An Apopka hotelier has filed plans for a new select-service hotel next to the planned Mercedes dealership south of Mall of Millenia.
Akber Jamal, who last year sold two Orlando-area hotels, told GrowthSpotter he's planning to start construction on a 129-room Hilton Garden Inn just off Millenia Boulevard as soon as permits are issued.
"Hilton is a great brand, and you'll be able to see it from I-4 and the Turnpike, and it's just south of Mall of Millenia," he said.
The hotel will have a restaurant, bar, room service, pool and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. Jamal's AAAA Partners LLC has a contract to buy the 2.4-acre site, which is already graded and pad-ready. The company is named for his four children, whose names all begin with the letter "A."
The tract is part of a 23-acre parent parcel owned by Boyland Auto Group. The company bought the land in 2017 to relocate and expand its Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando dealership, currently located at 4301 Millenia Blvd.
Conceptual plans for the new dealership call for close to 80,000 square feet under roof, 900 parking spots and more than 40 service stalls.
Jamal and Boyland have applied to amend the Planned Development for the property to allow for development of a hotel without adjacent office uses and to add a trail network linking the site to others within the PD. They also have filed a Master Plan (MP) for the hotel itself.
The project also would include a trio of fountains added to various retention ponds and a pergola or gazebo on the western portion of the property.
Jamal said his primary business interests are in the convenience store industry, but he has developed and sold numerous hotels, including Hampton Inns, Holiday Inns and Best Westerns. His family typically manages the hotel properties, but he has not decided yet whether to use an outside firm for the Millenia asset.
Jamal said he also recently received a franchise agreement from IHG to develop an 80-key Holiday Inn Express across from the Country Club of Mount Dora. His family currently owns a 4.4-acre vacant commercial tract on U.S. 441 across from Country Club Boulevard. The site is next to an existing Hampton Inn and directly across from a planned medical center affiliated with Florida Hospital Waterman.
Jamal expects to start the permitting process for the Mount Dora project in 2019. "Right now the Millenia hotel is my priority," he said.
The Hilton Garden is one of two new hotels slated for the mall submarket. A year ago UP Development filed an MP for a seven-story, 140-key limited service hotel just north of the new City Furniture store on Vineland Road, west of I-4 and Mall of Millenia.