The owner of Kissimmee's Roomba Inn & Suites at Old Town say they're going to demolish the 30-year-old hotel and rebuild a $42 million resort on the seven-acre site.
David Holzapfel, vice president of business development for CTN Development Inc., unveiled the plans Thursday to members of Osceola's W192 Development Authority. It will be renamed the Roomba Park & Play Resort.
"The time has come to basically tear it down and start over," Holzapfel said. "In the last three years we have spent over $7 million just to maintain the property - on less than 400 rooms. We really have nowhere else to go."
He said the plan is to build a new mid-scale, select service hotel on the back of the property where the current hotel parking lot is now. The second phase would involve demolishing the old hotel and replacing it with a mix of retail and entertainment offerings.
The development authority unanimously agreed to name the project as its inaugural "catalyst project" and authorize up to $50,000 in assistance from its planning consultant, Logan Simpson. The authority budgeted $300,000 this year to fund studies for up to six catalyst sites.
Authority Executive Director David Buchheit said the Roomba project fits the definition perfectly. "I've had conversations with a lot of people who are interested in the program - they're the best of the bunch," he said.
Logan Simpson has worked with the authority to develop its master plan, streetscape and signage. Holzapfel said their expertise will help his company determine the highest and best use of the property - including how many hotel rooms to build, the types of retail and entertainment attractions and parking requirements.
The company, which also owns hotels in Daytona Beach and Ontario, Canada, has already invested more than $50,000 in the initial planning for the redevelopment project. Holzapfel said bringing Logan Simpson in at this stage won't slow them down.
"For us, I think it will expedite our process," Holzapfel told GrowthSpotter. "Logan Simpson has the best historical knowledge of the corridor, and they know who to call. It's really going to simplify the process. I love to work with people who have a lot of homework to bring to the table."
He hopes to break ground on the new hotel by the end of the year and complete construction on all phases within 18 months.