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Driftwood Hospitality pays $15.7M for two area hotels, eyes more local acquisitions

Highlighted in blue, the Holiday Inn Express parcel lies on S. Conway Road, just north of an intersection with the Beachline Expressway, and northwest of Orlando International Airport property.
Highlighted in blue, the Holiday Inn Express parcel lies on S. Conway Road, just north of an intersection with the Beachline Expressway, and northwest of Orlando International Airport property. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

UPDATED: DECEMBER 28, 2015 3:54 PM — Coral Gables-based Driftwood Hospitality Management paid an estimated $15.7 million earlier this month for the company's second and third wholly-owned hotels in Greater Orlando, and is bullish on expanding its portfolio locally, a lead executive with the company told GrowthSpotter.

The higher profile of the two is a Holiday Inn Express northwest of Orlando International Airport, for which $8.95 million was paid.

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Located at 7900 S. Conway Road, the 2.16-acre parcel was acquired on Dec. 11 (filed with Orange County Dec. 23), and includes the four-story, 107-key limited service hotel built in 1999. The purchase price estimate -- unconfirmed by Driftwood -- is based on deed doc taxes paid, and may not include the value of interior assets.

The property had been owned since 2006 by an affiliate LLC of CW Capital out of Bethesda, Maryland. Driftwood has managed the Holiday Inn Express since November 2010, one of four hotel properties it manages in the Greater Orlando market.

The company now owns three of those four, with the other two being a Springhill Suites by Marriott on SR 436 in Altamonte Springs, and a Staybridge Suites north of Orlando's airport on Augusta National Drive. Driftwood purchased the Altamonte Springs hotel from the same seller, also on Dec. 11, for $6.75 million.

"We are open to buying more hotels in the Orlando Area. We know the market well," said Carlos J. Rodriguez, executive vice president of Driftwood. "We are bullish on the Orlando market and we are open to expanding our portfolio of hotels (there)."

Driftwood plans to maintain the flags at both newly-acquired properties, will invest in a Property Improvement Plan next year to meet new brand standards, and will hire trade contractors directly for that work, Rodriguez said.

An estimate of when that renovation work may begin and how much will be spent wasn't confirmed by Rodriguez over the holiday weekend.

Driftwood acquired a mortgage of $8 million from Starwood Mortgage Capital to help finance the Holiday Inn Express acquisition. Rodriguez declined to comment on how much of that loan went toward the acquisition value, and how much would be put toward renovations.

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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