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Sanford's old Royal Inn & Suites under contract, planned for two new hotels

Prior to demolition, the Royal Inn & Suites sat at the northeast corner of I-4 and S.R. 46 in Sanford.
Prior to demolition, the Royal Inn & Suites sat at the northeast corner of I-4 and S.R. 46 in Sanford. (Google Street View)

A Holiday Inn Express and a Hilton-brand hotel are being proposed for the site of a dilapidated Sanford motel off Interstate 4 that has been vacant for about a year.

The 6.7-acre site of the Royal Inn & Suites on S.R. 46 would also include a Starbucks under local hotelier Jayesh Patel's plans, with the total project expected to cost up to $30 million.

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Patel has the Royal Inn & Suites parcel under contract for between $2.5 million and $3 million, according to Julian Mazili of Mazili Hotel Group, Patel's broker on the deal. The transaction is expected to close in mid-May.

The last owner, Saj Lodging, paid $3.4 million for the hotel in 2006, property records show.

Patel's purchase will be made from Florida Community Bank, which foreclosed on the site late last year.

Patel came in after another deal between Elevation Development and Saj Lodging fell through just before the foreclosure. Elevation then went to Florida Community Bank, but it did not accept the company's offer, said a real estate source with knowledge of the negotiations. Florida Community Bank did not return calls seeking comment.

Elevation Development was also hoping to build two hotels at the site, along with a restaurant.

Patel's two new hotels would make five that he said he operates. The others are a Ramada Inn in Altamonte Springs, a Best Western in Tavares and a Hampton Inn in Charlotte.

Patel emphasized that the Holiday Inn Express and Hilton flag agreements are not finalized. By putting two hotels side by side amenities could be shared.

The site also benefits from having a McDonald's and an Outback Steakhouse virtually next door. There is talk that a closed Waffle House right next to the property could be bought and demolished for use as right of way.

The property did not stay on Florida Community Bank's books long because it is considered an appealing location.

The land, at 4750 S.R. 46, is along a well-traveled road next to an I-4 exit, as well as Seminole Towne Center, Gateway Plaza and Rinehart Road nearby.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com, via Twitter at @karentalley or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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