He has since filed plans to expand his hotel by about 4,400 square feet. The additional commercial space will have to adhere to the I-Drive District Overlay standards, which were adopted in 2017 as a means to spur more urbanized and pedestrian-friendly developments.
Conceptual elevations recently filed in Orange County show the commercial project can rise as tall as three stories, but Bass said there’s potential to build taller.
The idea is for the development to serve as a viewing spot for nearby attractions, including Disney fireworks, he said.
“We know 50 percent of our guests do not rent cars. They walk endlessly up and down I-Drive to Icon Park," Bass said. "This is going to be an option for them to grab a coconut or fresh snack.”
Bass renovated and reopened the hotel last year after rebranding it as the Heart of I-Drive boutique hotel.
In 2017, some damaged caused by Hurricane Irma prompted the hotel to temporarily close. Bass purchased the property, which had been foreclosed on, in 2011 for $3.2 million. It had previously traded in 2007 for $4.68 million.
He said the Heart of I-Drive Market is being planned to feature up to 25 different spaces for vendors, as well as a two-story market that can fit multiple food merchants.
Boca Raton-based architect Stephen H. Little is designing the concept.