New York-based Whitestone Realty Capital expects to break ground next week on a 175-room Hyatt House hotel on North International Drive, a $28 million project that's introducing the extended-stay brand to Orlando, managing director Michael Zukerman told GrowthSpotter.
The 3.45-acre vacant commercial property was bought for $2.575 million on June 26 by a newly created Florida affiliate of Whitestone, 5370 Holdings LLC. It's location on northeast I-Drive sits directly east of Divers Direct, and across the street from Sonic Drive-In.
The property's previous owner, Maitland-based Le Royal International Development, began the process in May 2014 of getting re-zoning approval from Orlando's Municipal Planning Board, doing so on behalf of Whitestone as a potential buyer, Zukerman said.
"We liked this as a hotel site and like that it is near Universal. We began planning this property for the Cambria hotel brand a couple years ago, but found we could do a Hyatt House and pursued that since last year," he said.
Whitestone will finance the projected $28 million budget through a combination of its own equity and a senior loan with Hall Structured Finance, a Dallas-based lender that Zukerman said specializes in hotel projects.
Whitestone has residential, retail, hospitality and senior living projects in development in a number of cities across the country, but this is the real estate investment firm's first property in Orlando.
Directly east of the parcel is a 77-acre tract of undeveloped land on North I-Drive that GrowthSpotter examined on June 23. Vacant for a decade and once destined for an amusement park, the large parcel south of Artegon Marketplace could draw renewed interest for mixed-use development as demand heats up the tourism corridor.