A New Jersey-based construction firm has filed plans with Osceola County for a Choice Hotels dual-branded hotel on Kissimmee’s W192 tourism corridor.
Jimit Dharia’s UHB Development LLC bought two undeveloped parcels on W192 near the intersection with Old Vineland Road in December for $730,000. The developer requested a site plan review from the county’s W192 Development Authority for the 5-acre site.
KPM Franklin submitted the plan, which calls for the construction of a 4-story, 120-room hotel on the parcel known as Lot 3 of the commercial subdivision. That parcel is set back from the roadway, but it does have Tourist Commercial zoning.
Dharia told GrowthSpotter he’s already signed franchise agreements with Choice Hotels to build a dual-branded concept featuring Comfort Inn & Suites and MainStay Suites. The 15,950-square-foot building will have 80 rooms and suites under the Comfort flag and 40 suites under the MainStay flag. The two hotels will utilize shared amenities and common spaces, including an outdoor pool, a breakfast area and business center.
“We are moving forward aggressively on the project,” Dharia said. “We should be filing for the Site Development Permit in a couple of months.” He hopes to be able to break ground by the end of the year or in early 2023 and complete construction by April 2024.
Comfort Inn is a mid-scale brand targeting business and leisure travelers and currently has a pipeline of 300 new properties — 80% of which are new construction. MainStay Suites is an extended-stay brand offering spacious “residential-style” guest suites with full kitchens, workspace and laundry facilities. The brand is frequently paired with another Choice flag, and the company reports it currently has 90 MainStay Suites dual-branded hotels in development.
The parcel fronting on U.S. 192, known as Lot 2, currently serves as a dry detention pond, and UHB plans to modify the site and convert it to a wet pond to serve the stormwater retention needs for Lot 3. The developer previously held a pre-application meeting with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee. At the time, he was considering building retail on Lot 2 and multifamily on Lot 3, but he later switched gears and opted for a hotel project because of the high impact fees for apartments.
Dharia said his firm, Construction Pros of New Jersey, has worked as a contractor in Florida, but this will be his first ground-up development in the region.
“We do a lot of development in the Northeast,” he said. “This will be the first of many, we hope, in Florida. We are actively looking for land in the area, as well. Everything is just flying off the shelves.”
The Kissimmee property is across from the Krush Brau Park, a German beer garden attraction being developed at the former Jungleland Zoo. The attraction opened in 2021 but is closed temporarily, according to its website.
A number of infill residential projects are underway nearby. Just north of the site, South Florida-based Mas Development is currently building a 210-unit townhouse rental community on Old Vineland Road called Solamar. Across the street, Dominium is building Heron Ridge, a 330-unit senior housing community, next door to Vineland Landings.