A South Florida developer paid more than $5.2 million earlier this month for 5.38 acres just north of Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, a parcel that has sat in legal limbo for the past eight years as home to the abandoned Regency Suites resort project.
Located at 12004 Regency Village Dr., on the southwest corner of the Lake Street intersection, the land was bought on Sept. 9 via Regency Redux LLC, an affiliate of vertically integrated developer ABG Companies of Vero Beach.
Scott Parker, principal with Regency Redux and ABG Companies, told GrowthSpotter he's just beginning to conceptualize a five-star hotel for the property, and will begin seeking a major flag and hospitality management firm for the development within the next few months.
ABG Companies has developed residential, retail and hotel properties in Miami Beach and Vero Beach, and acquired a handful of distressed assets within the past few years in Orlando. Affiliate ABG13, LLC, owns the Palisades Resort on Avalon Road, west of Walt Disney World Resort.
Kimley-Horn and Associates is civil engineer on the project. Parker has yet to hire a local architecture firm, but aims to do so by year's end.
With the property already zoned for hotel use, Parker would like to have a project development plan ready to submit to Orange County within the first quarter of 2016.
"We're now in a due diligence period, trying to reinstate permits to get this property ready to go again," he said.
Parker lives two-thirds of the year in China, and has regional center approval with the U.S. government to seek foreign investors for EB-5 immigrant visas. He projects investment in his hotel project to approach $75 million, and is undecided on whether he'll pursue EB-5 investors for it.
Regency Redux acquired a $7 million loan for the recent acquisition from LV Lending, LLC, out of Miami, according to Orange County records. The total acquisition value may have exceeded the $5.2 million reflected by deed doc taxes paid. Parker said his firm will likely seek a construction loan this year.
The parcel's previous owner, Regency Suites I, LLC, had planned a 10-story, 325-unit condominium hotel. Promoted as a $102 million project back in April 2006 when construction started, the Regency Suites was going to feature 2,000 feet of frontage on Regency Village Drive, just across the street from the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets.
It was set to open in late 2007, according to the Orlando Sentinel during that time, but the project was halted after a bank pulled the construction loan on the project during the recession period.
More than 20 lawsuits were active against the previous developer up until recently, all early-stage condo buyers who had lost their deposits in the project. Those debts had to be settled by the former development group, prior to the property's sale.