The company hopes to break ground later this year, will finance via private equity sources and may hire a local general contractor, president Ron Kendall told GrowthSpotter.
The five-story, 124-key hotel would cover 76,561 square feet at 3402 Technological Ave., based within a stretch of University Boulevard that has a growing number of restaurants, and five other hotels.
Buffalo Lodging owns and operates an extended-stay Homewood Suites a few miles south of UCF, which has helped the company understand the demand characteristics and what businesses are seeking, Kendall said.
"We think a lower cost extended stay option working with our higher rated Homewood Suites will satisfy future demand, particularly to Hilton loyal customers," he said. "We are still in the architectural drawing stage, after which we will submit to Hilton and the county. We would like to have approvals by September if possible and begin construction after the bidding process is complete, probably October or November."
The Home2 Suites would be developed on the rear of a 7.06-acre parcel owned by a Benderson affiliate. Its boulevard frontage is now occupied by a 7-year-old retail center with about 26,000 square feet of leasable space.
The hotel would have an outdoor dining area and pool, and a porte cochere entryway, based on initial site plans.
A Development Plan for the hotel was filed Tuesday with Orange County's planning division, and has yet to be scheduled for a Development Review Committee hearing.
Benderson has an in-house general contractor that oversees most of its project construction, but when the company has many new developments at one time it will outsource construction management. Kendall said he suspects they would hire an outside GC for this hotel, but it's too early to know.
Through affiliate LLCs, Benderson owns five other select service hotels in Orlando, four of which lie in the tourism corridor, with two on American Way (Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Homewood Suites) across the street from a planned Home2 Suites proposed last October. That project has yet to break ground, and is still working through City of Orlando's permitting process, Kendall said.
The last hotel the group built locally was the Homewood Suites near UCF a decade ago.
The new Home2 Suites near UCF will be developed and managed by Buffalo Lodging, which manages the five other properties in Orlando.
Buffalo Lodging's two new Home2 Suites projects would be the second and third locations for the brand in Greater Orlando once built, following the Home2 Suites that Floridays Development Co. opened this past January on Regency Village Drive, near Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets.