Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

AD1 Global has land under contract for two hotels near SeaWorld & I-Drive

Highlighted in blue are 5.18 acres on the southeast corner of International Drive and Central Florida Parkway, across from SeaWorld, targeted by AD1 Global for two select-service hotels.

UPDATED: May 30, 2017 7:50 PM — Hollywood-based hotel owner-operator AD1 Global has more than 5 acres under contract southeast of SeaWorld, with early plans for a dual-brand property of 300-plus rooms, lead executives with the company told GrowthSpotter.

Based just off the southeast corner of Central Florida Parkway and International Drive, the 5.18 acres have been marketed for sale over the past year by Sanford-based developer Matthew Gillio. It's land he and a partner have owned through an affiliate since September 2005, when it was planned for timeshare project Bella Casa Resort.


Gillio had Development Plans approved by Orange County last year for two select service hotels on the property totaling 315 rooms, with flags Cambria Suites and Element by Westin floated at the time as options.

"We feel that the proximity to SeaWorld and exposure to both I-Drive and Central Florida Parkway" make the site an attractive investment, said AD1's CFO Alex Fridzon. "We're likely going to do a dual-brand property with two hotels but one structure. We're starting to work with our architect (Cuhaci & Peterson) on a site plan and where to situate them."


AD1 is in the midst of due diligence reports now from environmental and appraisal consultants, and is applying for flag consideration from one large hotel company, Fridzon said. A closing on the land purchase is estimated for August.

The company plans to partner on this development with Estrategia Urbana, a commercial real estate developer from Mexico City that is beginning to expand into the United States.

AD1 should only have to revise site plans for the county that Gillio already earned approvals for, with new information limited to elevations and placement on the property.

Development for this property could move faster than AD1's work on 57-plus acres in southwest Orange County near Four Corners, where it has been refining zoning and plans since December for a trio of select service hotels totaling 429 rooms and a shared water park.

"Realistically, with where this (Central Florida Parkway site) stands with its approval, it will be a faster architectural and construction process than our other project on the southwest side of Orange," said Daniel Berman, AD1 president.

Projected investment for the new project is near $50 million, Berman said. It would be funded by AD1 equity and a construction loan yet to be sought. EB-5 investors may be pursued as well, the executives said, as AD1 is trying to increase its project exposure to EB-5 with new regional center partners.

AD1 currently owns three hotels in the Greater Orlando market, and is trying to expand its hotel management affiliate to new properties in the region.

Directly south of the 5.18 acres under contract is a 3.41-acre parcel parcel Gillio sold last year to local nightclub and restaurant owner Nicholas Virthe, who is still planning a private dayclub swimming pool for adults, similar to how many hotel pools are used on the Las Vegas strip.


On May 12, Virthe and civil engineer HB Associates filed for permits to build utilities and a private Resort Drive connecting his property and the hotel sites to Central Florida Parkway and I-Drive.

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