International real estate investment firm GAOK Invest has released the first renderings and video of its planned 1,462-key luxury condo hotel resort Breeze de Mar, as it awaits Comprehensive Plan amendment approval in November.
"What's different about this project, from the very beginning, is it's what we call a horizontal hotel," planner Bob Whidden told GrowthSpotter.
GAOK, which has offices in Germany, Turkey and the U.S., engaged Rj Whidden & Associates to master plan the 150-acre site on Kissimmee's Poinciana Boulevard, just northwest of the new SunRail station.
The firm first announced the project in Istanbul in late March, and since July has had a lot split and rezoning approved by Osceola County, while waiting for a Comp Plan amendment to return from the state for county adoption.
With 1,462 keys, the project is comparable in scale to some of Orlando's largest resort hotels, but instead of going vertical the developer is distributing each fully furnished condo unit among hundreds of small, two-story buildings in village settings. Each condo unit would have a full kitchen and separate living space.
The horizontal hotel spans the entire property, comprising five villages, all surrounding a huge man-made lake.
"The lake is about 35 acres, and it's fully navigable," Whidden said. "They're going to have water taxis to shuttle people back and forth."
About 150 units would be built on stilts over the lake -- including 22 party houses. "Each one is considered one hotel unit -- we're not doing lockouts or anything like that -- but they can have anywhere from six to 12 bedrooms," Whidden said.
The other guest-house buildings have either eight one-bedroom units or a mix of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.
All vehicles would be valet parked in a secure lot at check-in, and the hotel staff would shuttle the guests to their units along the main promenade. Guests would be able to rent golf carts for their individual use or call for a valet pickup.
"It's not your typical vacation home resort where everything is car-centric," entitlements specialist John Adams said this week. "It's more like when you go to a resort in the Virgin Islands or Caribbean, and you check in and they take you on a golf cart to your unit."
The main hotel and clubhouse are just inside the gated entry, where guests check in. That building would have a large lobby and concierge desk, as well as multiple lounges and dining areas, a ballroom, a movie theater, arcade and full-service spa.
The resort would have multiple water features, including a large zero-entry pool with waterfall grotto, Jacuzzis, water slides, a splash park and lazy river. The massive pool deck has a cafe, cocktail bars and private cabanas. A separate restaurant would be built on stilts on the lake with views of the pool and lazy river.
The clubhouse also has basketball and tennis courts, as well as a miniature golf course. Each of the five villages has its own pocket park with either a playground or splash pad and fire pits.
Whidden said the main promenade is part of a 3.5-mile master trail network within the resort -- that includes raised boardwalks through the 50 acres of wetland forest. "We saved every stitch of wetlands on this property," he said. "It's a massive tree canopy."
One of the boardwalks would follow the same path as the kiddie train that used to operate on the property when it was home to a petting farm, Whidden added.
The project could be developed in five phases, but it will probably be done in three. The first phase would include all of the amenities and the lake, subject to permit approvals.
Just outside the gates, the developer has planned 40,000 square feet of retail and commercial uses, including a full-service restaurant.
"It's a part of the sustainable design concept, where this thing is supporting itself," Whidden said.
The resort is also located across the street from a planned Mixed-Use community adjacent to the Poinciana SunRail station.
A Site Development Plan should be filed by year's end, and stormwater management permits would follow. Construction is slated to start next year with the completion of the first phase in 2019.
"They would start tomorrow if they could," Adams said. "They are actively marketing it to European investors now."
Breeze de Mar would offer shuttle service for guests arriving from the airport or by SunRail, as well as shuttles to the theme parks and attractions, he added.
GAOK's portfolio consists of residential and commercial assets in Germany (30 percent) and the U.S. The company previously entitled a townhouse community in Oviedo in the Park and sold it during the project phase to Pulte Homes.