Drury pays $20.5M for BW hotel near Disney Springs, will rebrand & renovate

St. Louis-based Drury Hotels is doubling down on Orlando's tourism corridor, paying $20.5 million last week for the 325-key Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort, where it will rebrand and invest heavily in renovations to add value to what is a 45-year-old tower.

Located at 2000 Hotel Plaza Blvd., the 18-story hotel lies just east of the entry to Disney Springs. The purchase price ($63,076 per key), which in this case does reflect the value of interior assets, is based on taxes paid for a sale that closed Aug. 9, and was recorded Monday morning in Orange County. 

This will be Drury's second property in Orlando, with the first being a Drury Inn & Suites on W. Sand Lake Road, just off the Interstate 4 exit upon entry to Dr. Phillips. 

"We're excited to continue our expansion in the Orlando market and to become part of the Disney World family of hotels," vice president of development Mark Kohl told GrowthSpotter. "We'll be planning a significant renovation of the property, but details on the size and scope of that will be forthcoming." 

The land is still owned by Walt Disney Parks & Resorts US. Drury now assumes a ground lease from the seller, an affiliate of New York-based investment firm Square Mile Capital, which began in 2001 and runs through January 2053. 

HFF's Orlando office served as listing agent for the seller. Westmont Hospitality Group had managed the Best Western, but Drury will now self-manage the hotel. 

Drury will maintain the Best Western flag on the hotel for the next six to 18 months, at least.

Kohl declined to forecast when the Drury flag would be applied to the property, but this type of rebranding typically occurs near the tail-end of a renovation project. The hotel would remain open during phased renovation. 

Based on 9.86 acres, the hotel's amenities include two restaurants, heated outdoor pool, fitness center, video arcade and game room, and more than 4,000 square feet of flexible event space.

The Best Western is the second Disney Springs-area hotel land lease to sell in the past year, following a December 2016 sale of the Holiday Inn Orlando on Hotel Plaza Boulevard at $74,303 per key. 

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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