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Two hotels near southern border of upcoming Epic Universe theme park are in the works

An image of a recently completed Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott in Rawlins , Wyoming.
An image of a recently completed Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott in Rawlins , Wyoming.(BRR)

Two new hotels are in progress next to the southern border of where Universal Orlando is building its third Central Florida theme park, Epic Universe.

The planned hotels will rise on neighboring lots just southwest of where S. John Young Parkway intersects with Destination Parkway, near where Universal’s land holding company, SLRC Holdings LLC. bought about 500 acres of undeveloped land east of I-Drive.

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In the works are a 119-unit Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott and a 92-unit Holiday Inn Express hotel chain within InterContinental Hotels Group.

The planned Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel and Holiday Inn Express are currently underway along Destination Parkway.
The planned Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel and Holiday Inn Express are currently underway along Destination Parkway.(Orange County Property Appraiser/GrowthSpotter)

Hotelier Amir Dhanji is behind bringing the Fairfield Inn and Suites. The developer serves as a managing director at hospitality firm Paragon Pro Management and owns the chicken tender-focused franchise chain Huey Magoo’s, which has locations in Oviedo, Dr. Phillips and more recently the Gardens on Millenia commercial center.

Dhanji told GrowthSpotter he expects to break ground on the hotel by the second quarter of next year. BRR Architecture is the architect. Central Florida Engineering Consultants is the engineer.

He purchased the vacant 2.16-acre lot last year for $2.1 million through entity South Park Lodging LLC.

The lot was bought from an affiliate of the Orlando-based development and brokerage firm NorBridge Properties. Affiliates of NorBridge paid about $4.25 million assembling nearly a dozen acres of land across both sides of Destination Parkway in 2006. Since then, the firm has been developing or selling off the property.

Last year, Orlando South Park IV Development LLC, an affiliate of NorBridge, sold a 1.5-acre lot for $1.33 million to Destination Express Holdings LLC, an entity led by Vinod Kalidas, the developer of the neighboring Holiday Inn Express hotel.

The project has already broken ground, Kalidas told GrowthSpotter. He said he anticipates opening the hotel in next year in the summer time.

Central Florida Engineering Consultants is also the civil engineer for the Holiday Inn Express hotel.

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A 120-unit Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel was recently completed next door at 2800 Destination Parkway. Sarasota-based Floridays Development Co. helped develop the hotel.

A RaceTrac service station abuts the Home2 Suites hotel at 9000 S. John Young Parkway. NorBridge sold the lot to the gas station chain in 2012 for $1.44 million. It was built in 2014.

An entity led by Erika Duarte owns the Destination Business Center across the street at 7550 Futures Drive. Neither Erika nor Norberto were immediately available to comment.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at arabines@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-5427, or tweet me at @amanda_rabines. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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