UDPATED: August 16, 2016 6:20 PM — Recent market data indicate Orlando's Central Business District is hungry for new hotel supply. New York-based GDC Properties is jumping at the opportunity, filing a master plan with the city for a 10-story, 126-key hotel on a 0.26-acre parcel directly southwest of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.
The plans, dated July 25, come five months after GDC bought the property and its 92-year-old office building for $1.37 million.
Located at 500 S. Magnolia Ave., on the southwest corner of an intersection with E. Anderson Street, the former four-story home has most recently been leased by local web design and development firm Designzillas.
Carrying a placeholder name of "Magnolia Hotel," GDC describes the project as a contemporary urban hotel and full-service restaurant that would activate an underutilized infill site directly south of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. The applicant touts a proposed bar and restaurant as being a potential amenity to patrons of the arts center, and downtown residents.
UPDATE: GDC also filed an application and updated color renderings of the proposed hotel on Aug. 11 for Orlando's Appearance Review Board, which it should be scheduled for on Sept. 15.
Richard DeMarco, GDC's director of operations and lead executive in its Orlando office, filed the original master plan. He told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday that new elevations submitted to the ARB "are very conceptual, and portray a general design direction which is contemporary and urban. This will certainly change as we get into full design."
DeMarco added that the name "Madrina" on new renderings is not a restaurant that GDC has lined up for the hotel's dining space, and was only included by their designer to illustrate future signage, and how it would activate the street.
Key data from hotel entries to the Downtown Orlando submarket show that demand for new rooms has consistently exceeded supply additions in recent years, making the Central Business District a solid bet for hotel investment.
When the 112-room Alfond Inn in Winter Park was opened in August 2013, followed by the 118-room Aloft Orlando Downtown opening in October 2013, available rooms for the broader submarket increased 6.5 percent while demand increased 10.3 percent from the year prior, according to Don Stephens, vice president for HVS Consulting & Valuation in Orlando.
When the Residence Inn opened on N. Orange Avenue in July 2015, demand increased 4.7 percent from 2014, and was up 12.9 percent through April of this year, compared to the same period in 2015, per HVS.
GDC's application with the city claims 50 full-time jobs and 25 part-time jobs will be created with the hotel. The hotel's parking would be completely off-site, managed by a valet service.
GDC owns and manages a diverse portfolio of retail, multifamily, mixed-use and hotel properties, including downtown Orlando's Aloft Hotel and the 246-unit NORA apartments on N. Orange Avenue in the North Quarter neighborhood.
GDC's hotel plan follows an attempt last year by developers Stuart Newmark and Marc Bortz to develop a Hilton Curio boutique hotel on city property directly west of the Dr. Phillips Center. Bortz withdrew that plan in August 2015, seeking the city's approval to instead develop mixed use on the large courtyard space, the Orlando Sentinel reported last October.