Highlighted in blue are the two hotels now owned by owner-operator AD1 Global on International Drive. The Comfort Inn International (border I-4) was purchased on Tuesday, while the neighboring Best Western (on Jamaican Court) was purchased in July 2015.
Highlighted in blue are the two hotels now owned by owner-operator AD1 Global on International Drive. The Comfort Inn International (border I-4) was purchased on Tuesday, while the neighboring Best Western (on Jamaican Court) was purchased in July 2015. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Hollywood, Fla.-based hotel investor AD1 Global paid $8.6 million on Tuesday for its second value-add property on International Drive, and is actively seeking more assets while trying to establish its third-party management service with local hotel owners, a lead executive with the company told GrowthSpotter.

Located at 8134 I-Drive, the 112-key Comfort Inn International was built in 1999, and lies directly behind Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando.

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The purchase comes roughly a year after AD1 made its first investment on I-Drive for $10.8 million with the Best Western at 8222 Jamaican Court, located on the corner with International Drive and just 500 yards south of the intersection with W. Sand Lake Road.

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Lead executive of AD1 Global cites I-Drive projects like Skyplex as being a key draw to invest $11 million in a Best Western.

"We were attracted to the deal because with the Best Western next door, it offered strategic operational convenience," said Gisela Levy, vice president of acquisitions. "We approached the owner directly (to initiate the sale). We believe that market will continue to move forward, and we want to expand our portfolio there."

AD1 will maintain the Comfort Inn flag for the hotel, and carry out a Property Improvement Plan (PIP) focused mainly on updating the lobby, Levy said. The company is still working on the design of those plans, and has yet to seek out contractors for the work.

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Two parcels totaling 14 acres have been held by the company for a decade, but development could begin this year, prompted by a hot tourism corridor hotel market.

Affiliate AD1 Management took over management of the Comfort Inn on Tuesday.

Levy said her team is actively seeking more value-add hotel acquisition opportunities in Greater Orlando, and is trying to promote its third-party management service to other hotel owners in the market.

AD1 Global sourced a $5.9 million loan from BB&T Bank for the recent acquisition.

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AD1 now owns eight hotels in Florida, which includes three in Kissimmee. The company also owns a number of multifamily and office properties throughout the state.

The property was sold by Aavkar Hospitality Inc, an affiliate of Janak S. Marolia, who has been active in Florida hotel investment since 1976. He's a local Choice Hotels franchisee who won the Premier Legacy award from the company in May 2015, and is director of acquisitions with Regal Point Capital, a private equity firm founded in 2013 by his son, Vijay Marolia.

"It was a very quick negotiation with (AD1), it began back in March," Janak Marolia said Thursday. "I wanted to spend more time with my son and concentrating on his private equity firm. I still own three properties in Ocala, one in Deland and our investment fund has some plans in Central Florida."

Joshua Wallack, developer and owner of Mango's Tropical Cafe, helped introduce Marolia and AD1 executives back in December 2015, at a grand opening party for his nightclub.

Wallack had previously approached Marolia about buying his Comfort Inn in 2014, with an eye to convert it into a South Beach-themed boutique hotel that would pair with Mango's, Marolia confirmed.

That deal never materialized, as Wallack's focus was absorbed by buying land for his Skyplex entertainment complex across the street.

"So when Daniel Berman (president of AD1) bought the Best Western, they came to me and asked if I knew of other hotels in the area that were available," Wallack said Thursday. "I set them up to meet, and let Janak know those guys were for real."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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