture through the pre-application and conceptual process but has recently engaged Cooper Carry for the final design.
“When you’re doing a Marriott, they have brand standards and requirements, and one of the requirements that we needed was to have an architect that had already designed and developed other Marriott hotels,” Green said.
The residential tower would rise atop the shared parking podium. Green said he has a “handshake” agreement with Wendover Housing Partners to build a 120-unit affordable senior housing community, but he and Capstone are now seeking a density bonus to allow 180 units in what would be a mix of market-rate and affordable units.
Capstone is a real estate development and investment firm focused on hospitality, residential, and mixed-use projects in urban locations. Led by former Marriott executive Norman K. Jenkins, Capstone is based in Washington, D.C. and has developed hotels here locally in Orlando and Clermont.
“They are just a wonderful company to work with,” Green said. “They have a ton of expertise as relates to doing adaptive reuse. And so we’re really in good hands all around the board, you know, from Capstone to Concord Hospitality Group, to Parramore Development Group, and if it works out with Wendover.”
The building site is composed of four separate parcels. Green originally purchased 537 W. Jackson Street in 2017 when he was planning an even larger mixed-use project, called Green District. He told GrowthSpotter he has an option or contract on all of the remaining parcels. Green said he hasn’t given up the dream to create a destination district that stretches across several city blocks. “But we’ve really approached it from a phased approach, which is a lot more feasible,” he said. “And so we’re really excited about our first phase.”
The development team is seeking to change the future land use designation from Residential Medium Intensity to Urban Activity Center with Planned Development zoning and a density bonus. They are also seeking approval of the master plan. The case is scheduled to go to the Municipal Planning Board in November.
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