Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

Missionary group plans 120-room hotel on Narcoossee Road, east of Lake Nona

UPDATED: July 28, 2016 1:46 PM — Orlando-based missionary organization Pioneers USA is planning a 120-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites as the first phase of a broad mixed-use development plan for its 54-plus acres on Narcoossee Road, fronting Lake Whippoorwill.

Pioneers had a Specific Parcel Master Plan (SPMP) for the four-story hotel approved in June by Orlando's Southeast Town Design Review Committee. City Council later approved the SPMP on July 11.


A Pioneers affiliate filed its latest plans for the hotel on Wednesday with the South Florida Water Management District.

To be located in the 12000 block of Narcoossee Road, the hotel would lie directly northeast of Valencia College's Lake Nona campus. It would occupy 2.28 acres on what is a 6.57-acre parcel, part of 54.16 contiguous acres the organization owns on Lake Whippoorwill. One third to half of that property is occupied by the organization's headquarters, missionary training center and the affiliated KOA campground.


Pioneers retained Mark Meyer of Foundry Commercial late last year to lead planning efforts for mixed-use development of its excess land, and to market the property for land lease or sale.

The hotel site would likely be a ground lease, though Pioneers executives did not respond on Thursday to questions regarding financing and development partners.

Despite a growing number of retail and office plans proposed in the past year for Narcoossee Road south of S.R. 417, Pioneers' property is not a clear winner on its face for a hotel site.

There's one known demand generator for room nights at the hotel, via missionary trainee traffic to the non-profit's headquarters. The hotel site is more than 5 miles from the heart of Lake Nona (where two new Marriott hotels opened last year at Lake Nona Town Center), and more than 10 miles from Orlando International Airport.

The hotel development would include construction of an additional outparcel directly north on 1.04 acres for the north-south right-of-way (72 feet wide) and improvements to William Carey Drive.

The property is part of the Pioneers Planned Development in Orange County that was approved for annexation into Orlando in late May. The city should adopt in September an Urban Village future land use designation and an equivalent PD zoning.

A Comprehensive Plan amendment was approved by the city and is now under final review by the state, which should come back for approval with the zoning in mid-August, said Miranda Fitzgerald, co-chair of the Government Approvals and Land Use Practice Group at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., who has represented the applicant in its annexation request.

The hotel is part of a long-term plan by Pioneers to develop its property on Narcoossee Road. The group had plans reviewed in January by Orlando's Municipal Planning Board for up to 50,000 square feet of office space, 35,000 square feet of public space, 165,000 square feet of commercial/retail and up to 350 residential units.


Tri3 Civil Engineering Design Studio is civil engineer on the hotel project, Forum Architecture & Interior Design is the architect, and Collage Construction is the general contractor.

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