The New York-based company that paid nearly $1.4 million for a nearly century-old office building across from the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has filed plans with the city to demolish it.
GDC Properties President William Ingraham told GrowthSpotter the company is prepping the quarter-acre site for a future 11-story hotel tower with retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.
"We have an approved plan for a hotel there," Ingraham said. "The time had come to demolish that building."
GDC is the same firm that transformed the former Orlando Utilities Commission headquarters at 500 S. Orange Ave. into the city's first Aloft-branded hotel. Ingraham said the company doesn't have a start date yet for the new 126-key Orlando tower because all of its attention now is focused on a project in New York.
"We don't have a construction date yet, but we're preparing for the eventual development of that site," he said.
GDC rezoned the property in 2016 to AC-3A (Downtown Activity Center) zoning with a density bonus. The company also submitted plans and elevations to the Appearance Review Board and received generally positive feedback during a courtesey review that year.
The ARB staff called the hotel tower a "truly urbanized" project with no on-site parking and other site-related constraints.
"GDC Properties, the owner and applicant for this project has substantial experience with this type of project," ARB Director Doug Metzger wrote in his staff report. "They also own and operate the Aloft Hotel, just one block away, which also has no on-site parking."
Jason Burton, planning division assistant manager, told GrowthSpotter the project had gone quiet for the last two years, up until GDC applied for a demolition permit. The permit application is still under staff review.
Burton said the 1926 building is not part of a historic district and has no landmark status. "It's not protected right now," he said.
GDC owns and manages a diverse portfolio of retail, multifamily, mixed-use and hotel properties, including the 246-unit NORA apartments on N. Orange Avenue in the North Quarter neighborhood.