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South Florida firm eyeing Kissimmee’s W192 corridor for dual-branded hotel

The developer wants to subdivide the vacant lot across from the Walmart Supercenter at U.S. 192 and Old Lake Wilson Road and build a dual-branded hotel in the northwest corner.
The developer wants to subdivide the vacant lot across from the Walmart Supercenter at U.S. 192 and Old Lake Wilson Road and build a dual-branded hotel in the northwest corner. (AVID Group)

A Boca Raton-based real estate investment sponsor and developer that recently opened a Hilton Tapestry Collection hotel in downtown Melbourne is eyeing Kissimmee for its next hotel investment.

Opterra Capital is looking to subdivide a vacant commercial lot on Old Lake Wilson Road across from the Walmart Supercenter and buy roughly 4 acres for a new dual-branded 252-key hotel. The site is about a mile from the World Drive interchange that leads directly onto Disney property.

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Opterra Chief Development Officer Naomi Mirsky and planning consultant Charlie Potter from AVID Group held a pre-application meeting this week with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee to discuss the preliminary concept. Chief Investment Officer Miguel Rivera told GrowthSpotter the company has been actively seeking investment opportunities in Central Florida and finds the Kissimmee market appealing, in general. Non-disclosure agreements prevent them from discussing the project in detail at this time.

The property already has Commercial Tourist Zoning. Potter said the developer plans to build a 4-story, L-shaped building with shared services in the center of the building. “We’re going to look to develop two different potential hotel brands in a singular wing-shaped building here, so there’ll be kind of one brand of a hotel on the Western leg and then there’ll be another one over here on the northern leg,” Potter said.

The conceptual design is similar to the dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel that opened earlier this year in Orlando on International Drive.

A dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel on Orlando's I-Drive corridor opened earlier this year.
A dual-branded Aloft and Element hotel on Orlando's I-Drive corridor opened earlier this year. (AD1 Global)

The 9-acre parent parcel is owned by Lake Wilson Enterprises LLC, led by local investors Ricardo Spekla and Milton Bigucci. They bought the triangle-shaped parcel in 2019 for $600,000 and would retain two outparcels fronting on Old Lake Wilson Road.

AVID proposes the primary access to the hotel would be from a signalized driveway directly across from Walmart, and secondary access would come from Funie Steed Road and Morgan Willams Road.

The developer would need site plan approval from the W192 Development Authority, which requires developers to place new buildings along the main roadways with parking in the rear of the project. Mirsky said they could shift the building but would need some parking and a drive aisle running parallel to Funie Steed Road. If the W192 staff doesn’t show some flexibility, it could be a dealbreaker.

Christina Morris, executive director for the W192 Development Authority, told GrowthSpotter the developer had a follow-up meeting with city staff and resolved their concerns. The rear-parking requirements would apply to the commercial parcels fronting on Old Lake Wilson Road, she said.

Find out what the new owner has planned for this long-vacant Disney-area hotel and how soon he hopes to reopen.

Hotels along this stretch of W192 have seen mixed results as a result of COVID. The Margaritaville Hotel, about 1.5 miles away, is planning an expansion to accommodate the record demand from tourists. But just across the highway, a recently completed Hawthorne Suites hotel on Reedy Creek Drive was sold for a residential conversion.

Two other hotels on the same block of W192 are undergoing major renovations. AD1 Global is spending $13 million to convert the 434-room Days Hotel at 3011 Maingate Ln. into a Wyndham Hotel. The hotel has remained open throughout the construction process.

Meanwhile, Sarasota-based Kapstones Holdings is investing $30 million on the complete renovation of the former Wilson World hotel at 7491 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. The company will reopen the hotel under its own brand, Kompose.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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