A Birmingham hotel operator has filed preliminary plans with Polk County for a new five-story hotel across from Legoland Florida Resort.
Mehendra Patidar, who owns and operates a pair of Days Inn hotels in Alabama, requested a pre-application meeting with county staff for Dec. 1 to discuss planning requirements and site constraints for the 3-acre parcel on the south side of Roosevelt Road, just east of Cypress Gardens Boulevard.
Property owner Robert L. Shapiro told GrowthSpotter on Friday that Patidar has a contract to buy the vacant lot, and plans to build a branded hotel with up to 100 rooms. "They're working through some detailed parking and (stormwater) rentention issues," he said.
Shapiro's Master Development Inc. purchased that lot, along with an adjacent 1.3-acre lot fronting on Cypress Gardens Boulevard, for $955,000 in 2004. He sold the smaller lot in 2013 for $750,000 - it now houses an 8,600-square-foot Golden Corral restaurant.
The restaurant utilizes part of the adjacent property for overflow parking.
Patidar has retained Winter Haven engineering firm Envisors.
When the theme park opened in 2011 on the former grounds of Cypress Gardens, leaders promised Legoland Florida would expand on an annual basis. The highly anticipated Ninjago World opens on Jan. 12.
Legoland has also invested heavily to expand on-site accommodations, opening the five-story, 152-room Legoland Hotel in 2015. The park is currently doubling its expansion of hospitality offerings with the Legoland Beach Retreat, scheduled to open in 2017.
The beach retreat, featuring 83 Lego-inspired duplexes, is across Cypress Gardens Boulevard from the theme park, on Lake Dexter.