Golden Corral franchisee Eric Holm is honing in on his development skills and pursuing plans for a new boutique hotel on Winter Park's Lake Killarney.
Holm, a resident of the city, said he's teaming up with a private investment group to purchase several properties along the busy S. Orlando Avenue thoroughfare, between Fairview and Beachview avenues, just south of the Hillstone Restaraunt.
In total, the assemblage spans about 2.5 acres. Adam Wonus of Atrium Management Company is a partner on the deal.
The city's planning department held a work session in January to discuss closing and using portions of Beachview Avenue and Killarney Drive for open space and hotel development. Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed attorney Rebecca "Becky" Wilson represented the applicant.
A conceptual site plan for the development, dubbed the Henderson Hotel, shows plans call for a five-story, 140,000-square-foot building with 120 to 140 rooms.
Features include up to 10,000 square feet of ballroom space, 7,500 square feet of retail, outdoor dining, a resort-style pool and an 80,000-square-foot parking garage that can fit up to 264 cars.
The conceptual site plan also shows a dock overlooking Lake Killarney.
A two-story office building at 227 S. Orlando Ave. is shown to remain on the property.
Baker Barrios is the project architect. The developers have yet to sign on an engineering firm.
The Henderson Hotel at Lake Killarney pays homage to the late Norma Henderson and her family, who were long-time owners and operators of lodging businesses in the area.
The parcels are a mixed bag of zoning classifications, meaning the developer would have to address several Land Use issues if it decides to go forward.
For one, the developers would have to change the Comprehensive Plan from featuring 45 percent Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to 185 percent.
The development team would also need to update a policy that states that single-family homes should be protected on the property, and change the CP to allow five-story building height.
A Conditional Use Permit would be required for the proposed use of the property, and the developer would need an okay from city officials to close and vacate portions of the two city streets.
Via email Wonus said, they are currently in the preliminary stages of this project and are in the discussion process with city officials and local neighbors.
Holm, a restaurateur, owns and operates 33 Golden Corrals and is currently building a second Colt's Pig Stand restaurant on I-4 and Saxon Blvd., he said.
He made his foray into the hotel development business in 2016 after opening a 150-key Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, near Celebration.
Winter Park has attracted swarms of developers trying to assemble prospective sites and coax long-term owners. Over the last decade, creative industries have begun leasing space in the area to trendy retailers and office users.
A shopping center just south of the property is under contract for a proposed redevelopment, Equinox Development Properties president and CEO Ryan Stahl confirmed.
But Holm said there's been a gap in lakefront hotel construction, adding that the very foundation of the city was established in a lakefront hotel in 1882.
"The city of Winter Park was founded at the Rogers House Inn," Holm said. "Hotels today are not lakefront. We want to be able to bring the first Class A lakefront hotel to Winter Park."