PRISA buys land for planned Element hotel near I-Drive 360, adds new JV partner

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

An affiliate of Puerto Rican developer PRISA Group paid $3 million on Friday for the site of its planned Element by Westin hotel adjacent to the I-Drive 360 complex, and has brought on a new joint-venture partner to replace local developer Unicorp National Developments. 

PRISA and Unicorp initially filed plans last August for the eight-story, 165-key hotel project, which would be built on the site of the former McFadden's restaurant at 8278 Universal Blvd., directly northeast of The Orlando Eye. The restaurant's 1.82-acre parcel is within the Vue at 360 property controlled by Unicorp. 

At the time, Unicorp and PRISA said the JV would be a 50/50 split between the two developers, with Unicorp contributing the land, some equity and help leading the project through local government approvals. 

But now Peachtree Hospitality Management will manage the property and its parent company will join PRISA in joint-venture ownership, president Federico Stubbe, Jr. told GrowthSpotter

In conjunction with the land sale, Unicorp's affiliate granted PRISA-Peachtree license to use "Vue at 360" with the hotel's name and marketing.

Welbro Building Corp. has been chosen as general contractor, and Popular Bank will be the lender, he added, though no mortgage was recorded Tuesday. Total project cost was estimated by Stubbe last year near $35 million.

PRISA is still "in process with the county" for its construction plan review, said Stubbe, who declined to estimate a timeline this year for groundbreaking.

No demolition or construction permit requests had been filed with Orange County as of Tuesday. A Development Plan for the hotel has been approved. 

He also declined to comment on the motivation for swapping out Unicorp for Peachtree as JV partner. 

This would be PRISA's second hotel development in Orlando in the past three years. The company's first, a dual-branded Marriott hotel directly southeast of and behind the Mall at Millenia, opened in early April.

"Millenia is exceeding expectations for us already," he said. "It was delivered on time and on budget." 

L2 Studios is project architect and Kimley-Horn civil engineer on the new Element hotel plans.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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