A Hilton dual-branded hotel on the site of the downtown Travelodge Hotel cleared Orlando's Appearance Review Board last week after some design tweaks that included reversing the two-tone brick color scheme.
Tennessee-based developer 3H Group initially filed plans with the city in May 2018 for the 8-story hotel, which will host a Hilton Garden Inn and extended-stay Home2 Suites at 409 N. Magnolia Ave. The developer purchased the 1957 hotel property last September for $4.8 million.
The original design by Atlanta-based Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford & Assoc. incorporated the two-toned brick facade with a multi-colored graphic pattern at the on the southwest corner of the building. After meeting with the Lake Eola Heights Historic Neighborhood Association, the design team decided to swap the light and dark elevations so the darker shade faces the complimentary color palette of the nearby Trinity Lutheran Church.
The city's planning staff said they appreciated the use of brick, instead of stucco. "Not only does it show that the intent of the developer's commitment to deliver a high quality project, it is also a nod to the historic downtown hotels like the San Juan and Angebilt."
Another major change was to incorporate an outdoor terrace at the southwest corner on the second floor, which provides a meeting breakout space that's protected from the elements.
The team also eliminated a section of the eighth floor, thus reducing the room count from 240 to 224.
3H Executive Vice President Nick Desai said the company already has applied for building permits and is narrowing its selection of a general contractor and arranging its financing. They hope to open the hotel by the third quarter of 2020.
3H Group owns and operates 20 hotels in four states, seven of which are in Florida, with two in Altamonte Springs. The company's development niche is focused on select- and limited-service hotels, working primarily with Marriott and IHG flags.
The downtown Travelodge site would be 3H Group's second hotel project in Orlando. Its market entry is a planned 148-key TownePlace Suites on 2.31 purchased in August 2018 from North American Properties, within the mixed-use "Grand National" project on the north end of International Drive.