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An estimated $400 million project, the seven-story Fairmont Orlando is expected to open in 2025 with 550 rooms.  (Smallwood)
An estimated $400 million project, the seven-story Fairmont Orlando is expected to open in 2025 with 550 rooms. (Smallwood)

Development Ventures Group (DEVEN) has taken a critical step forward on a $400 million plan to bring Fairmont’s luxury hotel product to the heart of Orlando’s tourism district.

The company, which has offices in New York and Orlando, secured 28 acres off International Drive on Wednesday for $16 million, according to Orange County deed records.

DEVEN announced its intentions to deliver Orlando its first luxury Fairmont flag in 2021. According to the developer’s website, the seven-story hotel is expected to open in early 2025 with 550 guestrooms, including 90 suites, 12 unique villas, and 87 Fairmont Gold rooms.

Phone calls and emails to the company seeking comment were not returned as of Wednesday afternoon.

The brand’s signature Fairmont Gold experience “will be offered on the top floor and includes an expansive 5,000-square-foot private lounge with sweeping views of the city offering luxury guests an unparalleled experience in Orlando,” the website says.

The hotel will also offer several of the brand’s “elevated dining experiences” with numerous restaurant options.

“Innovative cuisine and beverage programs are essential components of the Fairmont brand, and Fairmont Orlando will offer visitors several elevated dining experiences,” the website says. “Featuring seven distinct food and beverage concepts, the hotel will boast a 140-seat signature restaurant, a specialty Mediterranean restaurant, an upscale steakhouse, a gourmet café, and various bars and lounges offering both indoor and outdoor seating.”

Additional property features will include a 12,000-square-foot spa and wellness center with seven treatment rooms, a gym and two hot tubs. It will also offer 44,000 square feet of expansive meetings and events space.

The property’s outdoor amenities include three swimming pools: a family pool, a lazy river, and an adults-only pool.

The hotel will also feature a children and young adult center, a library, and business center, as well as ample retail space, according to the website.

Atlanta-based architecture firm, Smallwood Architects, will lead the hotel’s architectural design. Hotel interiors are being designed by SFA Design and Toronto-based Studio Paolo Ferrari is designing all of the restaurants.

Before the acquisition by Development Ventures Group, the property was owned by Gcb Associates, led by Chris Liew.

This is the second marquee land deal of the year that Liew has been a part of. In January, Gcb Associates sold nearby property totaling 460 acres between World Center Drive and S.R. 417 to Intram Investments for $96 million.

While Intram has yet to iron out specific plans for this property, Intram executive vice president Randy Hodge said it’s well-suited for a mix-use development with retail, residential, entertainment, and hotel uses.

The Fairmont project joins a growing list of hotels in the pipeline for Orlando’s tourism corridor.

National hotel developer Buccini/Pollin Group is bringing the W Hotel brand to Orlando with plans for a 22-story hotel tower next door to the Epic Universe property.

It would be the company’s first project in Orlando. Included with the boutique Marriott brand will be a 2,000-seat venue offering concerts and other entertainment up to 200 days per year.

Skorman Development is also pursuing a hotel near Epic Universe and the Orange County convention center that will rise 36 stories with 1,000 rooms and a rooftop restaurant.

The project, approved by Orange County in early 2022, consists of a 36-story,1,000-room hotel attached to a six-story parking garage with 1,000 spaces.
The project, approved by Orange County in early 2022, consists of a 36-story,1,000-room hotel attached to a six-story parking garage with 1,000 spaces.

The 1,100-acre Evermore Orlando Resort — anchored by Central Florida’s first Conrad Hotel and centered around an 8-acre Crystal Lagoon feature reminiscent of a tropical beach destination — is expected to open off Winter Garden Vineland Road in time for the Christmas holiday.

Nobu Hotel Orlando is also expected to open by 2025 on land along Interstate-4 directly across from Disney theme parks. The global hotel and restaurant chain has 14 locations nationwide and is co-founded by actor Robert De Niro and world-renowned Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

The Orlando resort will feature 300 rooms and villas, a Nobu restaurant, 50 branded residences, and meeting and event space, the website says.

A 220-room Tao Hotel — a product of London-based Tao Group Hospitality — is slated to anchor the City Center at O-Town West near Dr. Phillips.

The 15-story hotel would include a TAO Asian Bistro, rooftop bar, meeting space, and fitness facility.

Meanwhile, DEVEN has been involved in other projects in the Orlando market. The company developed the nearby Bonnett Creek Resort in Orlando, which features a similar highly upscale design. The resort features the 1,000-room four-star Hilton Hotel and a 500-room 5-star Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

DEVEN also partnered with Ustler Development for the UnionWest student housing tower at Creative Village and will co-develop a second phase of student housing with an additional 600 beds at the campus just west of downtown Orlando.

Fairmont Orlando will mark the brand’s 20th property in the United States, joining brand flagships such as Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston; Fairmont San Francisco; and the recently reimagined Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, among others.

The brand, part of hospitality group Accor, is rapidly expanding as more than 27 Fairmont hotel properties are in development worldwide.

In a 2021 news release, company leaders said they’re pleased to bring the Fairmont brand to Orlando.

“We are pleased to announce that we are bringing the celebrated Fairmont brand to the lively city of Orlando, one of the most visited destinations in the U.S.,” Heather McCrory, CEO of Accor North & Central America, said in the news release. “The signing of this new development demonstrates Accor’s expertise in the luxury segment and emphasizes our sustained commitment to expanding our footprint in strategic markets throughout North America. Fairmont Orlando will be a notable addition to Accor’s growing luxury portfolio in the region and is poised to become a prominent hotel in Orlando catering to the most discerning of travelers.”

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