An Alabama hotel company that's opening three new hotels in Orlando's tourism corridor is gearing up to break ground on a fourth property near Orlando International Airport.
Fast-growing LBA Properties, based in Dothan, has filed construction plans with the St. Johns River Water Management District and City of Orlando for a five-story, 128-key Home2 Suites by Hilton.
"It really speaks to the depth and vibrancy of the Orlando market," LBA President Beau Benton told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday. "It seems like every year Orlando sets a new record for tourism."
The company will open a pair of new hotels on International Drive near SeaWorld this summer. They are a 181-room Holiday Inn Express at 10771 International Dr., and a 188-room TownePlace Suites next door at 10731 International Dr. LBA is the development partner on those for Mandala Holdings.
Also slated to open in early 2018 is a 196-room Residence Inn Universal Studios at 5616 Major Blvd. LBA's partner on this project is Augusta, Georgia-based Southeastern Development Associates (SEDA) .
The fourth property, north of the airport, will be owned by LBA affiliate Sunbelt Development LLC. Benton said it was designed to serve three major customer bases: business travelers, visitors to the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, and theme park tourists.
"As the airport expands, we have found that a lot of tourists will add a night to their stay," he said. If they're staying on resort property, it's more convenient and cost-effective to stay near the airport before flying home.
The property is located on the northeast corner of Hazeltine National and Shadowridge drives, west of S. Semoran Drive, and currently owned by Omega Land Development Corp., affiliate of Xpress Airport Valet Parking.
Mark Robbins, director of hotel development for LBA, said the company anticipates closing on the property in March and starting construction in April, pending permit approvals.
Construction should take approximately one year, Robbins said. The hotel's general contractor would be another affiliated company, Hollis and Spann, also out of Alabama.
Bradley, Schmidt & Carn is the architect, while Landscape Dynamics served as landscape architect.
LBA Hospitality also manages a SpringHill Suites in Sanford and a pair of hotels on the Space Coast.