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Osceola seeks letters of interest for hotel developers at Heritage Park, Judge Farm

Oscoela County wants a branded, convention-center hotel that would connect to an expanded exhibition hall at Oscola Heritage Park, which includes three hotel sites.
Oscoela County wants a branded, convention-center hotel that would connect to an expanded exhibition hall at Oscola Heritage Park, which includes three hotel sites. (Osceola County)

Osceola County is seeking experienced hotel development groups to build and manage as many as three hotels -- including two full-service hotels -- at Osceola Heritage Park and the adjacent Judge Farm property.

The county recently published a request for letters of interest (RFLOI) inviting development groups to submit proposals for any or all of the hotel sites on U.S. 192, about a mile from the Florida Turnpike. The first site is a two- to three-acre parcel connected to the OHP exhibition hall.

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This would be a full-service, branded convention hotel with up to 250 rooms and suites. It should be five to six stories with covered entry, concierge service, up to 5,000 square feet of meeting space and multiple dining options. The park's master plan shows a parking garage with 900 spaces to serve the facility.

The 168-acre park also houses the 11,000-seat Silver Spurs Arena, the Houston Astros training facility (through 2016), an agricultural center, a 90,000-square-foot exhibit hall and multiple recreational fields. The master plan calls for additional sports fields as well as a new amphitheater.

A second, upper mid-scale hotel could be located on a three- to four-acre site at the intersection of Fortune Road and U.S. 192. This 150-room hotel would be designed to serve park visitors and families, and parking would be shared with adjacent retail development.

The third site is across U.S. 192 on the Judge Farm property that will be home to the Florida Advanced Research and Manufacturing Center. This hotel is conceived as an upscale conference hotel for executives working with the research and manufacturing businesses at Judge Farm and surroundings areas.

It is expected have 150-200 rooms and suites, full restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, business center and fitness center/pool.

County officials estimate the existing demand at 95,000 room nights annually, based on events and bookings at OHP and nearby Austin-Tindall Regional Park.

The need for a hotel to cater to business travelers is expected to increase next year when the FAMRC opens, and as plans for the research park move forward at Judge Farm.

Responses are due March 8. Each response should include an introduction identifying the hotel brand and examples of relevant experience. Conceptual renderings are permitted, but respondents could also attach photos of comparable projects.

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

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