Mississsippi-based Heritage Hospitality Group will make its Orlando market entry with an $18 million Homewood Suites in the Disney master-planned community of Celebration.
HHG Founder and CEO Hiren "Chico" Patel told GrowthSpotter the company broke the mold on the Homewood Suites prototype, redesigning the 128-key, all-suite hotel to capture the family tourist extended stay market.
"It's very Art Deco," Patel said. "It's not like our traditional Homewood Suites - nowhere near that design. It's very similar to the adjacent properties."
The Hilton extended-stay flag usually caters to business travelers, but Patel said the Celebration hotel would be designed to appeal to families. The architects at PFVS expanded all of the public spaces and recreational areas.
"There's a huge emphasis on outdoor space," he said. "We're going to have a pool with a lazy river, a patio and grill to accommodate large groups," he said. "There's going to be a lot of kids. We're expecting up to 500 people in the lobby each morning for breakfast."
He compared the extra-long, 4-story hotel to a stretch limousine.
HHG paid $2.35 million April 17 for the property, which was part of a larger Planned Development by Kettler, a Washington, D.C.-based developer that specializes in multifamily and mixed-use developments. Kettler plans to break ground in July on a $75 million luxury apartment complex. Kettler is also reserving a site within the 18-acre project for a future active adult community.
Kettler Celebration is right next door to AdventHealth's new $20 million skilled nursing and rehab center and a block from the Windsor at Celebration Assisted Living Facility.
Patel said HHG is looking to break ground in early 2020. The company, founded in 2006, has 42 hotels primarily across the Southeast and now has 25 new projects in the pipeline, including a Hampton Inn in St. Petersburg that will be its first Florida asset.
"We're based out of Mississippi and Louisiana," he said. "In our backyard, we've pretty much captured our market. That's why we're looking to expand in Tampa and Orlando, then developing on the West Coast."
The company was drawn to the Celebration site because of its close proximity to the theme parks and because it was already entitled for hotel uses. HHG is actively shopping for more hotel sites.
"We're working with several local real estate agents to find a larger tract of land in Orlando where we can do multiple hotels," he said.