Mount Dora-based developer preps new Aloft hotel site in Lake Buena Vista

Mount Dora-based Southern Hospitality Management & Development has its second Orlando hotel site under contract in the Lake Buena Vista submarket, with plans for a new Aloft next to a Holiday Inn Express it currently has under construction.

The developer filed a Development Plan on Tuesday with Orange County to build a six-story, 142-key Aloft hotel on 2.35 acres, located southwest of the Marbella Palms Court and Palm Parkway intersection.

Southern Hospitality currently has eight hotel properties in Florida, including one in Mount Dora, two in Sanford, and in Orlando a 140-key Holiday Inn Express now under construction at 11428 Marbella Palms Court, right next to the planned Aloft. 

"That Holiday Inn Express is currently vertical, slated for a Fall 2018 opening. Hilton, Marriott and IHG are our focal brand loyalties, so when Starwood merged (with Marriott) that was attractive for us to try for Aloft at this site," business director Sandip Patel told GrowthSpotter. "In that region you see a lot of limited service hotels but not many geared toward millenials, like Aloft. We want to attract everyone in that Disney market, but with this we plan to create a more upscale feel in a limited service hotel." 

The Aloft is planned to include 1,000 square feet of meeting space, an indoor-outdoor bar connected to the pool area, and the brand's typical large lounge area on the ground floor. 

Southern Hospitality expects to close on the land purchase in late Second Quarter 2018 from Daytona-beach hotelier and seller Boca Development LLC, Patel said. A simultaneous construction start will be pursued. 

No variances have been requested in the hotel's DP, and the developer should near 30 percent completion of construction plans in December, Patel said. 

Total project cost is estimated at $20 million, and a general contractor search has yet to begin, he added. Southern Hospitality will be seeking a construction loan in Q1 2018 valued near 70 percent loan-to-cost. 

Southern Hospitality will manage the Aloft and neighboring Holiday Inn Express, though the two properties will not share many back-of-house synergies, Patel said. 

The company is not alone in targeting that stretch of Palm Parkway south of the Daryl Carter Parkway intersection for new hotel development. 

The Aloft site lies directly northeast of a 4.86-acre parcel where local businessman David Bansmer and New Orleans-based developer Robert J. Guidry are nearly 75 percent complete on construction of a dual-branded Springhill Suites and Towneplace Suites by Marriott, totaling 335 rooms. 

It also lies east and across Palm Parkway from a four-parcel assemblage totaling 6.44 acres that wraps around Ravallo Resort Drive, which Kissimmee-based Carter Hospitality Group bought in mid-December 2015 with entitlements for up to 900 hotel keys. 

Carter is now marketing that land for sale as of this month through HREC Investment Advisors. This site lies at a Palm Parkway/Lake Avenue intersection that should have a full traffic signal installed in the coming year. 

Z Development Services is civil engineer on the Aloft project and Base4 is the architect.

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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