Investor buys I-Drive parcel, ready to build Orlando's first Hyatt House

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. 

The developer has its building permits and should begin construction next week. Phoenix Building Corp. Southeast is the general contractor on the project, Dunedin-based David L. Wallace & Associates is the architect, and David Evans & Associates is the civil engineer. 

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. 

bmoser@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5685

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