Intram Investments has bought and is in the process of redeveloping a prominent but run-down corner at an entrance to Winter Garden, the developer and city announced.
A Wawa is the first business planned for the corner of State Road 50 and Dillard Street, where the closed Budget Inn Hotel, IHOP and Chit Chat Lounge sit now.
Two other leases are being negotiated on out-parcels of the corner to the west, the city and developer said.
But what Intram and Winter Garden are still looking for is a highly qualified developer to build and operate a hotel on the site. The city of 40,000 has an historic B&B, the Edgewater Hotel, but does not have any hotels.
The city-commissioned study by HVS Consulting determined there is need for a hotel in the city. Specifically, there is demand for a 120-room hotel in the upper mid-scale chain range, such as a Hampton Inn Suites, the consultants said.
A ground breaking on the redevelopment is scheduled for Aug. 21, with demolition on Aug. 24. In the meantime, the Winter Garden Fire Department and Orange County SWAT teams have been using the building for practice.
Intram purchased and assembled the various parcels for the project over the last few months. Orange County Property Appraiser records show seven transactions to 50@Dillard, totaling about $4.35 million for the assemblage of a little more than six acres, according to records. The hotel parcel sold for $3.3 million.
Intram is an Orlando-based real estate development and restaurant investment company.
Tanja Gerhartz, the city's economic development director, said it will be a relief to have the site cleared and exciting to see it redeveloped.