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Investor proposes two new hotels on Phoenicia land along South I-Drive

Investor proposes two new hotels on Phoenicia land along South I-Drive
Highlighted in blue is the land parcel near the intersection of S. International Drive and Westwood Boulevard, on which roughly five acres on the rear are targeted for hotel development. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Port Orange-based hotel investor B.P. Sodhi filed plans Monday to develop two limited service hotels totaling 222 rooms on S. International Drive, targeting the last few undeveloped acres available from Phoenicia Development around its Orchid Bay Plaza shopping center.

Based on the east side of South I-Drive, north of the intersection with S. Westwood Boulevard, Sodhi's affiliate Pearl Eagles, LLC filed a Development Plan with Orange County for 5.04 acres behind a newly-built IHOP restaurant.

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To be developed in two phases, the first hotel is described as a four-story Woodspring Suites Signature extended stay hotel with up to 139 rooms, while the second phase is proposed for a five-story, 83-room boutique hotel with the placeholder name of "Pearl Eagle."

The DP indicates the hotels may share a pool and other services.

Both are being proposed by Sodhi, who has the property under contract for purchase, said Tom Harb, CEO of Phoenicia Development.

Sodhi could not be reached for comment late Monday afternoon. The new development plans follow two hotel property sales he has made within the past year.

Sodhi's LLC affiliate sold the 205-key Ramada Orlando Downtown in early January for $4.9 million, and he sold a Travelodge Inn & Suites near Orlando International Airport (1853 McCoy Road) for $4.59 million on Nov. 30, 2015.

Phoenicia is wrapping up its development and sale of 39 acres along that portion of South I-Drive, which it acquired in 2006 and waited out the economic recession to built the 61,173-square-foot Orchid Bay Plaza on 10 acres in 2012.

Phoenicia formed a partnership in 2015 with Altamonte Springs-based LeCesse Development Corp. to build the 288-unit Ancora Apartments on 16.5 acres north of Orchid Bay Plaza, a $45 million project now nearing completion.

North of the apartments is a 3.32-acre parcel in the 11500 block of I-Drive that Phoenicia's affiliate sold in mid-October to Miami-based Riviera Point Development Group, where the group is planning a La Quinta Inn and a second Radisson brand hotel.

And to the south of Orchid Bay Plaza, fronting I-Drive and in front of Sodhi's proposed hotel sites, Phoenicia has developed over the past year an 8,000-square-foot retail building with Dunkin' Donuts as the first tenant, and leased a pad to the IHOP operator.

Sodhi, Riviera Point, LeCesse and other developers stand to gain in the long-term from Orange County's $21 million investment now being made to widen that portion of I-Drive between both ends of Westwood Boulevard.

The construction project is currently at 50 percent, and should be finished by Hubbard Construction in Fourth Quarter 2017, according to county staff.

Architectural Design + Associates Inc. of Ormond Beach is the architect on Sodhi's proposed hotels, Florida Engineering Group is the civil engineer, and American Surveying & Mapping, Inc. of Orlando is the surveyor.

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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