Hotelier Aziz Visram has teamed up with Align Commercial Real Estate for a new hotel project on Kissimmee's W192 tourism corridor.
Visram previously renovated and sold the Comfort Inn Maingate at 7675 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, about a mile from Disney's Animal Kingdom. He kept an undeveloped 3.2-acre lot adjacent to the hotel, and now he and Align Principal Yog Melwani want to build a new hotel there.
"We can't reveal the flag yet, but it will be a national hotel," Melwani told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday.
He said they hope to break ground before the end of the year. "But 2019 might be more realistic." Currently the partners are looking for a civil engineer to assist with site planning and permitting.
The duo met Wednesday with Osceola County's Development Review Committee to discuss issues related to the site plan, zoning and cross access easements. The property has the proper land use, but it's currently zoned Agricultural/Conservation so it must be rezoned to Commercial Tourist.
Visram said he had to go through a similar rezoning in 2016 when he sold the Comfort Inn.
The partners said they haven't determined yet whether the new hotel will be select service or limited service. The maximum number of rooms allowed, based on the parcel size, would be 192. The county requires at least one parking space per hotel room, but there is no height restriction in CT zoning.
Visram is also director of business development for Vista Property Management, which has owned multiple hotels and office assets in Orlando and Kissimmee.
Melwani is vice chairman of Orange County's Planning and Zoning Commission.
The site, which can also be accessed via Black Lake Road, would be one of two new hotels planned in the immediate area. Elevation Development last year sold an entitled 120-room hotel pad on Sherberth Road to Rosemont Hotels for $1.78 million. The Elevation project also includes a new CVS drugstore and several restaurants.
Visram said the amount of new development activity in the immediate area prompted him to move forward with his project now.
Magic Village Resort and Magic Village 2 are just around the corner. The new $90 million Margaritaville Hotel, slated to open later this year, is about a mile west of the site.
To the east, Jumani Hospitality has just opened the new Hawthorn Suites Kissimmee Maingate on Reedy Creek Boulevard and has a flag contract for a Wyndham Garden hotel next door.