Brazilian developer files plan for new BW Glo hotel on site near I-Drive, outlet mall

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

A U.S. affiliate of Brazilian developer QDI filed plans Monday for its second hotel property in the International Drive corridor, where it would introduce Best Western's new boutique midscale flag GLō to the market.

The company is now interviewing general contractors and commercial lenders for a construction loan and permanent financing, CEO Fabio Passos told GrowthSpotter

First reported here in mid-June, QDI has 3.5 acres under contract for the project, which lie north of the Publix-anchored Regency Village shopping center and east of Vineland Premium Outlets. They're part of a 9.89-acre undeveloped parcel that currently serves as overflow parking for that center, with access off Vineland Avenue and Regency Village Drive.

The newly-filed plans show a four-story, 154-key hotel with a floor area of 68,816 square feet, or 17,204 square feet per floor. That's bigger than Best Western's standard design for a GLō hotel from its marketing materials, which propose 39,500 square feet over four stories with 79 keys. 

Local real estate investor and businessman Wayne J. Hilmer Sr. brought the land under contract in Fall 2016, and has been working to subdivide it for hotel and retail developers before closing. The land is still owned by Tinwood LLC, a joint venture between Regency Centers and Publix that built the retail center in 2002. 

Hilmer told GrowthSpotter on Monday the closing should occur by year's end. He worked with Kimley-Horn earlier this year on a Preliminary Subdivision Plan (PSP) that would split the property into three lots of roughly 3 acres each. 

QDI's Passos estimated in June a $17 million investment for the project if hotel development plans are approved. He said Wednesday a GC and lender selection should be made by December.  

Amenities of the Orlando hotel would include 3,000 square feet of meeting space, a swimming pool, breakfast dining area and 190-space surface parking lot.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts introduced GLō as its seventh brand in September 2015, and broke ground on its first three GLō hotels last September in Nashville; Goshen, Indiana; and Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. 

If QDI's land purchase and development proceed as planned, this would be the first GLō-branded hotel in Florida. 

Best Western designates GLō as a boutique midscale hotel flag. The architecture and design have elements that play off the name, using LED lighting on the building's exterior. Innovative design strategy for the floor plan saves 40-50 square feet in each room by center-loading adjacent guest room baths. 

Best Western has estimated an average daily rate of about $90, depending on the market. Passos said Saturday his project estimates target a $130 ADR. 

QDI entered the Orlando market in November 2015, when it paid $7.35 million for the 135-key Ramada Orlando at 8342 Jamaican Court, west of the Orlando Eye.  

Kimley-Horn is the project's civil engineer and landscape architect, Richard Lee Wu is the architect.

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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