South Florida hotel developer revives plans for Cambria Suites facing Lake Eola

A South Florida-based hotel developer is proposing a bit of Miami Beach for Downtown Orlando, filing plans for a 155-key Cambria Suites directly west of Lake Eola that feature pastel colors and design inspired by Collins Avenue. 

Located at 170 E. Washington St. on the southwest corner with Rosalind Avenue, the 0.63-acre vacant parcel has been owned by an LLC affiliate of Choice Hotels International's corporate office since 2010. 

The applicant and developer is an affiliate of Consolidated Mark Development (CMD), which filed a Master Plan with the city on July 24. It's schedule for the Municipal Planning Board's September meeting.

The new MP filing is meant to update a previously approved Cambria Hotel & Suites Planned Development zoning ordinance that was approved by the city in 2011. Choice pursued the project that year with Concord Eastridge as development partner, but it stalled due to capitalization challenges.

The new development lead is Sunny Isles Beach-based hotelier Steven Hurowitz. A managing principal in CMD, Hurowitz has led the $20 million redevelopment in recent years of the 355-key Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort on Collins Avenue, and the 298-key Sawgrass Grand Hotel & Suites in Sunrise. 

Hurowitz's group has the Orlando property under contract from Choice. The new MP filing isn't meant to substantially change the 2011 ordinance approval. 

Because of the property's small size, downtown location and layout, a few modifications are necessary for the project to comply with current, higher-grade development standards of today's Cambria flag from Choice Hotels, and deliver an iconic building to Orlando's skyline, Hurowitz wrote in a project description letter. 

The hotel flag, room count (155), and layout of a ground-floor vehicular arrival court, lobby check-in lounge, dining space, back of house and parking are all unchanged from the 2011 ordinance. A swimming pool deck would be located on the third floor, overlooking Rosalind Avenue and Lake Eola. 

The only different items, which Hurowitz contends improve the project, is a structured parking increase from 55 spaces to 82 all on-site (27 spaces more than the 2011 requirement), an increase to net square footage by roughly 9 percent, an increase to setbacks on Rosalind Avenue to better accommodate city streetscape requirements, and the building's height has been increased from seven to eight stories. 

Those modifications are within the 10 percent range of any applicable development standard, are consistent with the city's development policies for downtown, and are compatible with existing land uses nearby, Hurowitz contends. 

Newport Beach-based Hannouche Architects has contributed project design thus far.

Choice Hotels announced in late March that it had significant growth and development goals for its Cambria flag in 2017, with 14 planned new openings, 18 groundbreakings and more franchise agreements to be pursued, building upon the 28 Cambria properties already open across the United States. 

The Cambria hotel would be the third active new hotel proposal for downtown's Central Business District, following the 126-key hotel project introduced in July 2016 by GDC Properties directly southwest of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, and the 180-key AC Hotels by Marriott planned for the top eight stories of Lincoln Property Company's new Tremont Plaza Tower, where site work was supposed to start in late July. 

Just outside the CBD, a Tampa-based deveoper introduced plans in early May for its second select service hotel on Columbia Street to serve the Orlando Regional Medical Center. And west of Interstate 4, the fully-renovated Marriott at 400 W. Livingston St. has been taking reservations for an anticipated August opening

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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