Miami developer swaps in new flag for dual-hotel project on South I-Drive

Bob Moser
GrowthSpotter

Miami-based Riviera Point Development Group is on pace to break ground in the fourth quarter on the first of two neighboring hotels on S. International Drive, and has swapped in a new flag for the second property that will be new to Greater Orlando.

The developer filed for an environmental resource permit on Thursday with the South Florida Water Management District, and should submit construction plans to Orange County in early September, acquisitions and finance manager Carlos Chuman told GrowthSpotter on Friday.

Riviera Point paid $3.3 million in October 2016 to enter Orlando's tourism corridor, buying 3.32 undeveloped acres in the 11500 block of S. International Drive directly north of the 288-unit Ancora Apartments being built by LeCesse Development Corp., and the Orchid Bay Plaza retail center owned by Orlando-based Phoenicia Development

The developer then filed a two-phase Development Plan in January with the county for the first hotel to be a 101-room La Quinta Del Sol, and the second a 98-room hotel that Riviera Point was negotiating at the time for Carlson Rezidor's new Radisson RED flag.

Since then, the Radisson pursuit has been dropped for the second property and a franchise agreement has been executed for TRYP by Wyndham, a select-service urban flag with hotels established in major cities across Europe, North and South America.

Florida's first TRYP hotel opened earlier this year as a 95-room property in St. Augustine.

"We felt that the TRYP brand has a global reach that better compliments the La Quinta brand we'll have on the first hotel, which offers strong U.S. brand awareness but not so much international," Chuman said. "We're trying out different lifestyle brands and don't want to necessarily repeat the same at our different properties." 

Riviera Point is building its first Radisson RED hotel near the Miami airport, where more than 200 pilings were put in the ground this past spring and vertical construction should start in the coming weeks, Chuman said. The developer has raised all of a $11.5 million funding target via the EB-5 immigrant investor program for this $24 million project. 

The two Orlando hotels will be phased, with a time lapse of nine to 12 months between the construction of each. Groundbreaking is targeted for November on site infrastructure and the first phase, pending construction permit approvals, Chuman said.

Total development cost is still projected at $32.5 million, of which $12 million or more is now being raised via EB-5, coordinated by regional center Florida EB-5 Investments LLC of Altamonte Springs. 

Riviera Point has yet to choose a general contractor for the Orlando project, and is working to procure at least four bids from GCs experienced in hospitality, Chuman said. 

Florida Engineering Group is the civil engineer on Riviera Point's Orlando hotels, and L2 Studios, Inc. is the architect.  

The two new Orlando hotels will be Riviera Point's fifth development in Florida with a substantial EB-5 investment. 

The company previously developed a 132,000-square-foot office campus in Lake Mary from 2003 through 2005, on the southwest corner of Interstate 4 and Lake Mary Boulevard.

Riviera Point and other developers stand to gain in the long-term from Orange County's $21 million investment now being made to widen that portion of I-Drive between both ends of Westwood Boulevard. 

The construction project should be finished by Hubbard Construction in the fourth quarter of this year. 

Riviera Point's two hotels should be followed closely in the development cycle by two more proposed limited-service hotels directly south of the Orchid Bay Plaza shopping center by hotel investor B.P. Sodhi

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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